This program started as a result of a book club discussion. We had all just finished reading a book outlining the harmful affects of the standard American diet, too high in saturated fats and cholesterol, too many calories, too much added sugars and oils and not enough nutrient dense whole foods. We started talking about what we could do in our community to bring more awareness to eating more healthy fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. I mentioned the Meatless Monday campaign where people are encouraged to forgo meat on day per week for their health and for the environment. Changing one day per week is more palatable to people that trying to change too much at once. Momentum grew and soon we had community partners such as Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen Elementary and Middle schools, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Komen Aspen, the Aspen Cycling Club, the Aspen Club and Spa on board who wanted to help spread the message. We also contacted a well respected local chef who is passionate about delicious and healthy food. Chef Martin Oswald of Pyramid Bistro got over 20 Aspen area restaurants to agree to offer a meatless dish on Mondays. A weekly newsletter was created and distributed featuring an article promoting health and a meatless recipe along with upcoming community meatless Monday events.
1. Our program was named the first Meatless Monday Community by Peggy Nu at Meatless Monday. 2. Our program received national and local press. The New York Times and the Huffington Post covered Aspen Meatless Monday along with our local press. 2. Local newspapers, radio and television continue to cover our program. 3. Over 100 community members attended a luncheon in July 2011 hosted by Pyramid Bistro, Aspen Film, and Aspen Meatless Monday for the producer and the creators of the food documentary "Forks Over Knives." 4. Ten Meatless Monday community dinners complete. Participation has grown from 15 people to over 50. 5. The dinners have given rise to events that feature speakers who promote sustainable agriculture and preventative health. 7. Future events include speakers, classes, food documentary film night 8. Newsletter subscription is currently at 125 local subscribers.
1. Promote healthy eating through grass roots community events. 2. Educate people about how their food choices affect their health and their local and global community. 3. Keep it low cost and high impact to serve as an example for other communities.
1. The number of events we run every year. 2. The number of people who attend the events 3. The number of people on our mailing list and the number of people who open the newsletter. 4. Positive feedback from our community.
This local program is a grass roots movement who’s mission is to improve personal health and the health of the planet by reducing meat consumption. By providing community events such as the dinners and events that bring people in our community together to share food, network, exchange ideas we provide support for each other to make lasting changes for ourselves and our community. Dawn Shepard Aspen Meatless Monday
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