“I’ve always struggled with the ‘vegetarian’ label,” cookbook said author Deborah Madison, who has written about vegetables for more than three decades, to The Washington Post. “When I began writing it was so much about a lifestyle. You were or you weren’t and people didn’t cross that line.” Ms. Madison has recently published “Vegetable Literacy,” which strives to educate home cooks on the delight of discovering flavor relationships within the vegetable family tree.
Eating less meat has had its periodic revolutions in American culinary history. Rev. Sylvester Graham, father of the graham cracker, advocated against eating meat, pepper, and milled flour in the 1830s. A Vegetarian Society gained traction in the mid 1800s. During World War I the United States Food Administration promoted Meatless Monday and Wheatless Wednesday to save resources, and during World War II the government asked Americans to cut back on meat consumption and grow their own vegetables in Victory Gardens to support the war effort abroad.