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Mark Bittman on Eating Less Meat, the Problem With Dietary Labels, and Why Chefs Need to Go Away

In this episode, I speak with Mark Bittman, acclaimed food writer and author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

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About Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is the author of 20 acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and The New York Times number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00. For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday Magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines, and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has more than a million views. He was a distinguished fellow at the University of California (Berkeley) and a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists; he is a member of the faculty of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a columnist at Grub Street and New York Magazine. Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make the food, in all its aspects, understandable.

Why You Should Listen

Mark Bittman is one of the most well-known food writers in the U.S. He pioneered the world of editorial food writing and has published over 20 books that teach people how to cook, well, everything. Although Mark has written books that encourage people to eat vegan before 6pm and the tenth-anniversary edition of his bestselling kitchen classic  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian was recently published, he is a die-hard meat eater and doesn’t believe anyone needs to be vegan or vegetarian. He does, however, think our food system is broken and the Western obsession with meat and dairy is a driving force in our current health and environmental crises. It’s exactly these views that makes this conversation with Mark so interesting.

This interview dives into Mark’s thoughts on dietary labels, and whether or not they are effective, and explains why he thinks food trends – especially those created by chefs in restaurants – need to die off. For Mark, eating well and creating a more sustainable food system comes down to individual choices and is largely propelled by cooking simple, real, whole foods. He believes food should be affordable, green, nutritious, and fair – tenants that any food activist can agree with, regardless of whether they call themselves a vegan, meat-eater or anything in between.

This is a conversation meant to unite people who might not share the same views, but rather are focused on a common goal. So listen in for some simple, brutally honest tips to create a better food system.

People/Companies/Resources Mentioned in This Episode

#EatForThePlanet With Nil Zacharias Podcast Links