Topic: Food

Sustainable meat preparation at the 2010 Hazon Food Conference West.

Food Conference Round Up

The 6th annual Food Conference begins this Thursday in sunny Davis, California. We wanted to take a moment to pull together all the wonderful things going on in the world in preparation. Daniel Infeld notes the momentum around the food movement and highlights Hazon’s Food Values taken into consideration when planning an event, program, or meeting on The Jew and the Carrot. Nadia Schreiber highlights how trendy DIY shechting has become and where it’s happening. Can the Food Conference take credit for starting this one? (more…)

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Chewing on Food Justice: Fruits of Our Labor

Everyone’s talking about “food justice” these days, but what is it – really? What are all the pieces at play? How do they all connect? In what ways does “food justice” reflect our Jewish social justice values? And what are the best ways to plug in and take action? Whether this conversation is new or familiar to you, we hope you’ll join us for Chewing on Food Justice, a break down of our broken down global food system. Chewing on Food Justice: Fruits of Our Labor Join us for the third session of the series to learn about workers rights across the food chain. While food workers are some of the most exploited workers in the global economy, they are also leading up some of the most creative and effective organizing campaigns to improve their conditions and bring about a truly fair food economy. Their struggles remind us that a sustainable food system can only be achieved when the people harvesting, packaging, preparing, and serving our food are treated with respect. Our Jewish values demand it and our collective moral compass compels us to work toward it. Come and learn about some of their dynamic efforts and find out how you, […]

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food conference

Food Justice, Food Systems, and Food Policy

An estimated 100 billion pounds of food, enough to totally eliminate hunger, is thrown away annually in the United States. How much of that wasted food comes from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs? Jews are clearly not the only ones responsible for food waste in this country, but an awful lot of Jewish energy goes into tackling issues around hunger, food justice, food access. Perhaps it’s Maimonides’ legacy of tzedakah, perhaps its our Jewish grandmothers encouraging us to eat, or perhaps its because of the calls to look out for the “stranger, the widow and the orphan” that are woven in to the agricultural practices of the Torah and form the foundation for civil society. (more…)

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Food For All

Chewing on Food Justice: Got Access?

Everyone’s talking about “food justice” these days, but what is it – really? What are all the pieces at play? How do they all connect? In what ways does “food justice” reflect our Jewish social justice values? And what are the best ways to plug in and take action? Whether this conversation is new or familiar to you, we hope you’ll join us for Chewing on Food Justice, a break down of our broken down global food system. Chewing on Food Justice: Got Access? Join us for the 2nd session of the series to learn about food access and sovereignty, featuring a range of guest speakers and presenters. Drawing on inspiration from Biblical stories of land distribution, we’ll explore questions related to poverty, exclusion, power, ownership, control, and democracy… and how all of the above interface with our current global food system. We’ll connect the dots between the urban agriculture movement right here in our own backyard and the international peasant movement that is gaining ground around the world (both literally and figuratively!) – and we’ll learn about how both are part of the same global struggle to take back control of our food system. WHEN: Monday, July 25, 6:30 […]

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Right2Know March – A Mobilization for GMO Labeling

When: October 1 – 16, 2011 Why: We have the right to know what’s in our food, and to choose safe, healthy and sustainable non-GMO food and products. This right is not being respected, so it’s time to… – Mobilize concerned citizens and organizations to speak with one loud voice – Raise awareness about the risks of GMO seeds and crop production – Ask the government to label food and products made from GMO crops These recent actions have created momentum to rally for the right to know about GMOs: – The decisions by the USDA to approve genetically modified Round-Up Ready Alfalfa seeds to be grown without restrictions – The court decision to hold Bayer responsible for the LibertyLink contamination of rice – The pre-emptive action by organic farmers and seed sellers to sue Monsanto for protection from patents on genetically modified seed – The participation of hundreds of organic and natural companies in the Non-GMO Project’s initiative to give consumers an informed choice and protect a non-GMO food supply – Grassroots organizing of the March 26th Right to Know Rallies and the response of 68,478 letters to Congress asking for GMO Labeling (more…)

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Grain Festival – ‘Bread from the Earth’

