Florida lawmaker has a cow over ‘Meatless Mondays’; refuses to sign proclamation

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Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams

County Commissioner Steven Abrams has refused to sign an official proclamation declaring Meatless Mondays in Palm Beach County.

The proclamation is scheduled to be presented at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on March 1.

According to the proclamation, “every Monday in Palm Beach County is hereby proclaimed Meatless Monday.”

“The public doesn’t need the county commission to tell them when and what to eat,” Abrams said.  “Our constituents are smart enough to decide on their own.”

The proclamation includes a series of findings claiming that reducing the amount of meat consumed by county residents will “curb climate change.”

But the research is mixed.  A recent article in the Scientific American (12/15/15) found that lettuce produces more greenhouse gas emissions than bacon does, citing a new Carnegie-Mellon University study.

The proclamation also points to health benefits of reducing meat intake, but it also specifically suggests eating less fish and poultry, too, which nutrition experts say should be encouraged.

“Finally, I am alarmed that a county that says it values its small farmers would call for a weekly ban on meat when we have a struggling cattle industry,” Abrams said, adding that the Palm Beach County Cattlemen’s Association would likely have concerns about the directive to local consumers.

According to Abrams, it is for each family to determine what diet is best for them and what day of the week they should eat which foods. “‘Ice Cream Sundays [sic],’ yes, ‘Meatless Mondays’ no,” Abrams quipped.

Note: Press release from the office of Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams

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