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Mia-Rut

Raised Christian, Mia Rut decided to convert to Judaism. Much of what she has been learning has centered around food. She can also be found blogging on Jewcy.com

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Growing Food Justice How Going Local Can Help Feed the World

How does the food movement intersect with issues of poverty? For the hundred or so participants at the Growing Food Justice event last night we got a little taste of some of the issues and what we can do about it. The event was sponsored by the AJWS-Avodah partnership and was co-sponsored by Hazon. They brought together three activists who are fighting in very different ways to prevent hunger in New York City.

Look Before You Don’t Eat: Who is Questioning Your Food Safety?

Let me be the first to say that Im all for fighting for justice the little guy and when necessary, boycotting the big evil corporations of the world. But because we live in the age of astroturfing, Tea Parties, and Birthers there is plenty of false, misleading and sometimes offensive information presented in the guise of educational materials or concerned citizenship. Needless to say, Ive grown cynical enough not just to swallow every bit of Michael-Moore-like corporate bashing I come across.

Take for example a recent report by the Cornucopia Institute a Wisconsin-based think tank that according to their website is a group seeking economic justice for the family-scale farming community. It wasnt their mission that caused me pause as much as their vehement attacks on certain brands of soy products readily found in most grocery stores.

Win Two Tickets to see FRESH in NYC!

FRESH Marquee in San Francisco

If you regularly read this blog it’s probably safe to assume you are interesting in food activism and maybe you’ve read Michael Pollan or seen Food Inc.  And if that’s the case you are probably excited to go see FRESH in the movie theaters.

The Jew and the Carrot has the hook up for you!  You can win two free passes to see FRESH in the movie theaters this week in New York.  Just leave an appropriate comment on my previous post and one name will be randomly selected to win the passes.  Good luck!

My Afternoon with a Christian Libertarian Environmentalist Lunatic Farmer

When I was very little, my dream job was to be a farmer. The small family farms in rural Pennsylvania where I grew up romanticized the idea of farming.  We didn’t have enough land to have anything but a small vegetable garden, but I dreamed about someday having chickens, cows and maybe even a horse. But farming never became a reality except for my window-box herbs and my predilection for playing Farmville.

So last week, Ana Joanes, director of Fresh offered me the opportunity to hear Joel Salatin give a lecture.  Being a big fan of Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Inc, and of course Fresh, this Jew was beyond thrilled to be able to spend Easter Sunday listening to this rockstar sustainable farmer explain how we can afford local artisanal food and how we could really feed the world with it.  Fascinating discussion.  His passion and dedication to the subject is undeniable.  I can’t wait to buy his book Everything I want to do is Illegal.

I got the chance to chat with Joel right before his talk.  Although the food movement is anything but new to him, I asked him what changes he has seen in the last several years.

[audio:http://jcarrot.org/wp-content/uploads/joelsalatin-interview.mp3]

Local Honey! New York City Makes Bee Keeping Legal

photo by CarbonNYC

Lovers of local honey and urban beekeepers rejoice!  This morning the New York City Board of Health lifted the ban on beekeeping in the City!  Lots of good folks like Just Food and the New York City Beekeepers Association have been putting a lot of great effort into making this happen!

TED Talk: How Chef Dan Barber Fell in Love With a Fish

My boyfriend is really into good podcasts and came home the other night insisting that I watch this.  And he was right, Dan Barber gives a charming and very insightful talk about sustainable fishing.  Check it out:

Yeshiva University Students to Hold Cholent Cook-Off

photo by aoife city

Cholent, for hundreds of years the traditional Sabbath-day meal for observant Jews in many countries, is a food for which there is no standard recipe; its ingredients are as diverse as the places where Jews have lived. A slow-cooked stew containing meat, vegetables, potatoes, beans and spices, it is one of the quintessential Jewish comfort foods and a dish that many look forward to from Sabbath to Sabbath.

Yeshiva University students will hold a “Cholent Cook-off” in Weissberg Commons on its Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 2:45PM.  Fifteen teams of four students at Yeshiva College, the men’s undergraduate school, will prepare their dishes the night before beginning at 10:30PM.  The next afternoon, a panel of discriminating palates will crown the winner.

My Food Valentine

Carrot Love

Since it is so near Valetine’s Day we thought we’d share this cute website dedicated to writing Valentines to food.  According to the website:

My Food Valentine is a Collective Storytelling project where you can come and express your love for food by writing them a love-letter.

It is [Yaminie Patodia's] thesis project for NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program. I was interested in exploring the deeper connections people had with food, but in a fun way.

