Five years ago, my father had an emergency quadruple bypass and my physician did a full cardiac blood workup on me. I was 38, never overweight and an avid CrossFitter. The results showed that I had high inflammation and high cholesterol and my physician recommended baby aspirin and a statin – for the rest of my life. My desire not to be on a drug that could damage my liver led me to learn about how food could help.
Ever wondered how Manischewitz makes all that matzo? Check out this video to see how. [JTA]
For many of us, Shabbat dinner wouldn’t be Shabbat dinner without chicken on the table. Kosher chickens sit on grocer’s shelves, and then on our tables, and finally in our stomachs, all parts of the festivity and tradition of a Friday night. Very rarely do we consider the complex food system that brought the chicken to that grocery shelf. For almost all kosher chicken in the United States, the journey from egg to Shabbat table passes through a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), a factory animal farm that calls into question the practices we support and the ideals we reach for when we buy kosher meat.
Last week, a bill in the Maryland legislature that would have banned the use of arsenic in chicken feed was killed. Since the introduction of the bill in February, a public controversy has arisen over this little-known poultry industry practice. The months of debate, culminating in this week’s disappointing defeat, force us to closely question what goes into the food that we eat and whether industrial kosher meat production truly upholds Jewish values — ethical treatment of animals, protection of the environment and care for our own bodies.
For those who keep kosher, every meal is an opportunity to connect the physical earth with the mystical God. If there is one time a year that all Americans get a taste of this experience, it is the ritualized meal of Thanksgiving. Enter a growing awareness about the savagery of the modern meat industry, an uncomfortable exposure of assumptions about kosher meat, and most of all, a horror of Tofurky, and kosher consumers everywhere are seeking out new options for the holiday.