Popular home cooking website Epicurious is dropping beef from its recipes and moves towards more plant-based options over the concern about climate change.
Epicurious announced this week that beef will no longer appear in its new recipes, articles, newsletters, the website’s homepage or other social media platforms. The move comes after a year of slowly stopping to include beef in new content to test consumer reaction.
The company published a statement on the website saying: “We know that some people might assume this decision signals some sort of vendetta against cows – or the people who eat them. But this decision was not made because we hate hamburgers (we don’t!). Instead, our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world’s worst climate offenders.”
"We think of this decision as not anti-beef, but rather pro-planet.” The statement was signed by Maggie Hoffman, Epicurious senior editor, and David Tamarkin, former digital director.
Hoffman and Tamarkin believe that “cutting out just a single ingredient – beef meat – will have an outsized impact on making home cooking more environmentally friendly.
Justifying their decision, the team noted that almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock and 61% of those can be traced back to beef. They also note that cows are less efficient to raise than beans, poultry and pork. The company made the decision after realising that beef consumption in the US rose from 53.1 pounds per capita in January 2016 to 55.8 pounds per capita in January 2020. This trend “means the way we’re eating is leading to more methane in the atmosphere, more deforestation, and more pollution in our rivers and oceans. So, we felt like we needed to speak up about our hopes: that cooks would plan meals with the planet in mind,” Hoffman told Forbes
Epicurious recipes will still include dairy and other types of meat such as poultry, seafood, sheep.