IN LATE APRIL 2021, the food website Epicurious made the decision to stop publishing recipes with beef to “encourage more sustainable cooking.” The move sparked an immediate backlash. But I must admit that I would hardly care if every beef entrée were wiped from the internet, so long as the recipes that remained included a “jump to recipe” button so that I did not have to spend 20 minutes scrolling through a 50,000-word memoir about how a particular dish made its way through 17 generations of your family. But alas, it seems that for the time being we are stuck with far too many food platforms doubling up as literary agencies.
Along with facing criticism, Epicurious also won a fair amount of praise. Supporters noted that meat production is one of the most significant contributors to climate change and an ever-warming planet. As a result, over the past few years a number of people have begun to identify as “flexitarians.”
Contrary to my initial belief, these are not people who like to tell others about their bench press record. They are actually folks who generally do not eat meat but might make a few rare exceptions. If most Americans became flexitarian or even just cut cow out of their diet, this could make a significant impact. I do recognize that it is incredibly difficult to get most Americans to do anything for the common good unless it involves the words “listen,” “to,” “Dolly,” and “Parton,” but I actually believe that with a charismatic spokesperson at the forefront of a flexitarian campaign, this could get off the ground.