Mark Bittman’s a columnist for the NY times, and is getting lots of attention recently for his new book Food Matters. He’s essentially urging a plant-based diet, though he consistently stops short of encouraging people to go fully vegan as that would be “difficult” and/or “unpopular.”

I’ve also never seen him really acknowledge – perhaps he does so in the book – the predecessors in Diet for a Small Planet, Diet for a New America, Food Revolution, and others.

Nevertheless, he’s getting lots of attention and helping spread the message that animal products in your diet – including not only meat and byproducts but also dairy – has a harmful effect on your health and on the environment.

Here’s two recent videos of Bittman’s interviews promoting the book.

The first is from the Colbert Report and is about six minutes. Colbert, predictably, wants to eat things which used to be conscious, rather than eating consciously:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mark Bittman
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Colbert distracts him a bit, but he still gets a good explanation of the climate change story out – he gets to the point (and references the UN report) pretty clearly.

The second is from ObsessedTV, and is a bit longer – 26 minutes – but still delivers a pretty clear message about the direction in which the standard American diet needs to head. I especially liked the bit about 12:30 in where he says “organic and local are basically red herrings” in the food policy realm when compared to plant versus animal-based (on that topic see also Mother Jones’ Organic and Local is So 2008):

The host Samantha Ettus is a vegetarian, and Bittman does a good job pointing out that substituting dairy for meat isn’t much of an improvement, in terms of health or environmental impact.