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Smitten with Bitten

(article, Kim Carlson)

Devoted readers of the New York Times food pages know columnist Mark Bittman as The Minimalist (he even does video!); others are fans of his all-encompassing cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition) and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. 

Recently, Bittman stepped into the role of editorial writer, with a thoughtful piece in the Times about eating less meat. "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler" compares beef with oil and concludes that we need to slow down on devouring both if we want to pass on a livable planet to our children and grandchildren. 

Now Bittman has a new role: blogger. With his new Times_ blog Bitten, Bittman gives readers a recipe each day. Today was coconut macaroons; yesterday was vinaigrette. These recipes are an easy sell; as Bittman himself says,

bq.We’re going to look at great food made with everyday ingredients and readily achievable techniques . . .  not food as something to be admired from afar, but as a part of daily life. 

But besides uncomplicated recipes (which we admire), he'll also turn his attention to something else that interests us here at Culinate:

bq.We’ll also bat around the big ideas that foodies sometimes ignore: how it gets produced and moved from one place to another, as well as who pays for it and profits from it.

Hence, his take on today's important story about the not-so-green effects of biofuels:

bq.Farmers can often make more money growing crops for fuel export than for food, so they do. But this means more cropland must be cleared to feed people at home. All because energy reduction is too difficult?

Amen to that. Now stay home tonight and cook!