Jonathan Safran Foer on Last Night’s Colbert Report

For those of you with basic cable and can stay up until 11:30pm, may have caught this interview last night. If not, here is the bit including the end of the interview where Colbert eats bacon in front of Foer. It’s worth checking out and worth checking out his book too.

Yid.Dish: Seitan Feijoada (yup, it’s Kosher and Vegan)

seitan fejioada

My boyfriend is Brazilian.  To look at him you’d probably think he was Middle Eastern, with his dark complexion.  He speaks with an American accent that is very South Florida, but none-the-less he was born in Brazil.

Last week for no particular reason I wanted to surprise him with a Brazilian inspired meal. However, most Brazilian cuisine involves meat or fish – two things my boyfriend is loath to eat.  (We do occasionally eat humanly raised grass-fed local sustainable meat, but he finds seafood appalling.)   Feijoada, considered the national dish of Brazil consists of black beans slow cooked with various parts of the pig.  Since my boyfriend loves meatless rice and beans, so I decided to get creative.

On the Internet I researched various feijoada recipes, which mostly relied on lots of salt and pork and very little other flavoring unless you count the beef bits.  But how could I keep things kosher and compete with recipes that look like a butcher shop in a pot?  There were a lot of vegetarian black bean recipes online, but this needed to be more than just rice and beans, I needed to make this complex and interesting to call it feijoada.  So I explored the Internet for some more tastes of Brazil.

KOL Foods is Hiring!

Okay, so the job market is pretty lousy right now, but I got this job posting via email and though I’d pass it along.

KolFoods

Sales and Operations Manager

KOL Foods, LLC puts kosher meat and ethics on the same plate so consumers can feel good about the meat they eat. KOL Foods sources and sells grass-fed, non-industrial, healthy lamb and beef and pastured poultry directly to individuals. Since its foundation in 2007, the interest in KOL Foods’ products has grown rapidly, and, consequently, they are now available in the East Coast and the Midwest primarily through our website. As demand is increasing KOL Foods is seeking to expand in the Eastern United States and, in the near future, nationwide.

KOL Foods is unique as it operates differently from industrial kosher meat businesses. As a values-based business, our mission is to produce food that is in harmony with nature, neighbors and tradition – all the way from farm to fork.   For further information on KOL Foods, please go to:  www.kolfoods.com .

New Year – New Jewish Cuisine

New Years

What is Jewish food? Avoiding shellfish and pork and never eating meat with dairy? Hummus? Kreplach? Whatever your Bubbe used to make?

What makes a cuisine Jewish?  Other East Asian cultures have vegetarian diets, which by default wouldn’t be mixing meat with dairy.  Hummus is wildly popular throughout the Middle East. And are kreplach so very different than Italian tortellini?

So what is Jewish food?  It’s like what is asking what your comfort food is.  Probably whatever your family makes.  If you have an Eastern European background, brisket, matzoh ball soup and knishes may be the norm.  A Sephardic background may involve more Mediterranean dishes.

But can this identification with food change?  When I was in college, my comfort food was Macaroni and Cheese out of a box.  As an adult, my go-to comfort dish is sautéed mushrooms and kale.  So yes, I’m a believer that people can change.  So can what we think of as Jewish cuisine change?

JFSJ Food Justice Trip To New Orleans!

JFSJ

FROM THE BAY TO THE GULF – Do you live in the California Bay area, are in your 20′s or 30′s and interested in important food issues?  Take your social justice passion down to New Orleans.  Join Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) and the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) for a week of service, learning, and activism.

You will travel to New Orleans from Jan. 13-18, 2010 to work with The School at Blair Grocery.  Participants will learn about issues around food and sustainability and explore the connection between local Bay Area concerns and local New Orleans concerns.

The Thanksgiving Hunter and Gatherer

thanksgiving table

I love cooking big dinners especially when they come with interesting dishes or new culinary challenges.  Thanksgiving has been a favorite of mine for a long time, since I have in part not been celebrating the Jewish food holidays for all that long.   Even when I was college I was whipping up elaborate meals despite limitations to space (one year it was a dormitory kitchen in the basement of the building) or even supplies (I forgot to buy aluminum foil so I improvised by covering my chicken, not a turkey, in applesauce, which by the way kept the meat moist and gave it a slightly sweet flavor).

Living in New York City poses its own set of advantages and challenges.  I mean in New York, you can get anything and usually get it delivered (at least in Manhattan).  I’ve found that mostly to be true – that was until I tried to serve venison for Thanksgiving.