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Climate Food

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Dear Umbra,

I heard some fancy New York restaurant that I could never afford to eat at is cutting meat from its menu. Does this affect my life at all?

–Very Exclusive Greens

Dear VEG,

You may never step through the doorway of Eleven Madison Park, the $335-a-plate, three-star Michelin restaurant that I assume you are referring to here. You may never even set foot on the New York City block where it is located. But there are still ways that a climate-driven decision made in an elite kitchen can influence the food you end up serving in your own home. They actually have little to do with big moral statements, and more to do with the simple pleasure of eating. 

Consider the case of the honeynut squash. As legend goes, Dan Barber, the chef of the Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York — another elite restaurant with an exorbitant price tag — asked vegetable breeder Michael Mazourek to make a “good-tasting” butternut squash. That challenge led to the development of a sweeter, smaller, more flavorful cultivar, the honeynut. The new gourd was so tasty that its market quickly grew be... Read more

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