Why is our culture secretary removing lasagne recipes from the BBC website?

The BBC is removing 11,000 recipes from its website following Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's review of BBC services.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 11:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 12:45 pm
Lasagne recipes on the BBC website could soon be consigned to the dustbin (Photo: Shutterstock)
Lasagne recipes on the BBC website could soon be consigned to the dustbin (Photo: Shutterstock)

Despite the fact that millions turn to this rich resource on a daily basis, the government views it as unnecessary. Overreaching into the commercial space, in short.

“If you’ve got a website that’s got features and cooking recipes – effectively the BBC website becomes the national newspaper as well as the national broadcaster,” chancellor George Osborne said in a speech last year.

“You wouldn’t want the BBC to completely crowd out national newspapers. The BBC website… is becoming a bit more imperial in its ambitions.”

Already, the proposals published in the Government White Paper have attracted criticism.

Celebrity chef Jack Monroe has made a stance, promising to publish their own recipes online, saying that they “learned to cook on the dole using free recipes online”.

Open Rights Group director Jim Killock believes that the recipes should be safeguarded for the public good:

“Recipes are essentially reference material for our daily life, like a map,” he told Huffington Post. “These 11,000 recipes deserve to be in the public domain – legally reusable by anyone.”

Some recipes will still be available from the BBC, but only for 30 days at a time.

A change.org petition has been launched by a concerned user, already attracting more than 12,000 signatures.

“This is a much-loved and used website and a precious resource for people across the country, providing easy, free and importantly independent information on a vast range of foods and recipe options,” Said Emma B, from London, who set up the petition.

“When the Government is trying to promote healthy eating, surely it is madness to remove such a comprehensive archive which has taken years to create – not to mention time and money.”

James Harding, the BBC’s head of news and current affairs will brief staff today on the future of online services in general.

If you want to download your favourite BBC recipes before it’s too late, click here