Archive for the 'Meat' Category

My Interview About Judaism and Vegetarianism on Our Hen House’s Podcast

Cross-posted to heebnvegan

My interview from earlier this month was featured on Our Hen House‘s podcast this weekend. We talked about Torah teachings about compassion for animals, how well Judaism and vegetarianism mesh together, kosher slaughter, the new Jewish food movement, and vegan versions of traditional Jewish foods.

What’s for Breakfast?

This entry is cross-posted at .

I am pretty excited this morning, because today’s the day that the grounds manager from a small local college is coming over to spend a few hours helping me salvage a row of overgrown, antique quince bushes and convert a small corner of my yard into an edible garden.  I expect that we’ll be working pretty hard, so before he gets here I need to eat breakfast, and that’s what we’ll be discussing today.

Chief Rabbinate to Revoke Hechsher of Meat From Shackled-and-Hoisted Animals Because of Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim

Cross-posted to heebnvegan

A couple of months ago, I noted that the office of Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger in Israel had released an encouraging statement that seemed to mark the end of Israel’s imports of meat from animals killed by shackling and hoisting in South America. (The cruel slaughter method is no longer used in Israel or the U.S.) I was, however, skeptical because a similar forward-looking statement in 2008 was never enforced. This time around, it looks like the Chief Rabbinate’s plan will be enacted.

On June 18, Haaretz reported that “by 2011 the Chief Rabbinate will no longer certify [as kosher] meat from slaughterhouses that use shackle-and-hoist – a controversial method employed in almost all South American kosher slaughterhouses, which provide 80 percent of all the meat imported into Israel.” This is a major step forward, both because it means action will be taken within the next half-year and because business considerations (e.g., the fact that an overwhelming majority of Israel’s imported meat comes from the slaughterhouses in question) will not be allowed to determine what’s right.

Cooking Meat, Rule Number One: Use Moisture, Time, and Parts

Release Your Passion For Stew

Not long ago, at a party, I met a dark-eyed Peruvian woman with a sultry accent who had just discovered her slow cooker. She’d owned it for two years before a visiting friend released it from confinement in the back of the kitchen cabinet. That whole week they ate nothing but stews. After years of indifference toward it, my new friend had fallen in love with her slow cooker because “it giff so mush flavor!” When I told her that good, complex flavor means good nutrition, and that she should use it as often as she wants, she fell in love with me.

Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim at AgriProcessors and Local Pride

Following my post last night about the federal sentencing of former AgriProcessors executive Sholom Rubashkin, several comments called into question my claim that there had been inhumane treatment of animals at AgriProcessors. This claim was not a significant focus in yesterday’s post. I offered a comment with a succinct explanation, which apparently provided inadequate evidence for at least one of the skeptics. Because it will require a lengthy response to show why I overwhelmingly believe there was tza’ar ba’alei chayim (unnecessary animal suffering) at AgriProcessors, I have decided to put up a new post rather than a mere comment. This information is not new for many readers of The Jew & The Carrot, but demands for it arising out of last night’s post are.

Sholom Rubashkin Gets 27-Year Jail Sentence

Cross-posted to heebnvegan

Today it was announced that tomorrow, former AgriProcessors executive Sholom Rubashkin will be sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution. In November, Rubashkin was found guilty on 86 of 91 federal charges related to financial fraud. Although an appeal is likely and the trial of at least one more AgriProcessors defendant has yet to start, I’d like to think of this sentencing as at least a temporary end to a long-running scandal that has divided the Jewish community.

Join the Mitzvah Meat Team

Mitzvah Meat is a fast-growing enterprise offering delicious, pasture-fed and finished, organically-raised, compassionately slaughtered kosher meat from farms local to New York City. Founded by pediatric neurologist and urban farmer Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, Mitzvah Meat is looking for passionate, energized, talented people to help grow the business. If you have excellent skills in communication, sales, and/or business entrepreneurship and are interested in getting involved, please send a cover letter and resume to

To find out more about Miztvah Meat, check out their website at

Fire Up the Barbecue

Thisentry is cross-posted on

This morning my daughter and I stopped by our neighborhood butcher to buy something to grill tomorrow. Arriving only 10 minutes before closing, we were absolutely astonished to discover that just a few packages of chicken remained, along with some knockwurst and hamburgers. Not a single steak, roast, chop or rib.

