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Was just reading about the decision by Epicurious.com to stop publishing recipes for beef. 

“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.”

This strikes me as a well-intentioned but utterly meaningless piece of activism. Google turns up some 560 million results for "beef recipe," which means that even if people need a recipe to cook beef, they will always be able to find one -- and what's more, recipes which are new to them.

Can anyone see more than a gesture in this?

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This is another "the perfect is the enemy of the good" example. Because making a vague gesture toward getting rid of one industry is still something. I wonder how much difference there is (if anyway)

Quite the opposite - since the cows only eat antibiotics, the milk never spoils. 

This is the first time I hear about epicurious since they had food forums in the 90s, which I guess makes it a good publicity stunt if nothing else.

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I get their daily emails, but I was unaware of this decision. It's just virtue signaling. Here, I'll try it myself: "Hey, guys! I haven't eaten beef since 1979!"

Did I fix the world?

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I read an article on housing redlining on insidelacrosse.com today so this isn't the most unusual take I've seen even in the last hour.

Seriously I kind of think its good, Certainly it isn't bad. It'll def "own the cons" tho.  

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It might raise consciousness or spark change, but for anyone who really cares about the issue, isn't the misgiving that people will think this ineffectual decision actually constitutes change?

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The negative is that it supports the common delusion that individual consumer actions are a replacement for good (global) public policy. The positive is seeing Conde Nast trying their best to be (or seem) less terrible.

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I agree with that negative. The gesture can also be the enemy of the (actual) good.

This only really made me stop and think because of (I thought) the sheer absurdity of linking beef consumption to the publication of new beef recipes. I mean, what's the proportion of beef eaten as burgers and steaks?

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29 minutes ago, Anthony Bonner said:

I think you are overstating the degree to which people are aware of the +/- of their protein consumption.  Maybe if they think about that you have a shot at policy...

👍.

Its not that I don't see both Orik and Wilf's general point, its that I don't see how you can get to policy change without doing these things and using them as a basis for discussion/education.  All gestures can be "the enemy of the (actual) good" & a way to delude the general public if not combined with other gestures and a lot of chatter.  The trick is not to leave the gesture standing out there alone, criticized for not being "big" or "correct" enough, but to utilize it constructively.

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