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.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less