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Fish Fry-day: How Lenten practice cuts down on global emissions

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 18:44:38-05

COVINGTON, Ky.  — On Fridays during Lent, Catholics across the Tri-State and worldwide abstain from eating meat, and the Covington Firefighters Association has fed many hungry faithful at their fish fry through the years.

Since the 1990s, firefighters there have served up hot and ready fish platters, shrimp baskets, sandwiches and all the fixin’s at their union hall in Covington's Peaselburg neighborhood.

Event organizer Patrick Averbeck says though the tradition started because of Lent, not everyone who attends is Catholic.

“Some people are just coming to hang out and meet some people, also just to have a nice dinner,” Averback said.

And that nice dinner may be a boon for the environment, especially if people kept the tradition all year.

Eating less meat means producing less heat or greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmental advocacy group Meatless Monday.

In fact, the carbon savings from giving up a quarter-pound of beef once a week for a year is equivalent to driving 348 miles. For comparison, abstaining on Fridays through the 40 days of Lent equals about 48 miles in a car.

Averbeck says though the event didn’t set out to save the planet, he's happy his fish fry and others across the Tri-State have a positive impact.

“If it’s helping just a little bit and we’re doing our little part, we will take that too,” he said.

The fish fry runs each Friday in Lent at the IAFF Local 38 Union Hall, 2232 Howell St. from 5 to 8 p.m.