Archive for the 'Sustainability' Category

Buying Tips and Seasonal Recipes for Fall Vegetables

Fall vegetables bring to mind the hearth, coziness, beautiful autumn colors, hearty food and interesting one dish and multi-dish menus.  We think about roasting, caramelizing, thick rich stocks, braising and sautéing when we think about the preparation of root vegetables and the other succulent vegetables which brighten up farm stands and markets all over the country at this time of the year.

I hope that all of you enjoy Fall Vegetables as much as I do. What’s fun about the change of seasons is that we are forced into creative ways to cook with the new bounty of the season. In this way, your food is never boring and you don’t get stuck eating the same foods day in and day out.

Support The Creation of a Community Olive Oil Press in Berkeley

California is  ideal for olive growing, though the potential for making olive oil is not being reached by the community due to the cost and labor involved.  Andy Dale has decided to take matters into his own hands by using to raise the money needed to create a community olive oil press.  With olive trees already growing, the idea is that people will be able to put the fruit to use in creating natural, local, fresh olive oil.  Dale has calculated that with the oil press charging either a fee or a percentage of olive oil, it will be able to sustain itself and even grow, eventually becoming a fixture in the Bay Area community.

Chasing the Carrot: Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour

Last Sunday, July 25, 15 people gathered at Oregon’s Museum of Science and Industry for Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour. Portland is laid out in grids, like Washington, D.C. Last year’s tour covered NE Portland; this year we set off to explore neighborhoods in SE.

Our ride leader, Tuv member Beth Hamon, is an old-school bike geek. Last year she created spoke cards for our ride (when you do something for the first time, it’s an innovation; twice is minhag) So of course she made a new one for this year’s ride. Here’s a picture:

Let’s Stop Wasting Millions on Food Aid

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

When I think about international food aid, what comes to mind are the challenges of distribution—who’s getting what and how much of it? But then there are the hidden costs of shipping. A recent IRIN article discusses the results of a Cornell University study that revealed the alarming fact that U.S. taxpayers spend about $140 million every year on non-emergency food aid in Africa. They spend roughly the same amount to ship food aid to global destinations on U.S. vessels.

$280 million. That’s a LOT of money. And the truth? It only benefits a very small constituency at the expense of taxpayers and recipients.

Six Months After the Earthquake, the Fight for Food Justice and Responsible Reconstruction Continues

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Today is the six-month anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and, even though the world’s attention is fading, there’s been a lot of news and blog coverage about the work that lies ahead. Most of the focus has been on Port-au-Prince and, while the earthquake took its major toll on an urban center, we can’t forget about the devastating impact it had on rural communities, agriculture, and Haitian farmers.

Haiti’s Orphans are Still in Crisis. Where’s the Aid When They Need It?

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Today’s heart-breaking New York Times story about Haiti’s orphans is a painful reminder of the earthquake’s enduring devastation. The article offers a harrowing portrait of Daphne, a 14-year-old girl who watched her mother’s mangled body get carted away in a wheelbarrow from a shattered marketplace. Daphne then lived in a makeshift orphanage founded by Frades—a grassroots collective that specializes in microloans and began supporting abandoned and orphaned children after the earthquake. Daphne was just beginning to feel at home until she was claimed by a distant relative.

What Does Global Finance Have Against African Farmers?

By Timi Gerson, Director of Advocacy of American Jewish World Service. Cross-posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

African countries aren’t spending enough on agriculture, IRIN reported last week. And that’s a bad thing:

“Spending money on food production is critical in Africa, where 70 percent of people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for food and income. There are also going to be more people to feed in Africa in the next few decades. Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is expected to grow faster than elsewhere by 2050, increasing by 910 million people, or 108 percent.”

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.

Zimbabwean Farmers are Breaking the Cycle of Aid

Cross-posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

A piece recently published in Newsday(a Zimbabwean newspaper) poignantly expresses what we’ve been discussing a lot lately, particularly-with regard to sustainable agriculture in Haiti: that food aid alone does not alleviate poverty.

Fighting Obesity and Food Insecurity, One Click at a Time

A long-time reader of The Jew and the Carrot, it’s easy for me to see the importance and power of conversations within the Jewish community regarding eating, nutrition, food politics, and sustainability. However, the Jewish imperative for justice does not allow us to stop at environmental or personal levels. Rather, we have to continue our pursuit of justice to ensure that everyone has access to fresh, seasonal produce, healthy food options, and the skills to prepare healthy meals. The Nourishing Kitchen of New York City is an organization working to do just that for the East Harlem community.

Cambodian Farmers Speak Up for Land Rights

Cross-posted on Food Forever The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Land rights abuses in Cambodia rarely spill into the global spotlight, particularly in connection with food insecurity. In the absence of legal documents often lost or destroyed during decades of civil war, Cambodian farmers frequently struggle to prove their ownership of land. Many of these farmers along with Cambodian NGOs have accused Cambodia’s government of awarding a wave of land concessions to foreign and local firms without negotiation or adequate compensation to local farmers. What’s more, Cambodian farmers and villagers have been unjustly evicted from their land as a consequence of international big business.

Yesterday, AlertNet reported that Cambodian rights groups and farmers are urging foreign donors who have played a major role in the development of Cambodia’s economy to press the government to suspend land concessions to investors and use fair and lawful means to settle land disputes.

Introducing Dr. Roxanne Sukol

This past September I started “Your Health is on Your Plate” [] to help prevent diabetes and obesity by teaching folks how to tell the difference between real food and manufactured calories.At “Your Health is on Your Plate,”I encourage readers to restore traditional methods of food selection andpreparation. I focus on health, sustainability, and resource conservation.

Five Questions Monsanto Needs to Answer about its Seed Donation to Haiti

By AJWS Director of Advocacy Timi Gerson. Cross-posted on Civil Eats and Food Forever — the AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Monsanto has donated $4 million in seeds to Haiti, sending 60 tons of conventional hybrid corn and vegetable seed, followed by 70 more tons of corn seed last week with an additional 345 tons of corn seed to come during the next year. Yet the number one recommendation of a recent report by Catholic Relief Services on post-earthquake Haiti is to focus on local seed fairs and not to introduce new or improved varieties at this time.

Some tough questions need to be asked and answered before we’ll know whether or not Monsanto’s donation will help or hurt long-term efforts to rebuild food sufficiency and sovereignty in Haiti. Here are five of them:

The Bane & Blessing of Food Allergies

I eat in a pretty healthy manner. I cook most of my own meals, and even when I eat out or at other people’s homes I’m careful what and how much I eat. [I also keep kosher, so I guess by definition I think a lot about what I eat or don't eat, but it's rote by now--I've been doing it most of my life.]

Over the past few years, I’ve developed a host of food intolerances/allergies (still not sure which they are yet, still working on that part) and in addition to making sure I eat healthily, I also have to make sure I don’t eat things that make me sick.