Going Meatless


Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrity chef Mario Batali and the city of San Francisco have all signed onto Meatless Monday, a nationwide public health campaign to reduce Americans’ meat consumption by 15 percent. Could Sacramento be next? Maybe.
     Carmita restaurant in Fair Oaks is pledging its support with $5 falafel sandwiches on Mondays. “The whole idea is to encourage people to embrace this,” says Niv Klaparda, who owns the kosher vegetarian-friendly Carmita with his wife, Carmit. (She’s the chef.) “Sacramento is kind of a steak-and-potatoes town. We’re just doing our share to try to build awareness.”
     Imagine if Sacramento’s top restaurants—places such as Mulvaney’s Building & Loan, The Waterboy, Ella and Grange—followed suit. If they all started serving a meat-free menu once a week, they could give the meatless movement a big boost in the region. 
     Sacramento Vegetarian Society president Linda Middlesworth says one of her goals for 2011 is to implement Meatless Monday “from schools to restaurants.” (UC Davis already participates.) She was in the middle of brainstorming a Meatless Monday game plan when we spoke. “It’s on my agenda for my next board meeting,” she says.