Mario Joins Meatless Monday Movement

It's not quite as dramatic a step as it sounds: Every Monday, each of Batali's establishments will proffer at least two vegetarian options, be it entrees, pastas, pizzas, or whatnot (and we hear he makes an incredible vegan whatnot).These dishes will be designated as Meatless Monday options. The idea is to simply encourage folks to try a vegetable-based one day a week. As we say, not that big a deal, but it puts the influential Mario into the column of conscientious culinarians.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," says Batali.

"Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or

attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and

support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably.

That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."


are other Meatless Monday movement members: Michael Pollan, Al Gore,

Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Baltimore Public

School System, nearly 30 college campuses, 100 blogs (make that 101),

and eight international programs spanning from Brazil to Taiwan.

Meatless Monday is a non-profit backed by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg

School of Public Health. The goal is to reduce America's meat

consumption by 15 percent.

I don't see many chefs or restaurants on

that list -- local or otherwise. And I certainly don't see the

Miami-Dade Public School System listed. How about it? Doesn't appear to

cost any money to join, and in doing so surely the odds of getting

Gwyneth Paltrow's autograph will greatly increase.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein