People who want a quick, reliable Yorkshire pudding or chicken curry recipe will soon have to go somewhere other than the BBC’s popular Food site. The public media company is shutting down the repository of 11,163 recipes as part of a plan to save money and make content “more distinctive.” Britain’s culinary world has always held the site’s food section in pretty high regard — chef Dan Lepard defends it as a “world-class archive,” and Telegraph food writer Xanthe Clay flat-out calls it “part of our cultural heritage.” The BBC argues it’s unfair to say recipes are being deleted, per se. To quote the source who spoke to The Guardian, they’re just getting “archived or mothballed,” at which point they will “fall off the face of the internet.” In a separate tweet, the BBC also helpfully noted that “if you know [the] URL for a recipe, you could still go to it.”Weirdly, these reassurances didn’t do much to quell people’s anger. The announcement came this morning, and in the last few hours, “BBC Food” has started trending on Twitter, and almost 100,000 have signed a Change.org petition begging for the BBC not to cut the “much loved and used website,” noting that it’s “madness” to remove a comprehensive collection of recipes that’s taken years to create, especially since the British government is actively trying to convince people to eat healthier food.
The BBC throws out that, if it’s any consolation, TV programs will still be able to post recipes after episodes air, but only for 30 days. Some recipes will be available on the stand-alone Good Food website owned by the BBC’s commercial arm.