April 18, 2024
Kiwi Cafes Embrace Meat-Free Mondays for Environmental Change

Kiwi Cafes Embrace Meat-Free Mondays for Environmental Change

A recent study published in the journal Nutrients has shed light on the success of the Meat-Free Mondays (MFMs) movement in New Zealand. The study, which involved interviews and surveys with hospital café employees, found that more than half of the participants actively supported and contributed to the movement. The study also highlighted the key factors that contributed to the success of MFMs, with greater inclusion and consultation with café employees being the most influential variables.

The study comes at a time when anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are reaching unprecedented levels, threatening the planet’s sustainability. Climate change is already impacting public safety, with increased floods, droughts, and the spread of diseases being just a few of the consequences. The agricultural industry, particularly livestock rearing, has been identified as one of the largest contributors to climate change. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from livestock rearing account for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the environmental impact, meat consumption is also associated with various noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of global mortality. Research has linked the consumption of red meat to an increased risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality.

To address these concerns, the Meatless Mondays (MMs) campaign was initiated in the US, encouraging individuals to give up meat on Mondays and substitute 15% of their meat consumption with vegetarian alternatives. The campaign has gained popularity worldwide, with many cafés, hospitals, and schools participating in and promoting the movement. However, the impact of MM compliance on public and environmental health has not been thoroughly studied.

The recent study focused on the implementation of the Meat-Free Mondays (MFMs) policy in New Zealand’s District Health Boards (DHBs). Three DHBs were selected based on their different stages of implementing MFMs. The study involved online surveys, interviews, and open-ended surveys to gather insights from DHB staff and the general public.

The results showed that more than half of the respondents supported the MFMs movement and were actively involved in its implementation. Health and environmental concerns, as well as a preference for plant-based dishes, were identified as the main drivers for supporting the policy. Animal welfare and potential cost savings were also cited as contributing factors.

However, barriers to policy subscription were also identified. Lack of knowledge, taste preferences, and familiarity with vegetarian options were the primary obstacles. The study emphasized the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of the benefits of MFMs among café managers, café staff, and medical personnel to ensure the continued success of the policy.

In conclusion, the study highlights the positive impact of the Meat-Free Mondays movement in New Zealand. By actively involving café employees and addressing barriers to policy subscription, Kiwi cafés are contributing to environmental sustainability and promoting healthier dietary choices. With increased awareness and support, the MFMs movement has the potential to create lasting change in the way people consume meat, leading to a greener and healthier future.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it