July 14 – 15, 2011 Join us to share knowledge and skills to revitalize ancient Jewish traditions of grains and artisan bread. More information at July 14 – Growing Local Grains UMass Crops, Animal, Research & Education Farm, 89-91 River Rd, north of 116, South Deerfield MA (Exit 24 on I-91) 8:50 – Welcome: E. Rogosa & R. Hazzard 9:00 Why Grow Landraces; the Value of Biodiversity Glenn Roberts, 9:45 – Breeding Wheat for Local Farms and Community Vitality Guidelines to breed under organic management, using selection criteria, mixtures, weed competition, seeding rates and capacity to adapt to weather, community systems for local grains. Dean Spaner, organic wheat breeder, University of Alberta, Canada 10:30 – Building a Local Grain System Discussion on the work in Vermont and Maine in local production with a focus on organic fertility management and grain quality. Heather Darby, University of Vermont, Ellen Mallory, Organic Bread Wheat Project, Maine Extension 11:15 5,000 Years of Bread: Biodiversity, Climate Resilience and Culinary Arts An overview of the agrobiodiversity and culinary versatility of small grains with guidelines for breeding, seed-saving and culinary creativity. Abdullah Jaradat, USDA-ARS 12:00 Lunch 1:00 – Field Tour of Heritage Wheat Trials with […]

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Build a Jewishly Informed Farm Bill

Wednesday, July 20 from 4 – 5 pm ET Online Webinar Join Live Here The Farm Bill affects a wide range of issues -from what food is readily available to how much it costs and from how we provide for the hungry to maintaining open land for conservation. The Bill contains billions of dollars in funds for agricultural subsidies and farm relief programs, hunger relief and emergency food aid, environmental conservation programs, and many other government programs. Oran Hesterman, author of Fair Food, will explore the key elements of the Farm Bill, how it shapes our food system, and how it is could help create a healthy, sustainable food system. The Fair Food Network, led by Oran, and Hazon will explore why we, as a Jewish people, should make our voices heard for support of farm and food initiatives that will bring fair food to all.

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Rabbi Bruce Dollin

Kosher Chickens and You

Bob Goldman, Food Conference alum, recently coordinated a day of hands-on chicken schechting for a group of folks in Denver. It was an amazingly profound experience for the participants and an event a year in the making; they spent a lot of time finding a source for chickens that met their standards for an ethical upbringing. Rabbi Bruce Dollin of Hebrew Educational Alliance, their rabbi, gave his sermon on it last week. I bring up the following topic because it is Rivka Cohen’s Bat Mitzvah and Rivka comes from a famous family who feeds us just about every week. Rikva is the daughter of Cohen’s Cuisine, that is, Albert and Marla Cohen who are superb members of our Shabbat community. I have known them from my first days at HEA: they had just gotten married and were looking for their place in the Jewish community and they found us and we have been the beneficiaries. We love the Cohens and celebrate with them and Rivka today. So I feel it appropriate today to talk about food. In particular, I want to speak about chickens. I have been dreaming about chickens, lately. Let me tell you why. (more…)

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Aaron Gross, Farm Forward

Food Conference Presenter Spotlight: Aaron Gross, Farmed Animal Welfare Advocate and CEO, Farm Forward

Aaron S. Gross, Ph.D. is the CEO of Farm Forward and has played a leadership role in a wide variety of national and international farmed animal welfare campaigns in the Americas, South Asia, and the Middle East since the mid-1990s. Gross also serves as a professor of Jewish Studies at the University of San Diego and co-chairs the American Academy of Religion’s Animals and Religion Consultation. Seeing the need for an organization devoted specifically to creating alternatives to factory farming, Gross founded Farm Forward in 2006. Farm Forward has played a leading role in the promotion of alternative models of poultry production based on heritage genetics and its newsletter, facebook site, and twitter feed are followed by more than 15,000 individauls. John Mackey, Founder and CEO of Whole Foods, hails Farm Forward as “an important force for social change.” Bestselling Novelist Jonathan Safran Foer describes Gross as “a visionary—his founding of Farm Forward will be looked at by future generations as a turning point in the fight to end factory farming.” (more…)

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This Book Might Change Your Life

