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The Johns Hopkins Hospital Launches Meatless Monday -- Wellness Corner in Main Cafeteria to Highlight More Vegetarian Meals

Apr 13, 2010

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has launched a Meatless Monday campaign to encourage healthier eating among patients, visitors and staff.

Every Monday the hospital’s renovated Cobblestone Café now offers only vegetarian meal options at its “Wellness Corner” to promote the benefits of eating more grains, fruits and vegetables.  Meals containing meat will still be available in other areas of the cafeteria.

“I’m looking forward to helping customers learn that they’re not sacrificing taste by eating vegetarian meals,” said Executive Chef Shawn Fields.  One of Fields’ specialties is his vegetarian chili, already a mainstay at the “Wellness Corner.” A promotional poster designed for the Meatless Monday campaign offers a quote from Chef Fields, “If you think chili needs meat, you don’t know beans.”

The national Meatless Monday campaign was launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The campaign’s primary focus is to reduce the consumption of saturated fat by 15%, following the recommendations of the Healthy People 2010 report issued by then U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. Meatless Monday also recognizes the environmental and public health impact of industrial meat production linked to water use, climate change, and pollution.

“While eating meat a few days a week can be a healthy part of your diet, most Americans eat much more than the USDA recommends,” says Robert S. Lawrence, M.D., director of CLF and the Bloomberg School’s Center for a Livable Future Professor in Environmental Health Sciences.  According to CLF, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show that men in the U.S. consume as much as 190% of their recommended daily allowance of protein while women eat as much as 160%.  Americans derive the majority of their protein from meat and other animal sources.

Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat can improve your health. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, appointed by the Departments of Health and Agriculture, stated that people who eat more fruits and vegetables, “as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancers in certain sites.”

The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s dining services are managed by Sodexo, Inc. The Cobblestone Café serves about 1,800 customers a day. “Meatless Monday provides a healthy and tasty alternative for people looking for a healthy diet change.” says Johns Hopkins Hospital Food Service Director, Leo Dorsey.