Tanya Steel is a well-known food writer and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning food Web site, Epicurious.com. Before joining Epicurious, Steel was the New York Editor of Bon Appetit magazine, where she wrote columns and features. Ms. Steel won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for Magazine Restaurant Review or Critique, 2003. She is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors and a James Beard Restaurant Judge. Prior to Bon Appétit, she was an editor at Diversion, Food & Wine, and Mademoiselle magazines. In recent years, Steel created the charity program Wine. Dine. Donate. to combat hunger in conjunction with America's Second Harvest. Steel is the co-author of Real Food for Healthy Kids, which was published in late 2008.
Tanya Steel: You know I have thought a lot about veganism lately. And one thing that really made me think about it was this past week when the FDA said they were going to allow cloned animals in the food supply system. And not only were they gonna be allowed into the system, but they were not gonna be labeled as such. Now that to me is very scary. And for the first time in my life I thought, “You know what? I might just opt out of this,” because I can’t trust . . . No matter what the FDA says to me, I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe that that’s really, completely safe. And so for the first time in my life I started to think about becoming a vegan. And actually Moby, who is a musician that I know is on Big Think, is a vegan. And we just filmed something for Epicurious with Moby talking about being a vegan. And I understand . . . My head understands the ethical reasons for being a vegan, but my stomach never did. And now my stomach and my head are starting to unite, and I’m starting to think about maybe trying it. It is a very hard way to live a life, I think. I’m not sure. I mean I do want to kind of . . . kind of take some baby steps towards that. I do worry about it for my kids – you know about how much dairy. I try to buy organic milk when I can, but I know that there’s hormones and antibiotics going into their system with the amount of milk that they drink all the time, and it’s very hard to stop that from happening. And how do you stop it? You stop eating dairy, fish, and meat. So it is something that I think is . . . We’re gonna see a huge, huge rise in veganism in this country. And actually at Epicurious we’ve been talking about trying to develop a whole lot more recipes for vegans.
Recorded on 1/17/08