One of the world's most popular recipe sites quietly stopped sharing beef recipes a year ago

Beef has been in the headlines lately, thanks to some incredibly bad reporting on Fox News making it sound like the Biden climate action plan would limit people's beef consumption to one burger a month. It's not planning to limit anyone's beef consumption. It never was.

However, a different entity is cutting out beef, which is surprising considering this entity is all about food. Epicurious, one of the world's most popular recipe sites, has announced that its new recipes, articles, newsletters, and social media posts will no longer include beef.

In a letter to readers, the site's senior editor and former digital director made it clear that the company doesn't have a personal vendetta against beef or people who eat it. They simply shared the statistics that almost 15% of greenhouse gases come from livestock and 61% of that comes from beef. (To be clear, it's not just the cows themselves, but the soybean and corn crops used to feed them that are also part of the problem.) For a company whose entire focus is food, this is a way they can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

"Our shift is solely about sustainability," they wrote, "about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders. We think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet."


What's perhaps most interesting is that Epicurious actually started implementing this policy more than a year ago, in the fall of 2019—they just didn't announce it. They started sharing vegetarian recipes where they would normally share beef ones, even for holidays that traditionally see steak and burger cookouts. And they say readers have rallied around the recipes they've shared in place of recipes using beef, with traffic and engagement numbers showing that people are hungry for beef alternatives—even though consumers didn't even know that beef was out.

So why announce it now? Despite beef consumption being down from 30 years ago, it has started to climb in recent years (likely due in part to the popularization of the paleo and keto diets). Epicurious says the conversation about sustainable food choices needs to be louder, so they're making their voice heard.

As they wrote:

"Addressing climate change requires legislation, international cooperation, and buy-in from the corporate sector. Individual actions like choosing alt-meat—or mushrooms, or chickpeas—instead of the real thing can feel so small they're essentially pointless. But 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. Our announcement today is simply us loudly (and proudly!) letting you, the home cook, know about a step we're taking. (Admittedly, we're also hoping the rest of American food media joins us too.)"

The Epicurious editors also created a Q & A page about their no-beef policy in anticipation of people's questions, curiosities, and concerns. For example, they clarify that they are not removing recipes containing beef, they just aren't adding any new ones. They offer information on grass-fed beef as well as the carbon footprint of dairy, chicken, pork, and other animal products. And they explain why they're focusing on individual food choices when it's policy and systems that need to change the most.

"It's true that truly tackling the precarious state of our environment will require policy," they wrote. "But policy isn't just at the state and national level. Rather, it's everywhere: at your local college, at your place of worship, at your place of work. Epicurious's ban on beef is policy too."

As they said, addressing the climate crisis is going to require action on various fronts, from governmental policy to corporate policy to personal policy. Each plays off the other, and making real change on each of those levels means doing what we can do. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, but we all need to do something. Good for Epicurious for doing something.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."