I was much better about seeking out locally grown produce before I moved to New York. After moving to Astoria, Queens, in January, I frequently went to the 24/7 fruit and vegetable store half a block away from my apartment, which was local in another sense. That store has gone out of business, and a 24/7 farmers market is taking its place. My eyes lit up earlier this week when they saw the brand-new signs for the not-yet-open store. I'll be better about buying locally grown and organic produce now!
Correction (12/31/09): Although I would never want to rescind "Baruch Hashem," I should clarify this situation. Now that this store has opened, I have no reason to think that any of the produce is locally grown or that much of it is organic. I assumed that the store would carry local produce because it's called a "farmers market," but I was wrong.
Controversy About the Hazon Food Conference
Last week, VeggieJews founder Pete Cohon wrote an open letter criticizing Hazon for its plans to slaughter chickens at its food conference next month and for its promotion of a diet including meat despite the environmental consequences of animal agriculture. "The conference will only encourage the continuation of a meat-based diet despite the negative health, environmental and ethical consequences. I urge you to stop the bloodletting and start healing the planet by promoting to the Jewish community a diet based solely on plant-based foods," wrote Cohon.
While I agree with many of the points raised in Cohon's letter, I applaud Hazon for providing a forum about food issues in the Jewish community and posting Cohon's letter on its blog, The Jew & The Carrot. The post also includes a response from a Hazon representative, which is worth reading. A comment from Roberta Schiff notes that she and Jews for Animal Rights' Roberta Kalechofsky will be speaking about vegetarianism in the Jewish tradition at the Hazon Food Conference this year.
Click here to read heebnvegan's 2007 post "'Shechting a Goat at the Hazon Food Conference?' No!"
Veggie Conquest Follow-Up
In my November 15 post about Veggie Conquest, I juxtaposed pictures of my "Swedish-Style Charoset" and the winning dish. All the dishes besides mine were quite beautiful, and both the Veggie Conquest blog and Vegan Dance if You Want To have posted pictures of each dish.
Update (12/31/09): The Veggie Conquest blog has posted recipes for the winning dish and the runner-up. I only had four ingredients in my dish!