It seems odd, but we celebrate Memorial Day by eating meat. Its a meat lovers holiday. Is this a good thing? Despite the U.S. dietary guidelines, which recommend eating less red and processed meat, I think eating meat is a fine thing.

Dr. Renata Micha, of the Harvard School of Public Health, would probably agree. She published the results of a very interesting experiment in this month’s journal, Circulation. Dr. Michas team contacted the authors of 20 previously published studies about the effects of eating meat (evaluating a total of 1 million adults in 10 countries on 4 continents), and asked them to go back and separate the results of their raw data into processed (smoked, cured or salted) and unprocessed meat. All the meat contained similar amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. The researchers found that eating the equivalent of one hot dog, or 2 slices of deli meat, per day was associated with a 42% increase in the risk of heart disease, and a 19% increase in the risk of diabetes. But eating twice as much unprocessed red meat was associated with neither.

The Long Phaseout of Shackling and Hoisting

A few weeks ago, PETA released an undercover investigation of a kosher slaughterhouse that practices shackling and hoisting, a cruel method of slaughter in which live animals are tied up and hung by their limbs prior to having their throats slit. The facility is located in Uruguay and is a major supplier of Alle Processing, which became the leading kosher meat supplier in the U.S. in the wake of AgriProcessors’ collapse. Nathaniel Popper wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Meat from [the site of the investigation] and other South America factories is used to produce most of the processed kosher meat consumed in America, including deli favorites such as salami and pastrami, kosher authorities say.” Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading animal welfare and slaughterhouse design expert, said, “This plant is definitely doing the method of shackling the live bovine and then hoisting and dragging [the animal] out of the stun box and holding [the animal] down. This is a cruel, dangerous practice that should be stopped.”

Watch Food, Inc. for free on PBS


If you haven’t had a chance to see Food, Inc., carpe diem! PBS recently aired it on POV, television’s oldest showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV has also put the entire film on their site for free viewing for a limited time. It’s only up until April 28, so check it out today!

Ethical Kosher meat on Marketplace


Many of you may have missed this story on Marketplace about KOL Foods during your Passover celebrations. You can learn more about ethical kosher meat in general here on JCarrot, and more about our friend Devora Kimelman-Block’s unique partnership with a halal meat producer. Thanks to Ari Daniel Shapiro, an alumnus of Hazon’s New York Ride and an independent radio producer, for sharing this story with us. Check out more of Ari’s stories here.

To hear the Marketplace story “Unlikely duo teams up for kosher, halal” click here.

Cooking tips from Kol Foods


Kol Foods sent around these cooking tips for how to be sure to make the most of your grass-fed, ethically raised meat. The most important? Avoid overcooking. Click here to go to their page and learn more about how to best prepare your meat.

Jonathan Safran Foer at B’nai Jeshurun

I just got home from seeing Jonathan Safran Foer speak at B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan. Foer spoke for a short while and read from his new book, Eating Animals, but a large portion of the event was devoted to Q&A.

Foer noted from the onset that the synagogue was a fitting venue to have a discussion about the ethical issues related to eating animals. He said that religion strives to lessen violence and suffering in the world and that it affects our relationship with the Earth and nature. He said that while he does not consider himself particularly observant, the Judaism passed down to him from his parents and grandparents “informed” Eating Animals.

He read a sample of the book’s opening chapter, which also appeared in The New York Times Magazine last fall. The concluding line “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” was a great “thesis” to shape the conversation that followed.

Yid.Dish: Cashew Chicken & Snow Peas

Cashew Chicken & Snow Peas

I am lucky enough to live in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve got it pretty good here – great weather, great outdoors, great Jewish community, great abundance of local organic food. But Chinese food? Not so much here in Eugene.

As a Bay Area transplant, I crave Chinese food. I often feel like I literally NEED it. After months searching for something that would quench my Chinese food tastebuds – and realizing that to keep my version of kosher (which is eco-kosher: less about what is and what is not treyf and more about eating only meat that is ideally organic and pasture-raised – and if not, is absolutely free-range, never given hormones or antibiotics, and was humanely slaughtered) – I came to the conclusion that I’d have to make it myself. For both taste and my personal kashrut reasons. Which is some kind of a life lesson right there, I’m sure.

I stumbled upon a recipe for Cashew Chicken from the inimitable Martha Stewart and decided to give it a whirl – and my own flair. And to tell the truth, it is delicious and happily graces our Friday night Shabbat table pretty often.