Washington Jewish Week publishes my food blatherings

One afternoon in late December, Danny Abruzzese, the executive chef of Asilomar Conference Grounds charged with preparing glatt kosher food for the 2009 Hazon Food Conference, ushered me into a side dining room to talk. On the way, he pointed one thick hand toward a slim man in a hat and tzitzit, ritual fringes. “This is my brother right here,” the Italian American said, grinning.

So begins the piece “Heated differences lead to brotherhood” in the January 27 issue of Washington Jewish Week. WJW now joins the likes of Jewcy.com, The Jew and the Carrot, and The Washington Post in the ranks of publications that find my Jewish food ramblings worthy¬† of publication. Check out the full piece in the Community Voices section of last week’s paper.

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Can Judaism save the planet?

Readers, yesterday The Washington Post‘s On Faith blog published a piece of mine inspired by the Hazon Food Conference. Entitled “Can Judaism save the planet?”, it presents one perspective that answers the question with a resounding “Yes!”

Many thanks to my “free range” writers group at Hopkins for encouragement with submissions, and to my excellent editor and mom, Marji.

Check out the article–and feel free to comment here or on the site. Thanks for reading!

What would Moses drive?

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What would Moses drive? This was the title of a session on climate change at the Hazon Food Conference, held December 24 to 27 in Pacific Grove, Calif. Indeed, this is a question for the ages. Or for right now.

…that’s the opening of a post I wrote for Jewcy.com. I was thrilled to write for them, and to share thoughts on the intersection of Judaism and climate change action. Read the whole post at Jewcy.

Learn about food politics: Go!

IMG_3452One thing I realized at the Hazon Food Conference is that I have a lot to learn. I’m particularly behind on food and agriculture policy. Thinking about the nuances of legislation on the table on the local and national level kind of makes my head spin. Then there are regional issues that can inform and compliment each other.

So much going on! But I decided to take a breath and start reading. If you’re in the same position, you can try it, too. Take a breath, look at this happy food picture above, and then dive in.

Here are a few (okay, many) links to get you started. Check ’em out, and feel free to suggest more.

News and policy
Grist.org
Foodpolitics.com, Marion Nestle’s website
The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture
Civileats.com
Foodpolitics.com (Marion Nestle’s website)
Ethicurean.com

Local food resources
LocalHarvest.org
TheLocalBeet.com Continue reading

Updated: A face of the New Jewish Food Movement

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This is Susan Slesinger. Susan has four Jewish environmental bike rides under her Pearl Izumi waistband, the most recent on a tandem bike with partner Marvin Fields. Susan plays and teaches music and does fiber arts. She resides in Seal Beach, Calif. In this moment, she is standing outside of Merrill Hall at Asilomar Conference Grounds near Monterey. Behind her, a bustling shuk (market) selling cookbooks, local honey, kosher muffins, blown glass, and organic clothing is closing out the Hazon Food Conference. Continue reading

Heading west in search of food

On December 24, I will say goodbye to the contents of my one-person refrigerator and head to a table for more than 600. Yes, I’m off to the Hazon Food Conference in Pacific Grove, CA. According to the Twitter buzz, the conference promises to draw the largest gathering of the New Jewish Food Movement ever!

Not that we will all sit down and nod our heads together. Indeed, as the debate about meat at the conference shows, you can expect a few disagreements. I look forward to observing and perhaps taking part in some of these discussions (I already jumped into the meat comment combat — in defense of the stuff, believe it or not!).

If you’re curious what this is all about, check out the website and the schedule. Then try not to salivate too much!

I look forward to writing about this experience and guiding you to other accounts in word and image.

A fine flurry of opinion

Religion, ethics, food morals, and chickens’ flesh and souls have all collided in a flurry on The Jew and the Carrot. Hazon, the Jewish environmental organization that runs the blog, has planned a ritual slaughter of chickens as part of its annual food conference, and not everyone agrees with this idea.

Check out the discussion flying every which way at “The Debate: ¬†Eating Meat (or not) at the Hazon Food Conference”.