Here's Why You Should Eat Less Meat, According To Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray may be the queen of 30-minute omnivorous meals and $5 eats of all kinds, but she understands that good things should be consumed in moderation. This Earth day, she shared some of her philosophy with her followers on Instagram through the account for Rachael Ray In Season. "Happy earth day! [earth emoji] We know that one way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat less meat, and Rach has always been a proponent of eating more veggies— what's your favorite meatless meal to cook at home? #rachsays" (via Instagram). To be clear, Ray isn't telling everyone to go vegetarian or vegan, but simply to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat you eat. Whether that reduction is a lot or a little is up to you.

But is a simple reduction in red meat actually going to make an environmental difference? According to the Environmental Working Group - even a simple change can have a significant effect on our environment. If you choose to skip one cheeseburger a week, you'll make the same impact as parking your car for 320 miles of drive time or line-drying your laundry 50 percent of the time (via EWG).

A little less of the red and more of the green

The Instagram post further describes Ray's meaning, saying, "It's ultimately good for the planet if even the biggest meat eaters eat a little less of the red and more of the green." Ray is referring to increasing plant-based foods and reducing red meat consumption. Reader FarmchefJess concurs and adds a little more in reply: "Our sentiments exactly [multiple awesome emojis] @thecompleteburger And you can use it in all the same ways as ground meat also! A fave in my house is in yummy build your own tacos! Just have fun and embrace a reduceatarian lifestyle, for your health and the health of our planet! There's only one of each! [green heart emoji]" (via Instagram).

While not all of Ray's readers agree with her planet-friendly take, there's definite evidence that her advice could have health benefits at the very least. The flexitarian diet is an example of people leaning heavily on plant-based in meals and also indulging in meat and/or fish from time to time (via Healthline). While the specific health benefits will vary based on our specific choices, increasing fruits and veggies will generally help you consume more hearty-healthy and less artery-clogging fat and cholesterol.

Ray isn't asking you to give up meat – but maybe think twice about that next Double-Double. The planet will thank you, and your heart might too.