Omnivore - Joe Yonan: Avoiding meat is not career murder

Washington Post food editor comes out as a vegetarian



Joe Yonan, food editor at the Washington Post, shocked the foodie world last week by “coming out,” as he put it, as a vegetarian. Yonan, a native of Albany, Ga., also appeared on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” last Saturday.

Yonan’s movement in the direction of vegetarianism occurred over the last few years. He was clear in his explanation that this wasn’t caused by a sudden ethical or health crisis. He basically found himself not eating meat at home after consuming large quantities of it in restaurants. Then, in restaurants, he started thinking about the environmental effects of meat-eating, at the same time paying closer attention to chefs’ preparation of vegetables, once a quite secondary concern among American chefs.

Much of Yonan’s column is devoted to describing reactions to his decision. One of the most common questions is how a food editor can possibly be a vegetarian. He explained on NPR that he has a large staff of writers who would certainly continue to eat meat. His popular column, “Cooking for One,” will be largely replaced by a new one, “Weeknight Vegetarian.” He’ll be kind of hybridizing the two in a cookbook, “”Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook.” It’s coming in August.

Yonan explains that he’s been slowly coming out as a vegetarian in print: