Copenhagen Lesson: Eat Less Meat

By Trina Hahnemann
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Photo by ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images


It's amazing to experience my home town of Copenhagen turned into global village, with thousands of people from the whole world here for the UN COP15 climate summit. Denmark is in some respects like a tribe--we have only 5½ million inhabitants--so it is mind-blowing to walk around the city and experience the whole world visiting our small place. No matter what the aftermath of the summit, some kind of momentum was created in the people's parliament in the convention centers, hotels, bars, and streets of Copenhagen.

My own hope for the summit is a very ambitious plan for lowering CO2 emissions. I experienced a little glimmer of hope for a better future when our climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, gave her opening speech. She was sincere and at the same time very aggressive when it came to stating how much is expected of world leaders in making serious decisions to enable a dramatic change in mitigating climate change.

One easy way to make a change right here and now is by cutting back on the eating of meat so that we only eat meat three times a week, and also cut back on portion size.

Personally I want a detailed plan for more sustainable agriculture, less meat production, and an emphasis on organic or locally grown vegetables! But life is full of paradox, so I also hope we will keep human change in mind too, so that this doesn't turn into an "eco religion."

I believe that one easy way to make a change right here and now is by cutting back on the eating of meat so that we only eat meat three times a week, and also cut back on portion size. If you do cook meat, plan on no more than about 150 grams--about 5 ounces--per person, and then fill up your plate with vegetables, lentils, rice, bread, and potatoes. Use the meat just as a flavor! Here's a way to use everyone's favorite flavor, bacon, for one of two lovely Christmas winter salads.

Recipe: Kale Salad With Pomegranate
Recipe: Apple Sauce With Bacon (Æbleflæsk)

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/12/copenhagen-lesson-eat-less-meat/32159/