The culture and politics of food.
For the last seven years, fans of both great writing and meat have been equally entertained and enlightened by the California-based quarterly magazine Meatpaper.
Dubbed “Your Journal of Meat Culture,” the magazine has become a go-to source for anyone interested in intelligent and thoughtful articles on animal protein’s role in our food system. It’s also been a big part of our library here at Utne, and our editors have been proud to nominate it for three different Utne Independent Media Awards over the years (General Excellence and Social/Cultural Coverage in 2009; and Best New Publication in 2007).
So it was sad for us to read that Meatpaper’s latest issue (Issue 20, Fall 2013) would be its last. In her final column for the magazine, editor in chief and co-founder Sasha Wizansky reflected on what the publication meant to her, and on the value of making a magazine with such a specific focus:
“It has been fascinating to watch the world of meat change dramatically throughout the time we’ve been documenting it. In seven years, we watched trends grow, plateau, and sometimes abate. We’ve seen a remarkable shift in conversations about sustainability and meat consumption. In Meatpaper’s early days, we spent a lot of time explaining why we wanted to produce a magazine about meat. We don’t do that very much anymore, which is a testament to how widely the meat conversation has spread.”
Living up to its high standards to the very end, the final issue offers a variety of opinions on the future of meat in our heavily populated world. The highlight is a fascinating Q-and-A with a host of food experts, activists, and analysts, gazing into their respective crystal balls and predicting what role meat will play in the global food system in the not-so-distant future. In response to a question about synthetic meat, agroecologist Jay Bost probably didn’t realize that he was also touching on the reason why Meatpaper was so interesting, and why it will be missed:
“For me, what’s so increasingly wonderful about food and getting myself to understand more about cuts of meat and breeds and processing and curing and drying, are all of the stories that are connecting us to different cultures and different parts of the world and different parts of our own culture and history—a huge, wonderful, interwoven story that connects us to each other and to the planet.”
The final issue of Meatpaper can be found in select bookstores or purchased online.