by MPD
Categories: Causes, Eats, Z-2
Tags: .
Photo: prphotos.com

After hearing rumors that Mario Batali was jumping on the Meatless Monday bandwagon, I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t Opposite Day. Good news — it wasn’t!

The famous chef and restauranteur is taking one for the team (the Green Team, that is) and embracing Meatless Mondays — a national campaign that encourages Americans to incorporate more vegetables and less meat into their diet.

Starting this week, all of Batali’s 14 restaurants, including Babbo, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse and Osteria Mozza, will feature at least two vegetarian entrees on Mondays.

“The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet,” maintains 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!”

“If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it’s Batali!” says Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday. “We’re delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement.”

And so are we!!

If you’d like to learn more about the campaign, check out MeatlessMonday.com.

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    you are wrong. Meatless Monday isnt a national campaign, its a very international campaign with groups all over the world promoting Meatless Monday.
    and why isnt it realistic to ask everybody to go veggie all the way ? Colon cancer is the number two cancer killer, right after lung cancer. And colon cancer is caused by our modern diet with too much (animal) fats and meat.
    Its rather saying something like “we cant ask everybody to stop smoking.” well, YES WE CAN ! we can ask everybody to stop smoking with incredible results. And we can ask everybody to become veggie, at least for a day.

    And i am not impressed about offering two veggie options on a monday at a steakbar. That doesnt make that meat freak Mario Batali suddenly “green”. This is more a case of greenwashing your business image.

  • David

    Herwin hits the nail on the head. Offering two veggie options on Monday is a PR ploy to get free publicity and ecorazzi jumped on the band wagon. If he was serious he would offer ONLY veggie dishes on Monday, at least have the veggie options on the menu every day and not just Monday.

    I would make a bet that those veggie options get almost no takers and after a few weeks they will be dropped from the menu because of poor sales, but when they are drop there won’t be any press release and no one will hear anything about it.

  • Bencat1000

    herwin and david,
    yes, we totally agree with your thoughts….we felt the same after reading Mario’s lame-a** approach to an obvious problem. His actions cannot even be called baby steps….more like ant steps.

  • Daws

    It’s not an all or nothing thing. I’m just not fan of these extremist views. The reality is he doesn’t need to do anything. He can keep selling meat-centric dishes and not sell one vegetable entree at any of his restaurants. Kudos to him for taking a step in the right direction. Shame on the above posters for being so damn cynical. Talk about unhealthy.

    • David

      Your right but when he decides to do something to get news coverage and make more money with what amounts to a stunt, a lot of people have problems with that.

    • mmstp

      Daws,
      I concur.
      A small step is better than no step, whether the menu additions are heartfelt or PR motivated. Doing a good thing isn’t mutually exclusive of capitalism…

      As someone who it trying to ease into an exclusively plant based diet (without alienating my carnivore dining partners…) I applaud Mario’s efforts. Better yet would be to have meat free options on the menu every night. ciao.

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    what do you do to take of the heat from the vegetarian movement ? you just join them and offer them a bowl of salads next to the steak and the foi gras. Yes, thats right mr Batali’s restaurant serve FOIE GRAS and while one chef gets dished for using foie grass, suddenly another foie grass user is getting praised just by his faking to join the Meatfree Monday. Goddamit, its so simple, its “Meatfree” and “Monday”, just ordinary people can go veggie for a day, its not for restaurants that serve foie grass to climb on the green wagon and get free advertisement.
    anyway, its great to see more people dont buy his “meatfree monday”. :-)

    here is one link that clearly says his restaurants serve foie grass. (last sentence)
    SHAME ON YOU MR BATALI !
    http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2009/09/09/2009-09-09_del_posto_owner_and_chef_mario_batali_in_hot_water_over_failed_restaurant_the_jo.html

  • VeggieTart

    I agree with many of you–why not offer meat-free dishes EVERY DAY? Or go totally meat-free on Mondays? His two paltry meatless dishes on Mondays only barely amounts to a drop in the bucket. And I didn’t know Batali served foie gras–ewww. And I bet, like many carnist places, that those two meatless dishes are soaked in cheese, cream, and/or butter, something that never fails to annoy the living hell out of me.

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  • Mary from Long Beach

    Thanks Mario!!! The fact is most restaurants do provide veggie dishes everyday…I usually have a salad and ask for some additional veggies or fruit on it, perhaps some hummus and other items…most places are very happy to accommodate we the customer. Just try this next time you visit one. My husband and I are basically vegan/raw with a little cooked from time to time, including gentle farm eggs. We believe in high nutrition as much as possible…and enjoy the attitude of “do the best you can” Forgive others who don’t know or choose not to, and bless them and the animals they eat. Blessings to you Mario – looks like you lost weight too! :)

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