The subtitle is Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good. This is an excellent book (recipes too) which comes to grips with the notion that virtuous eating also has to be fun and privately beneficial and involve a minimum of self-constraint or for that matter calculation costs. As I’ve argued in my own An Economist Gets Lunch, eating less meat is the most socially beneficial change in your dietary habits you can make. Here’s one very good way to do it.
Of course the economist in me wonders why Bittman chose “vegan before 6 p.m.” rather than after 6 p.m. or for that matter after some point closer to the middle of the day. Is it simply two meals vs. one? Or is it that the prospect of meat and dairy in the evening makes vegan eating during the day more tolerable, whereas the opposite would require too much retrenchment to be sustainable? For most workers, free time also comes at the end of the day. I have never heard of a society where you wake up, have five or so hours of free time, head off to work, and then come back home and go right to bed. Yet surely at least a few of you wake up at 3 a.m. and construct such a daily pattern for yourselves, without much societal support of course. What is it that sets you apart?