Meat Free Week

Meat Free Week 19th - 25th September 2021

Meat Free Week is all about going meat free for one week. It creates an opportunity for people to think about how much meat they eat and the impact eating too much meat may have. Bowel Cancer Australia has been a health partner of Meat Free Week for 8 years now and continues to support the cause with raising awareness and getting people to think and talk about meat consumption and production.

It is important to note though, that Meat Free Week is not about promoting a total about-face to a vegetarian or vegan diet but rather provides food for thought for people to make more informed decisions if they are eating over the recommended intake.

Why go meat free for Meat Free Week? 

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, claiming over 100 lives every week. According to the World Cancer Research Fund Institute (WCRFI), consumption of red meat is probably a cause of bowel cancer and consumption of processed meats is a convincing cause of bowel cancer. Studies conducted by WCRFI show that risk of bowel cancer increases by 17% per 100g of red meat consumed per day and that bowel cancer risk increases by 18% per 50g of processed meat consumed per day. Studies also found that eating 90 grams of wholegrains per day can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by 17%.

If you choose to eat red meat, the WCRFI recommends limiting the amount to 500 grams cooked per week and to eat very little, if any, processed meats. 

Interestingly, Australians over the age of 19 years, on average consume 565 grams of red meat per week.

Are you worried that you might not meet your iron needs or have enough protein in your diet if you decide to have some meat free days?

  • Add a squeeze of lemon to your leafy greens. The vitamin C helps to increase iron absorption
  • Foods high in iron include dried fruits, button mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, lentils and beans, leafy greens
  • To boost good quality protein - add some nuts and seeds to salads or steamed vegetables. Some high protein nuts and seeds include: pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds or peanuts for example.

Is going Meat Free for one week too long? Try one day a week to start….. Meat-free Monday! So make seasonal vegetables the star of your meat free meals. There are so many delicious vegetables that are in season right now and are just perfect to make use of in Meat Free Monday meals. What is your go-to Meat Free Monday dish?

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Contact Emily Korir on LinkedIn