In February 2009, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman introduced his dietary plan to readers: he ate vegan meals until 6 pm, at which time he resumed eating animal-based products. The plan, which Bittman called Vegan Before Six, enabled him to lose weight and lower his cholesterol while promoting a presumably less restrictive, yet still healthy, way to improve people’s health and eating habits.
Bittman has signed a deal with Clarkson Potter/Publishers to publish a cookbook entitled VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good. Set for release in 2013, the book claims to provide readers with a “easy-to-follow 30-day diet plan, based on 50 simple everyday recipes, including exclusively vegan meals for breakfast and lunch and flexible options for dinner.”
This is not Bittman’s first foray into cookbook writing. Already the author of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, and Food Matters, he is not a vegetarian or vegan, but he promotes plant-based eating and flexitarianism. Relative to this, Bittman says “The principled diet, the diet that’s best for our health and that of the planet, is unquestionably veganism, or at least near-veganism, or a very very plant heavy diet, or “less-meatarianism” or whatever you want to call it: a diet of mostly plants, none or very few animal products, and certainly no junk or ultra-processed food (among which you could count industrially raised animal products), even if it is theoretically plant-based.”
While Bittman himself acknowledges that adopting an entirely plant-based diet would be best, Bittman’s book will undoubtedly help people reduce or eliminate their overwhelming reliance on animal-based fare, and enable many more to embrace veganism.
To see Bittman’s latest on giving up animal products, also check out his most recent piece against milk in the New York Times called “Got Milk? You Don’t Need It.”