By Judith Belasco, Director of Food Programs, Hazon My first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick up of fresh, local, organic veggies is a few days away. In mid-winter, I plunked down $550, signed up for my volunteer slots, and felt good that I was voting with my fork for a healthier, more sustainable food system. During the 2011 growing season, I’m joined by a network of 56 Hazon CSAs and thousands more CSAs in communities across the country. While I am excited for the East Coast season to begin, I’m aware of the many people who are unable to access CSA shares and those who are unable to access healthy food at all. Our food system is broken.  Joining a CSA is a great first step, and there is more we can do in order to fix it. Enter Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All, a practical guide to changing not only what we eat, but how our food is grown, packaged, delivered, marketed and sold. Author and founder of the Fair Food Network, Oran B. Hesterman, shows how our food system’s dysfunctions are the unintended consequences of our emphasis on efficiency, centralization, higher yields, profit, […]

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Abby Liebman

Food Conference Presenter Highlight: Hazon Meets Mazon

Abby Leibman, President & CEO, MAZON Apart from having names that are routinely confused for each other, Hazon and MAZON are on the same page when it comes to food justice and inspiring the Jewish community to work towards healthier and more sustainable communities. We’re thrilled that Abby Leibman, the new President and CEO of MAZON, will be one of our Food Conference presenters this year. MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds. “I love that so many teens donate to MAZON as part of their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs,” Ms. Leibman told Hazon recently. “I want to make sure that they understand why their efforts are so important. How is it that we have so many food-insecure people in the wealthiest country in the world? The first steps are finding a way to understand who is hungry in America, the magnitude of the situation and its causes. Then, community organizing and people teaching each other about the causes of hunger can help to bring about meaningful change. This is something I’m really excited to bring to my work at MAZON and my […]

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Fair Food Network Logo

Three (Jewish) Communal Actions with Impact!

Fair Food Network is excited to be partnering with Hazon on the following three calls to action. You can learn more about all of these issues by reading Oran Hesterman’s Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All. Together, we can move from being conscious consumers to engaged citizens and transform our food system! The first call to action is in your kitchen. Make a commitment to spend an additional $10 per week on food the source of which you can trace and trust. It may be $10 at the farmers’ market where you’ve just had a discussion with the grower; it may be $10 toward a buying club or a CSA. This $10 is not just for you and your satiation. It is a transformative $10 spent with intention, or kavannah, toward a fair food system. The second call takes place in YOUR Jewish community, whether it be a synagogue, havura, Hebrew school or even where you volunteer. Make a commitment to engage the leadership of that institution (maybe it’s you!) to view food as a critical issue in the development of your community (because it is). Find one way you can make a change in the […]

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See, Touch, Smell, and Taste Sustainable Food in Israel

by Dr. Jeremy Benstein, The Heschel Center, Tel Aviv This coming fall, November 2-7, 2011, the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, together with Hazon, will be hosting the second Israel Sustainable Food Tour. This exciting program is a unique way for North American Jews who are passionate about sustainable food to be exposed to the rapidly developing field of sustainable food in Israel. It is also an important opportunity for Israeli activists to meet likeminded counterparts and hear about their experiences, successes, challenges, insights and inspiration. Since Heschel’s original National Sustainable Food Conference a little over a year ago, which attracted 600 people with 40 roundtables and working groups, we have been working to create a coalition of people and organizations who are interested in promoting sustainable food in its myriad guises and contexts. We have been meeting with farmers, academics, government officials, health and nutrition experts, consumer policy groups, educators, nutritional security advocates and more to create the connections necessary to promote a shared agenda backed by leading stakeholders from all sectors. (more…)

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Uri L’Tzedek’s Food and Justice Haggadah Supplement

In a quest to introduce discussion of food, social justice, and ethical consumption to the Passover Seder, Uri L’Tzedek has created the Food and Justice Haggadah Supplement.  Along with the Uri L’Tzedek team, 26 collaborators contributed essays that make up the supplement, among them Nigel Savage, Hazon’s Executive Director. Uri L’Tzedek is an Orthodox social justice organization whose mission is to fight suffering and oppression. Through their work in community based education, leadership development and action, they aim to create discourse, inspire leaders, and empower the Jewish community towards creating a more just world.  In the Food and Justice Haggadah Supplement, they have created a thought-provoking collection of short reflections on topics including hunger, labor and exploitation, responsibility to the poor, ethical consumption, ethics of eating, and redemption, all of which build from the structure and story of the Seder.    Scattered throughout the supplement are various “ACT” suggestions, featuring easy ways that readers can transform all of these ideas into action. In his contribution, Nigel explains that Passover teaches consciousness, restraint, and the responsibility to share with others, and urges the reader to apply these lessons to all meals during the rest of the year.  He ends by reminding Seder-goers, […]

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