Radio Radio! Has Fancy Bacon Felled the City Vegetarian?

greenonionsOh Greenery: We Love You Just the Way You Are, But Most Diners These Days Think You Taste That Much Better with Equal Parts Heritage Bacon

Even though our fledgling radio show still doesn’t have an official name–help! it just can’t have the word Edible in it–we’re forging on today with our third show. Our topic is something that I’ve been thinking about for weeks now: Is vegetarianism dying in New York City?

In recent months we’ve had Jonathan Safran Foer’s book and backlash; the fact that veggie bistro Broadway East now serves meat; that Red Bamboo in Brooklyn, which used to be vegan, has converting to Poppa’s Place and is serving animal proteins; that sales of meats at farmers markets are up; and above all, that vegetarians and veggie might restaurants seem lame (with several biggies shuttering in recent years, like Zen Palate) while chefs who love lard and source sustainable meats are pretty much the pinnacle of culinary fashion. Just think about all the places where it’s damn near impossible these days for a vegetarian to eat. (Umm, hello David Chang.)

Is it just that we’re in the era where heritage bacon and La Frieda Black Angus are the moral answer to the meat eating problem? (For more on this topic, check the post from our executive editor Brian Halweil on eating meat just last week.) Have hippies grown up? Do we only care about personal pleasure and flavor, or have sustainable meats made eating meat a better (and healthier) option than breaded and fried seitan?

And will this all switch in four years, when we all eschew lard for lovage and David Chang does his first raw food ramen shop?

Our guests are three city food writers and Edible Manhattan contributors with solid backgrounds for this topic: Alex Van Buren, who wrote our December cover story on City Bakery, gave up her own dalliance with vegetarianism after a mountain hike with a trip to Mickey D’s and is now writing recipes for foie and boar sausages; Pervaiz Shallwani, who wrote our profile of Tuthulltown whiskey and is a staunch fancy bacon man who was raised Muslim and didn’t eat pork until he fell for a bacon-wrapped date; and Rebecca Marx, the most excellent correspondent for the Village Voice’s Fork in the Road blog, who is, yes, our token vegetarian.

It’ll be live on Heritage Radio Network from 5ish to 5:30 ish. Call in! Tell us why we’re right or wrong or full of it, at 718.497.2128.

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