Food website Epicurious will no longer publish beef recipes, citing the impact of raising and consuming cattle on climate change.
Cutting out beef from one's diet is "a worthwhile first step" in cooking more sustainably, wrote Maggie Hoffman, senior editor at Epicurious and David Tamarkin, former digital director of Epicurious in a blog post Monday.
Livestock accounts for nearly 15% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions — 41% of those emissions comes from beef, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Fossil fuels produce the pesticides and fertilizers used to grow the corn and soybeans consumed by cattle. When cows feed, they release methane into the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Also problematic is their manure, which releases nitrous oxide and methane in the atmosphere, Sujatha Bergen of the Natural Resources Defense Council told Epicurious.
"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 editors said.
Under its new policy, Epicurious will not mention beef in any new recipes, articles, newsletters or Instagram posts, according to the company; existing beef recipes will remain on its website.
Epicurious called the move "pro-planet" and said the "shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders." The company also acknowledged that nearly every recipe ingredient comes with environmental costs, but said none are as significant as those linked to beef.