Until December 31, 2014, Scouts starting Cooking merit badge may use these requirements, or the previous requirements which these replaced.
This is an exception to the general rule. Normally, Scouts starting a merit badge after new requirements are issued must use only the new requirements. The following is a paraphrase of the announcement made by the BSA Advancement Team Leader in October, 2013:
Since the new Cooking MB requirements were released on December 17, 2013, and the pamphlet is coming out after the start of the new year, BSA decided to allow Scouts all of 2014 to make the transition. BSA will treat this as if the pamphlet and new requirements will have come out after January, which would make the requirements effective Jan 1, 2015. Throughout 2014 Scouts will have those options of continuing or beginning with the old requirements or beginning with the new requirements. Then on Jan 1, 2015, any Scout beginning work on Cooking MB must use the new requirements and the new pamphlet.