Media

Condé Nast title 'Epicurious' axes beef recipes

Condé Nast's food media brand Epicurious has stopped publishing recipes with beef in them, it announced Monday.

"In an effort to encourage more sustainable cooking, we won't be publishing new beef recipes on 'Epicurious,' " the company stated.

"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," the publication added.

However, old beef content already on its website will not be removed, the brand said, and beef recipes may also appear in its recipe galleries which use archival content that is "lightly updated every year."

The brand began weeding out beef from its content in fall of 2019 and has published "beef recipes only a small handful of times" since then.

Traffic and engagement statistics for nonbeef recipes have been good, Epicurious said, though it did not share specific numbers and did not say what its overall traffic and engagement numbers have been since it began lowering the number of beef recipes it publishes.

The announcement was made now, Epicurious said, because beef consumption had begun to rise recently, after a decades-long trend downward.

The brand assured its readers it does not hate beef and said; "our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders."

Beef is the worst offender in terms of its environmental impact, it said, quoting Sujatha Bergen of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Flatulence and belching from cows produce climate-changing methane, and beef production requires fossil fuel-derived pesticides and fertilizer, Bergen said, along with a tremendous amount of water.

The brand acknowledged that products made from cow's milk are "almost as destructive to the environment as beef" but it has not said if it will stop publishing recipes requiring dairy. 

It also will not be removing recipes with goat or sheep meat, although their production has similar effects on the environment because "people in the U.S. don't currently eat nearly as much lamb and goat as they do beef," Epicurious stated.

In addition, it said the production of chicken, pork and seafood does not release methane.

Methane is also on the radar of politicians concerned about climate change, including President Biden. Shortly after taking office, Biden revived an interagency group that is tasked with calculating the costs of greenhouse gas emissions including methane and nitrous oxide.

-Updated at 5:43 p.m.

Outbrain