Time Part II: Magazine Also Has a Beef with Steak

     It’s been awhile since we were asked where the beef is, but now Time has an answer: the atmosphere. As one of its 51 ways to “make a difference” for the planet, Time magazine writers want everyone to “skip the steak.” The magazine actually claimed “a 16-oz. T-bone is like a Hummer on a plate.”

     The magazine at least wants us to go veggie. “If you switch to vegetarianism, you can shrink your carbon footprint,” its April 9 report said. Of course, if you don’t eat, you die, which may be the unstated 52nd thing we are all supposed to do to save the planet from the ravages of man.

     We can’t escape the ravages of Time, but here are more of the 51 things we are supposed to do, so the editors and writers at the magazine can feel good about themselves.

    It’s hard to do justice to all 51, so all this week the Business & Media Institute will be addressing the most entertaining or ridiculous of the suggestions. Here’s Part I.

     Each of the 51 things is rated by its “impact,” “time horizon” and “feel good factor.” Here are a few highlights (Time’s ratings on a scale of 1 to 10/low to high):

     ●  # 22 “Skip the steak” – This little bit of propaganda starts off extreme by asking: “Which is responsible for more global warming, your BMW or your Big Mac?” “It’s your burger,” it answers.

     The magazine argues, quoting fellow wasteful print publication The New York Times, that cows produce nitrous oxide in manure and methane in, well, cow flatulence. (Given that, killing cows would seem environmentally friendly.) Impact: 5. (The impact would be a 10, if Time writers tried to stop most meat eaters from enjoying their meal.) Feel good factor: 7. (In reality, it’s a 1 for the consumer. Maybe a 10 or more for the cow. So 7 isn’t exactly an average.)

     If you aren’t eating steak, you have to fill up with something – Time-magazine-approved veggies from nearby farmers of course.

     ●  # 25 “Support your local farmer” – Unlike “Support Your Local Sherriff” (1969) and “Support Your Local Gunfighter” (1972), this doesn’t star James Garner – unless he farms somewhere close to you.

     Instead, you are supposed to buy local because “fruit, vegetables, meat and milk produced closer to home rack up fewer ‘petroleum miles.’” (Apparently, they allow you to eat meat on occasion, just don’t tell anyone.) Time wants you to track down the zip codes of all of your food or embrace “Community Supported Agriculture,” which means quit your job and go farm. Impact: 5. (How many “petroleum miles” do you use driving around trying to find local produce?) Feel good factor: 9.