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Why popular food website Epicurious has ditched beef recipes for good

The brand states it's made this bold move in the name of sustainability

29 April 2021 - 09:36
According to Epicurious, "almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally come from livestock (and everything involved in raising it)" and "61% of those emissions can be traced back to beef".
According to Epicurious, "almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally come from livestock (and everything involved in raising it)" and "61% of those emissions can be traced back to beef".
Image: 123RF/Alexei Logvinovich

While driving back from a weekend away in Mpumalanga, I was savouring the thought of the ginormous beef rib that we’d cooked over the coals the night before — just one fed four very generously.

I was passing time in the passenger seat perusing the internet, when I came across an article on Epicurious.com that made me weigh up the consequences of my carnivorous lifestyle.

Founded 26 years ago, Epicurious is the US food site that every home cook and chef worth their salt consults for culinary advice and recipes. That’s why I was fascinated to read that the editorial team behind it has taken beef off the menu — permanently. Yes, in future you won’t see it featured in any new recipes, newsletters or articles.

Sneaky, sneaky, it was pointed out that the decision had been taken a year ago, and in case we hadn’t noticed, there had been no new beef recipes published since then.

Quick to allay fears that Epicurious doesn't have a beef against cows, it was explained that the aim of this move is to drive a more sustainable consumption of the stuff, which is ultimately kinder to the environment.

The brand admitted that beef isn’t the only culinary “climate offender” but said that it is one of the “world’s worst”. 

“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 article stated.

The good news for meat lovers is that the beefy content published pre-2020 won’t be removed from the Epicurious website, but going forward the focus will be on promoting “pro-planet” recipes.