Epicurious stops publication of beef recipes

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Epicurious announced Monday it has stopped publishing recipes featuring beef.

The food publication cited a rise in beef consumption and its role as “one of the world’s worst climate offenders” for making the shift.

“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,” Epicurious Senior Editor Maggie Hoffman and former Digital Director David Tamarkin explained in an article published Monday. “Beef won’t appear in new Epicurious recipes, articles, or newsletters. It will not show up on our homepage. It will be absent from our Instagram feed.”

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Cows stand in a pen near Fort Stockton, Texas on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Global livestock accounts for nearly 15% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Cattle (raised for both beef and milk, as well as for inedible outputs like manure and draft power) are the animal species responsible for the most emissions, representing about 65% of the livestock sector’s emissions,” the agency said.

Epicurious slowed beef recipe content in the fall of 2019, and published them “only a small handful of times” since then, the editors said in a separate post. Beef recipes that were published in 2019 and before are still on the site. For every recipe Epicurious didn’t publish, they put out a vegetarian recipe instead.

The publication argued its readers are interested in content that isn’t beef-related. 

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“Our readers have rallied around the recipes we published in beef’s place,” Hoffman and Tamarkin said. “The traffic and engagement numbers on these stories don’t lie: When given an alternative to beef, American cooks get hungry.”

The editors noted the shift wasn’t due to a specific vendetta against cows or the people who eat them. Instead, they said it was “solely about sustainability.” The decision was thought of as “not anti-beef but rather pro-planet,” they added. 

“Epi’s agenda is the same as it has always been: to inspire home cooks to be better, smarter, and happier in the kitchen,” the publication said. “The only change is that we now believe that part of getting better means cooking with the planet in mind. If we don’t, we’ll end up with no planet at all.”

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Tamarkin left the publication this month, according to his Linkedin profile.

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