Meatless Monday Reaches Tipping Point

And the grassroots organization has Mario Batali, Oprah Winfrey and countless others to thank for it

The Meatless Monday campaign, around since 2003, encourages Americans to go vegetarian one day a week for general wellness and environmental reasons. Over the years, the folks behind the non-profit organization opted against paid advertising, instead relying on the media to embrace and broadcast their message. And, it appears that word-of-mouth strategy is paying off. 

New research reveals that 50.22 percent of Americans are now aware of this once-a-week meat-free eating movement -- quite a coup considering the number was at 30 percent six months ago. Chris Elam, program director of Meatless Monday, attributes this raise in awareness to a number of sources. He's quick to thank Oprah Winfrey, who enthusiastically endorsed the program on her show and instituted a Meatless Monday in her studio's cafe, as well as celebrity chef Mario Batali, who offers up a meatless menu every Monday in all 14 of his restaurants. And he certainly has not forgotten the independent bloggers who shared their Meatless Monday ideas, recipes and experiences; the restaurant owners who decided to instate Meatless Monday on their own; and the doctors, nurses, and nutritionists who knew a good thing when they saw one. 

If you're on board with this easy, healthy trend and want to up its awareness even further, the best thing you can do is talk it up. Sharing your commitment to Meatless Monday with your family and friends is the quickest way to get the other 50 percent of the nation caught up with with this good for you push in the right direction. 

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