Mark Bittman – Vegan Before 6PM

Mark Bittman is an award-winning food journalist, author, and former columnist at The New York Times who has written 20 acclaimed books, created more than 17,000 recipes, and just published the 10th edition of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Mark is known for fusing his political views with his expertise on food, and has starred in four television series including Showtime’s Emmy award winning climate change documentary, “Years of Living Dangerously”.

He is currently a writer for New York Magazine’s GRUB STREET.

00:00 Trailer.
02:13 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:21 Brian’s introduction.
05:02 Food in London in 1968 far from memorable.
08:43 Growing up in a housing project in Stuyvesant Town, Manhattan.
11:24 Why Mark started to cook whilst at college.
13:19 A lone male shopping in the supermarkets.
14:39 Early political interests, growing aware food was becoming more about manufacturing and less about farming.
18:14 Mark’s TED talk raised early awareness of issues around farm production of red meat.
23:18 The balance between personal freedom and collective responsibility is something we just don’t get.
27:36 What Mark is hoping to see in current travels to Brazil, Haiti, Great Britain and India studying their food policies.
34:33 Where the concept arose for his book Vegan Before Six.
38:16 Big food lobbying budget for hyper processed food in the USA is about as big as lobbying budget for Defence.
40:48 Mark finds restaurants chronically disappointing.
45:27 What it was like working for the New York Times with the pressure to meet copy deadlines.
54:50 His views on the change in newspaper production to digital.
57:31 Donald Trump’s attack on the New York Times
1:00:31 What he thinks the British are doing right in relation to food production.
1:03:04 Praise for the raising awareness work of Jamie Oliver
1:03:51 A celebratory chef owned chain of restaurants is not what the eater is looking for.
1:05:57 Mark much prefers to hone his views in written format than be on camera.
1:08:21 Mark’s advise to those who want to pursue a career in writing whether as a blogger or in print.
1:10:32 The attraction of the intensity of New York.
1:12:47 Who Mark thinks of as successful.
1:14:32 Success secrets.
1:15:10 Best and worst days of his life.
1:17:00 Where and how Mark heard about 9/11.
1:20:36 What is keeping him awake at night.
1:22:52 Phone call to the 20-year old Mark Bittman.
1:26:01 Best advice ever received.
1:27:18 Advice to the 20-year old who wants to improve on the direction the world is going.
1:29:00 Brian’s summing up.

Mark Bittman links:
Mark Bittman website
Mark Bittman on Twitter
Mark Bittman on Facebook
Mark Bittman on TED
Mark Bittman on Wikipedia

Mark Bittman Books:
How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food
VB6: Eat Vegan Before Six to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health for Good
Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes
How to Cook Everything
Books by Mark Bittman

Topics discussed:
Stuyvesant Town
Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal is Doing to the World
Livestock’s Long Shadow
A History of the World in 7 Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature and the Future of the Planet
How Not to Die
The New York Times
The Washington Post
Guardian US
Snowden (film)
Nose to Tail eating
Years of Living Dangerously (TV series)

People mentioned in this episode:
Julia Child
James Beard
Eric Schlosser
Bill McKibben
Raj Patel
Wyclef Jean
Dr Michael Greger
Jeff Bezos
Jamie Oliver
Fergus Henderson
Michael Bloomberg
David Foster Wallace
Howard Hughes
Peter Greenberg
Raymond Sokolov

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Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride still would love her sitting in this chair brian.


You can’t be ‘vegan before 6pm’ veganism is about animals and not buying products that are derived from animal abuse and death. You are either vegan or you are not, it’s quite clearly defined. Saying ‘vegan before 6pm’ is like saying I only abuse children, or batter my wife before 6pm.