Meatless Mondays in Los Angeles: City Adopts New Diet Plan

Los Angeles City Council members have endorsed "Meatless Monday" in hopes of creating a healthier population.

Apparently the Atkins diet never really took off in Los Angeles. The diet promotes an all-meat binge in substitutes for carbohydrates. But in L.A., meat has become the villain, at least for some city council members who have endorsed the idea of a "Meatless Monday."

"We can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent," Councilwoman Jan Perry told the L.A. Daily News. The council met Friday and voted 14-0 for a plan that would persuade residents to take a pledge to go meatless once a week.

"While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation's most common illnesses," Perry added.

Officials hope that starting the trend will not only promote healthier decisions amongst residents- people who eat less meat generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease- but also support local farmers.

"This follows the `good food' agenda we recently adopted supporting local, sustainable food choices," the councilwoman said. Her fellow council member added that they might be biting off more than they could chew, but planned to tackle the new motto one plate at a time.

"The issue is how does a local municipality engage in this and how do we create change," Councilman Ed Reyes said. "If we do it one plate at time, one meal, one day, we are ratcheting down the impact on our environment. We start with one day a week and then, who knows, maybe we can change our habits for a lifetime."

The Food Policy Council developed the proposal, according to the LA Daily News. The goal is to create "more and better food jobs" by encouraging healthy foods through food companies and small food enterprises.