This is an opportune time to put out a future-of-food book. In recent weeks, the cooking Web site Epicurious announced that it will no longer publish recipes that call for beef, and the chef Daniel Humm declared that his New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park, considered one of the world’s best, will pivot to entirely meat-free tasting menus. Both Epicurious and Humm specifically cited the ecological cost of raising beef cattle: the resource-depleting farming practices of Big Ag, the climatically dangerous amount of methane produced by gassy bovines.
These bold moves have been partly enabled by the ever increasing availability of meatless options to diners, chefs, and home cooks. In less than five years, Impossible and Beyond Burgers have gone from novelty items to supermarket staples, and they’re only the most recognizable names in the fast-evolving, V.C.-funded industry of “New Food,” to use the journalist Larissa Zimberoff’s term.