I’m thrilled to announce that I’m launching a new food publication tomorrow. It’s called The Bittman Project, and my team and I are excited to share it with you.
Why I’m Launching The Bittman Project
Through the early part of my career, I mostly wrote about cooking and its pleasures. As I learned more, my focus evolved to include the impact that food has on humans and our relationship to the earth and one another: agriculture, processing, the environment, public health, labor, politics, racism, inequality, justice, and more. This evolved while I was at the Times—where I worked for 30 years—and has continued since I left, including the past two years I’ve spent running Heated on Medium.
I’m now channeling all of my energy into this publication as part of a team that shares a common set of values: specifically, that food should be fair to people and animals, affordable for everyone, nutritious, and produced in a way that respects nature and the environment. Food should also taste good, and, more often than not, that requires shopping, preparing, and cooking.
Lots of food publications embrace the pleasurable and entertaining parts of food and ignore everything else; others focus on the serious issues and ignore the joy. We’re gonna do both. It’s also essential that we continue to support work from everyone, particularly BIPOC writers, photographers, and illustrators. In doing so, The Bittman Project will deliver the best of what’s out there on food and cooking —right now, straight to your inbox.
What to Expect
Our cooking isn’t flashy, but it will feed your soul, your family, and your creativity—every day. We’ll bring you new projects and old favorites; fast, lazy, simple, terrific weeknight standbys; and challenging weekend adventures. We’ll give you traditional written recipes as well as experiment with audio and video (to all of those who’ve told me that you miss The Minimalist —we heard you, and we’re bringing it back—sorta). We’ll share letters from the kitchen, tips, tricks, techniques, tools, product recommendations, ingredients, family secrets, even playlists.
But we won’t stop there: We’ll produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.
Much of this will be available to everyone for free. (In fact, all of it will be free for the first two weeks). After that, if you want full access to The Bittman Project, I’m going to ask for your support: $7 a month or $70 per year (roughly the cost of one fancy cappuccino a month). But if you join now, or anytime in February, you’ll get an annual membership for $49.70 for the first year. (We tried for an even fifty and obviously failed; oh well. Either way, you save 29 percent).
Why Become a Member?
We’ve thought a lot about what would make it worth it to you to become a paying member of The Bittman Project community. We'll continue to make some of our recipes available and free to everyone—really good recipes that have been tested again and again. Members, though, will have access to every single recipe that we publish. Members will also be invited to participate in regular community discussion threads (like this one) and get weekly Super-Cheap Dinner recipes that will recoup the cost of a yearly membership (seriously) and plenty more bonus material and perks.
More important, we are building The Bittman Project to be a true community, a place where we share what we know and ask about what we don’t; a place where we figure out how to cook with less meat, money, or time, or more confidence, flavor, or joy. A place where we encourage each other to treat food like it really, truly matters (because it does!). My life has been shaped and enriched in countless ways by the community of cooks around me: We want to expand that to include you.
That’s what you’re getting when you become a member of The Bittman Project, and why we think it’s worth it.
The Bittman Project can only exist with your support; yearly and monthly memberships will pay for the salaries of those who help create it, a team we hope to grow. At the same time, it would be ridiculous not to acknowledge that many of us are not doing OK. If The Bittman Project is to be useful and valuable, it can’t just be for people who can comfortably afford it. So, if you want to be a member but can’t for whatever reason, just email us (email@example.com) and ask for a free membership. You don’t have to say why; it’s yours, no questions asked.
On the flip side, if you’re doing fine, feeling generous, and believe in this project, you can give a membership as a gift or become a Kitchen Cabinet Member for $200—or more if you want to support this work on an even deeper level. For everyone who joins the Kitchen Cabinet, we’ll give away two annual memberships to people who can’t afford them.
One last thing: If you’re reading this announcement in your email, that means you’re already signed up for the free version of The Bittman Project (thank you!) and will continue to receive it. But if you want full access to all the new features we’re adding and to be a part of our tighter-knit community, we hope you’ll consider becoming a member.
For me, The Bittman Project is both the natural continuation of four decades of work and, fingers crossed, the beginning of something that will last at least four more. There is much to be done. I hope you’ll join us.