June 16, 2024

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Eat Your Food

Cooking hub Epicurious faces backlash for boycotting beef in the name of climate conservation

Conde Nast food publication Epicurious announced it’s ditching all beef-related content as a pro-planet effort to promote sustainability and the movement is gaining some serious backlash from critics.

The Wall Street Journal released an editorial Wednesday criticizing the magazine’s decision to axe the bovine content and argued it will not solve climate change.

“Virtue signaling over red meat won’t make a difference on climate change,” the Journal editorial board writes. “The editors concede as much, writing that ‘individual actions like choosing alt-meat—or mushrooms, or chickpeas—instead of the real thing can feel so small they’re essentially pointless.’”


But according to Epicurious editors, ditching beef will give readers a leg-up in political preoccupations – a perspective WSJ considers a “progressive prod.”

“Addressing climate change requires legislation, international cooperation, and buy-in from the corporate sector,” Epicurious’ David Tamarkin and Maggie Hoffman write. “Every time you abstain from beef at the grocery store or a restaurant, you send a signal—to the grocery store, yes, but also, and perhaps more influentially, to whomever you talk to about your decision.”

Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy took to Twitter on Tuesday to publicly express her disapproval of politics snaking its way into a simple hobby like cooking.

“Goodbye @epicurious. It was fun learning to cook with you when I was a young bride. Unfortunately, I don’t like to mix cooking with my politics. By the way, if you’re really serious about saving the planet, don’t start with cows, start with #China, the world’s worst polluters.”

Psychology professor Geoffrey Miller also put in his two cents via Twitter, questioning why Epicurious would just stick with beef if animal welfare is such a grave concern.

“If you’re really concerned about animal welfare, you’d stop publishing recipes that include chicken (which imposes far more sentient suffering per pound of meat than beef does),” he tweeted.

Epicurious has been exceptionally vocal in their reply to recoil, releasing several statements on why cutting beef was the right decision for the publication. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, Epi referenced, nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions derive from livestock while 61% of those emissions are traced back to beef.


“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,” the announcement reads.