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Norwegian Soldiers Going on a Vegetarian Diet

Update Date: Nov 22, 2013 03:49 PM EST

Regardless of one's weight, eating healthy should be a priority. Based on several studies that have outlined the consequences and risks involved with eating too much junk and unhealthy foods, government programs have been created to encourage people to eat better. In Norway, eating healthy will actually be enforced on soldiers. According to the Independent, Norway's military will start "Meatless Mondays," which will be the designated vegetarian day each week.

For the soldiers, however, the country is not worried about their waistlines. Instead, a spokesperson with the military has explained that the incorporation of a vegetarian day is to reduce the consumption of foods that are harmful to the environment. Some experts have stated that this new program could cut the military's meat consumption by up to 150 tons each year.

The Future in Our Hands (FOH) reports that the average Norwegian consumes over 1,200 animals during his/her lifetime. The organization estimated that this number includes 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and 2.6 deer. By cutting down the number of animals consumed, greenhouse gas emission could be reduced. According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock farming contributes to 18 percent of these emissions worldwide.

"The idea is to serve food that's respectful of the environment," the spokesman, Eystein Kvarving stated to the Independent. Kvarving has stated that "Meatless Mondays" was not created to save money but rather to be "more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier."

The FOH environmental group has praised the new initiative. They FOH director, Arild Hermstad added, reported by Agence France Presse (AFP), "The defense ministry deserves a lot of praise because it's taking climate and environmental issues seriously."

As of right now, soldiers from one of the military's main bases have already started this new diet. The other bases will follow suit. The vegetarian day will be in effect wherever the troops go.

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