Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Michael Pollan on Why $8 For a Dozen Eggs Makes Sense

Originally from The Wall Street Journal, by Ben Worthen

Michael Pollan, author of “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and other popular books, has become a figurehead for the local-food movement, which advocates buying in-season produce from nearby farms.

Proponents say such food is healthier and that the way it is grown and shipped is better for the environment. But it often is more expensive. Mr. Pollan says the real problem is that subsidies keep the prices of some, largely mass-produced foods artificially low.

Still, he tries to strike a middle ground between advocate and realist. In his Berkeley living room, the 55-year-old Mr. Pollan discussed where he shops for food and why paying $8 for a dozen eggs is a good thing:

Interview with Laura Frankel

This article is cross-posted on

We are very excited to invite Chef Laura Frankel into our joyofkosher kitchen.  Chef Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago.  She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes .  Chef Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.

Going to the Source: A Look at Sustainable Dairy through the Eyes of a Dairy Farmer

By Rachel Gelman, Hazon Food Area Intern

There’s no doubt that including dairy in your diet can have a wide array of health benefits. Dairy staples such as yogurt, milk, and cheese offer a healthy dose of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Consumption of low-fat dairy has been proven to help lower blood pressure, and the calcium that comes from dairy can increase bone density and has even been linked to weight loss. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious! But there are also some considerable reasons to choose organic dairy products over their non-organic counterparts.

New Podcast Episode with Wilderness Torah’s Julie Wolk

Listen to our new PODCAST, Episode 5 by clicking here!

Co-Founder Julie Wolk sits down with me on the latest Hazon Podcast. Listen to what Wilderness Torah is doing to revitalize the American Jewish Community. Also, don’t forget you can subscribe on iTunes by searching “Hazon”.

Also, don’t forget that it is Earth Day this week, so check out all the options going on in your area. For a good listing, check this website out

They have a map where you can choose where you live and find out what is going on near you!

New Podcast – RideCast Special

Happy Rider

Check out this new special Ride Edition Podcast! If you haven’t heard, Hazon is allocating funds raised from the Bay Area Ride a bit differently than past rides. It’s pretty exciting and really putting the power in the hands (or cycles) of Ride participants, who will get to decide where to allocate the funds they raise.
Also, if you didn’t hear about last year’s NY Ride engagement story, Marc tells us what he was thinking the day he proposed on the Ride.

Check it all out by clicking here!

Scott Stringer and his Urban Food Movement


Many years ago, I escorted some at-risk urban youth to a park. Blinged and tattooed, these kids’ gestures stiffened into armor and their faces hardened into leather expressions of defiance and danger. Then they spotted the recently picked apples that had been brought along for a snack. They lunged, giggling and pushing to get their hands on those apples first.  When a butterfly passed overhead the boys tore into a chase, yelling, “A butterfly! A butterfly!”.  They held onto their bitten-into apples as they ran.  Can urban lives be changed one piece of fruit or vegetable at a time? Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s urban food movement is counting on it.

What do you do with an Ample Harvest? An Interview with Gary Oppenheimer

Americans waste more than more than 100 billion pounds of food every year, at every stage of production from field to store to plate. That number doesn’t include the produce thrown out or left to rot by the millions of home or community gardeners. Wouldn’t it be great if all those leftover tomatoes and cucumbers in your backyard could be linked with local food pantries and shelters?

Gary Oppenheimer had just that inspiration. He’s the founder of Ample Harvest, a project aiming to help home gardeners donate their unwanted produce to food pantries. Gary is a master gardener and the head of the West Milford Community Garden. I spoke with him about Ample Harvest and how home gardeners can make a difference.

Jewish CSA: The Perfect Shidduch

Thanks so much to Chef Shaya Klechevsky for this great guest cross-post from his blog At Your Palate.  Shaya is a combination gourmet chef, food nerd and food writer. Shaya grew up in a home rich in diverse cultures; his mother, an Egyptian native, and his father, a Polish native, brought an interesting mix of food and flavor to every meal. After attending Brooklyn College, Shaya found his way to the French Culinary Institute at the International Center for Culinary Arts. Shaya uses his passion for good food and a healthy lifestyle to bring healthy, kosher, gourmet cuisine to his clients.


In a previously mentioned article, Attention Locavores: Community Supported Agriculture (aka CSA), I discussed the latest trend in local sustainability – the Community Supported Agriculture movement – where communities band together in support of a farm (or two) and are provided with a schedule of delivered seasonal produce. As such, I recently had the wonderful pleasure of getting to know Hilla Abel, a native Californian who made the trek to our cosmopolitan New York City.

Hilla Abel trained at New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute and now works as a personal chef, cooking instructor, and apparently the pioneer of establishing Jewish CSA programs in NYC! She was responsible for co-founding the first ever Jewish CSA in Queens with the Forest Hills Jewish Center. Below, is the riveting conversation I had with her:

Growing Spiritually Healthy on an Urban Farm: An Interview with Reverend Robert Jackson

Reverend Robert Jackson is the co-founder of the Brooklyn Rescue Mission, an innovative food program based in Bed-Stuy that combines a food pantry, an urban farm, and a farmer’s market to create a healthy, sustainable food system for people in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Urban farming becomes the starting point for empowerment and self-reliance, giving people in the neighborhood the chance to become physically and spiritually healthier.

