Here’s news you probably missed.
Epicurious, the food website that bills itself as the most trusted cooking brand in the world, announced last week that it would no longer feature beef in stories or recipes on its site, or in its blog and newsletters.
It branded beef “one of the world’s worst climate offenders,” citing methane produced by the cows themselves and the fossil fuels used to grow, harvest and transport feedstuffs used to raise them.
“It might not feel like much, but cutting out just a single ingredient — beef — can have an outsize impact on making a person’s cooking more environmentally friendly. Today Epicurious announces that we’ve done just that: We’ve cut out beef.”
The editors say they have no vendetta against cows, or the people who eat beef. (Or, the people who produce beef?)
In reality, Epicurious has been fed up with beef for a long time and stopped publishing any new recipes that included beef more than a year ago. You probably felt the world healing itself.
Or, maybe not. At roughly the same time the site stopped promoting beef, Americans were growing hungry for meat-and-potato recipes to sustain them through the pandemic. Beef is flying off grocery shelves.
“Of course, when it comes to the planet, eschewing beef is not a silver bullet. All ruminant animals (like sheep and goats) have significant environmental costs, and there are problems with chicken, seafood, soy and almost every other ingredient. In a food system so broken, almost no choice is perfect.”
The “broken” food system they refer to provides Americans with an enormously bountiful supply and variety of foodstuffs at a price unmatched anywhere in the world. It is, in fact, the system that its whole business model is built around — offering up recipes using favorite ingredients available at the local grocery.
Epicurious is owned by Conde Naste. It is the repository of the recipe archives of Bon Appetit magazine, which has been catering to home cooks since 1956.
As detrimental the editors say beef production is to the environment, indeed to the very survival of the planet, they have decided to keep all the archived beef recipes available to readers.
Why not remove all those archived beef recipes, or, better yet, go whole hog and scrub all animal protein from the site?
Epicurious makes its money by selling advertising, and its 10 million monthly page views determine the rates it can charge. Removing meat recipes from its archives would likely have a significant impact on site traffic and, therefore, its revenues.
The woke warriors at Epicurious aren’t willing to put their livelihoods at risk.
Virtue comes at a price, but virtue signaling has no limits.