Mark Bittman

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Mark Bittman
Bittman at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Bittman at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Born (1950-02-17) February 17, 1950 (age 71)
OccupationJournalist, author
Alma materClark University
Notable awardsJulia Child awards,
James Beard awards
PartnerKathleen Finlay

Mark Bittman (born February 17, 1950[1]) is an American food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times. Currently, he is a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists.[2] Bittman has promoted VB6 (Vegan Before 6:00), a semi-vegan diet.[3]


Bittman is a journalist, food writer, and author of 30 books, including the bestselling How to Cook Everything and VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00.[4] He has been the recipient of International Association of Culinary Professionals, Julia Child, and James Beard awards for his writing.[5]

Bittman was an Opinions columnist for The New York Times, a food columnist for the paper's Dining section, and the lead food writer for The New York Times Magazine. His column, "The Minimalist," ran in The New York Times for more than 13 years; the final column was published on January 26, 2011.[6] He also hosted a weekly "Minimalist" cooking video on the New York Times website.[7]

Bittman is a regular guest on NBC's The Today Show and the NPR shows All Things Considered[8] and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He appeared as a guest judge on the Food Network competition series Chopped and was featured alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali in a PBS series called Spain... on the Road Again in 2008. In 2014, Bittman appeared as a correspondent for the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously.[9]

In 2015, Bittman announced he would be leaving the New York Times to join Purple Carrot (which subsequently received press for its partnership with Tom Brady) as its chief innovation officer.[10]


Bittman has written and co-written 16 books and cookbooks. Bittman's most recent cookbook, How to Cook Everything Fast, was released October 7, 2014.[11] In 2005 he published the books The Best Recipes in the World and Bittman Takes on America's Chefs, and hosted the Public Television series Bittman Takes on America's Chefs, which won the James Beard Award for best cooking series.[8] In 2007 he published How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. In 2009 he published the book Food Matters, which covers food-related topics such as environmental challenges, lifestyle diseases, overproduction and over-consumption of meat and simple carbohydrates. He also began the TV series Kitchen Express. Bittman has written the books The Minimalist Cooks at Home, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner and The Minimalist Entertains.[8] In 2010 Bittman created The Food Matters Cookbook, an expansion of the principles and recipes in his prior book. In 2021, he published Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal, in which he argues that free market capitalism and corporate farming contribute to the major public health and environmental issues in modern agriculture.[12]


Bittman has authored VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 (2013) and The VB6 Cookbook (2014), where he recommends a flexitarian (semi-vegan) diet.[13][14][15] The idea behind VB6 is to eat a vegan diet before 6pm, after this time you are free to eat whatever you want but are advised to limit processed foods.[16] The VB6 diet has been described as about 75% vegan.[17]

The British Dietetic Association named the VB6 diet as one of the "Top 5 Worst Celebrity Diets to Avoid in 2015".[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

Bittman is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School (1967) and Clark University.[20] He lived in Berkeley, California from 2015 to 2017.[20] He has two adult daughters from a prior marriage. Bittman runs marathons and is a licensed pilot.[8][21] He now lives in Cold Spring, New York.[21]

Bittman is Jewish, and his grandparents emigrated from Ukraine and Romania.[22] Bittman eats a semi-vegan diet.[23]


Not only is a semi-vegan diet easier to sustain than a full vegan diet, there’s no reason to be one hundred percent vegan. There’s not really an argument for that except if you have an ethical argument. That’s okay. That’s fine. But there’s not a health reason. There’s not a practical reason. I think it’s just a matter of eating more plants, not a matter of eating only plants. That is what I was thinking when I created VB6: that this was a more reasonable, more moderate way to do this for people—and hopefully more achievable. But it’s not going to happen on a big scale until we teach kids how to eat right. It’s hard to teach grownups. We all know that.

— Mark Bittman in 2015[24]


  1. ^ "Bittman, Mark". Library of Congress Name Authority File. Library of Congress. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. ^ Bittman, Mark (May 25, 2016). "Opinion | Taxing Sugar to Fund a City". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Mark Bittman explains why being a part-time vegan makes sense". Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  4. ^ "About". Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Mark Bittman". PBS Food. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. ^ Mark Bittman, "The Minimalist Makes His Exit", The New York Times, January 26, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d "Mark Bittman". Mark Bittman.
  9. ^ ""Years of Living Dangerously" Correspondent". Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Aubrey, Allison (November 2, 2015). "From Gray Lady To Purple Carrot: Bittman Adds Spice To Vegan Meal Startup".
  11. ^ Order How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food. HMH. 2014. ISBN 978-0470936306.
  12. ^ Milman, Oliver (April 25, 2021). "Mark Bittman's warning: the true costs of our cheap food and the American diet". The Guardian. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "Mark Bittman Talks 'Vegan Before 6'". HuffPost. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Why Mark Bittman wants you to be a part-time vegan". NBC News. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Mark Bittman: “You Will Lose Weight” Eating Vegan Before 6". Shape Magazine. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Will the Vegan Before Six diet help me lose weight?". British Heart Foundation. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Mark Bittman's VB6 Diet". WebMD. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  18. ^ SULLIVAN, REBECCA (December 11, 2014). "BDA releases top 5 worst celebrity diets to avoid in 2015". — Australia’s leading news site. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  19. ^ "Top 5 Worst Celebrity Diets to Avoid in 2015". British Dietetic Association. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Mark Bittman Defects to Berkeley From NYC, Launches Online Video Series," June 8, 2015. [1]
  21. ^ a b Bittman, Mark. "What I've Been Up To". Grub Street.
  22. ^ Bittman, Mark (August 9, 2012). "Go Ahead, Send Me Packing". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  23. ^ "Why I’m Not a Vegan". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  24. ^ Koven, Suzanne. (2015). "The Big Idea: Mark Bittman". Retrieved 2 June 2021.

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