Rev. Jackson sees three parts to the mission of BRM: creating fresh food, establishing the distribution of fresh food, and helping those who are impoverished by supplying them with emergency food. BRM was a major partner of the Brooklyn Food Conference.

I spoke with Rev. Jackson about his drive to bring fresh food to his community.

Interview with Rachel Rosenthal on the Tav YaHosher Launch


Shmuly Yanklowitz at Cafe Nana, the first restaurant to receive the Tav HaYosher

One year after the federal raid of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, Uri L’tzedek (Awaken to Justice), an orthodox social action group,  has responded by establishing an ethical seal, Tav HaYosher, for all kosher eating establishments. “After seeing the pain and suffering inflicted by our own kosher industry on the stranger and the poor, the very people the Torah demands we protect, we realized we needed to be proactive and make a change,” said Shmuly Yanklowitz, founder and co-director of Uri L’Tzedek.

I  had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Rosenthal, an active member of Uri L’Tzedek and the Tav HaYosher campaign, and has taught about ethical kashrut in communities across the Upper West Side.

The Tav YaHosher campaign launches today with a public event 6:30 -8:30 pm at Cafe Nina, 505 W.115th St., 2nd floor, in New York City.  My interview with Rachel is after the jump.

One Year After the AgriProcessors Raid: An Interview With Shmarya Rosenberg

Cross-posted from Heeb’n'Vegan.  With the one year anniversary of the May 12, 2008 raid on the AgriProcessor’s plant in Postville Iowa at hand Michael’s interview of Shmarya Rosenberg is very timely.  To see the Jew and the Carrot’s coverage of Agriprocessors click here.

Photo by Matthew Walleser

Shmarya Rosenberg’s blog Failed Messiah has become a one-stop hub for news and commentary about scandals and all-around unpleasantness in the kosher meat industry, among other foibles in the Orthodox community. With muckraking reporting and critical commentary, Rosenberg has held the feet of many in the Jewish community to the fire while providing readers with invaluable information.

Failed Messiah has been a leading force in the Jewish blogosphere since 2004, but the May 12, 2008, raid at AgriProcessors in Postville, Iowa, was the beginning of a new era. One year ago, government agencies staged the largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history, arresting hundreds of illegal immigrant workers and uncovering such diverse problems as child labor and a “meth lab.” Rosenberg claims that Failed Messiah broke the story (although technical difficulties meant that The Des Moines Register posted it online more or less simultaneously). He has stayed in touch with people on the ground in Postville to report about what’s going on from many perspectives, Failed Messiah’s readership jumped to about 15,000 page views on some days, and he became somewhat of a hero when he unveiled the questionable practices of AgriProcessors’ PR company, 5WPR.

Below are excerpts of an interview I conducted with Rosenberg on Friday.

An Interview with a Chef Kosher Creator, and a Cooking Contest!


Back in March, I got an email inviting me to take part in the cooking contest. I eventually submitted a recipe (for Chunky Borscht, which may look familiar to the Jew and the Carrot readers), and of course had to snoop around the site.

One of the first things I noticed was the stunning food photos. These enticing shots mark the portals to recipes for beef, poultry, fish, soups and stews, dairy dishes, breads, desserts and sweets, and more.

The next element to strike me was the sample recipe titles, tantalizing from the sidelines. The juxtapositions also gave me a giggle. On a recent visit, I found links to Moroccan Style Matzo Ball Soup, Barbecued Beef Ribs, and Pennsylvania Shoofly Pie. Now there’s a kosher meal to remember! (Just be sure to use a parve butter alternative for the pie!)

Of course, the mustachioed chef gazing amicably from the header also caught my eye. He looks like an Old Country version of The Muppet Show’s Swedish Chef.

Warning! Strong Opinions and Wistful Thoughts: An Interview with Lagusta Yearwood


I wish I had the nerve to be Lagusta Yearwood. Most days though, I perpetrate numerous small betrayals against my ideal self (calling myself “flexitarian” when I’m really too lazy to go full vegetarian; recycling only when it’s convenient; etc.). Perhaps I haven’t fully grown into the Radical Me. Or perhaps it’s the opposite: the Radical Me is like my skinny jeans, an identity that I’ve outgrown, as I’ve been fattened and jaded by age… (your thoughts? Have you radicalized or softened with time?).

So, “what’s a Lagusta?” you might ask. She is equal parts vegan chef, political activist and spunky feminist. Oh, and Jewish to boot. I conducted an email interview with her. My questions are in bold, her responses follow. Join us, below the jump.

Eating Your Values: An Interview with Dyonna Ginsburg

dyonna-ginsburg.jpgA few months back on The Jew & The Carrot, we posted about an amazing Israeli social justice organization called Bema’aglei Tzedek, which created an ethical seal for restaurants called Tav Chevrati (social seal).  The seal ensures that the restaurant provides basic rights to workers and also basic accessibility to customers with physical disabilities.  Started only a few years ago, the Tav Chevrati seal is now on a third of all restaurants in Jerusalem, and is expanding to Tel Aviv and other cities.

I recently had a chance to speak with Bema’aglei Tzedek’s Executive Director, Dyonna Ginsburg (pictured at left) and here her thoughts on the socio-economic gaps in Israeli society, the power of public pressure on the Israeli government, and why she only eats in restaurants with the Tav Chevrati seal.

Enjoy the interview, below the jump!