<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Learning new food habits

Vegetable kebabs

Credit: iStockphoto

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Now that we're near the end of this challenge, I've started thinking about what I'll do afterwards.

I don't think I'll manage being a proper vegetarian, but what I've learned this month has convinced me not to go back to my old habits either.

I want to have several completely meat-free days a week from now on. I think it'll be easy now I've got a bunch of good recipes, and am looking forward to trying some vegie kebabs on the barbeque.

Plus, I've got more to try - this week I'm working my way through recipes from Ready Steady Cook's vegetarian section.

But when I do eat meat, I'm going to eat much smaller portions of it. Most Aussies eat twice as much meat as they need, and I've been no exception.

Australian dietary guidelines say a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. I'll be sticking to that from now on rather than assuming that all the meat on my plate is a 'single' serving.

And I want to only buy sustainably-farmed meat - if I can't, I'll just do without it. My supermarket stocks a brand of free-range chicken that I trust. And my butcher sometimes has free-range and organic bacon and steaks.

I can sometimes get sustainably farmed lamb from a guy at the farmers market who does the whole process himself, from "paddock to plate". I like the idea of local farmers who can show us what they're doing, and how they're doing it, so we can hold them accountable for the welfare and environment of the animals and land.

If you've eaten less meat this month for the challenge: well done! You've done the environment a big favour. Leave us a note in the comments to let us know if you'll be keeping up your new habit.