Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rundown of some of this week's food articles

Wow, it seems like food has been in the news a ton recently. There are a lot of great articles to talk about, in fact too many to go into in an in depth manner on one blog post. So, here's a summary of what I find to be some very interesting articles.

First, tonight is the airing of what should be a great documentary on the legendary Tel Aviv cafe, Cafe Cassit. While no longer in business, the Dizengoff St. cafe was a unique place where one could find govt. politicians, intellectuals, tv stars, singers, and the average joe all mingling and exchanging ideas in one place. Cafe Cassit has had no equal in this regard since its closing and there may never be as well.

An interesting argument from the NY Times Freakonomics blog about the effects of organic farming on carbon dioxide emissions and the environment in general. You'll be very surprised to see what scientists say about these farming practices.

In another farming related article, this one decidedly more Israel focused, the LA Times talks about designer food seeds. One Israeli company in particular, Hazera (meaning "the seed" in Hebrew), is one of the world's leaders in genetically engineered tomatoes and other kinds of vegetables. Hazera has tomato varieties with higher sugar contents, all sorts of colors, you name it. Israel is well known for its agro-technologies and Hazera is one of the industry leaders in the field of seed development.

Finally, a few events this week have lead to a renewed discussion about the humaneness of kosher slaughter. New Zealand became the fourth country in the world this week to outlaw kosher slaughter as they require cattle to be stunned before being killed, a practice not  allowed in the kosher slaughter rituals. Many people are up in arms, claiming there is religious discrimination in this law. However, many people are not (myself included). One other such person is Jonathan Safran Foer, a well known advocate for vegetarianism. With his latest book being set to be introduced in Israel this week he wrote an article for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz about the New Zealand kosher slaughter issue and the ethical issues regarding killing and eating animals in general.

I hope you all find the article as interesting as I do, and feel free to let me know what you think about any or all of them. Its also getting really hot in Tel Aviv. Painful Tel Aviv Summer Hot! So...I'm going to have to start making some dishes to cool off. The first things that come to mind are refreshing cocktails (mojitos and caipirinhas) and cold soups and salads. No meat for sure, and I'm sure Jonathan Safran Foer would be happy about that. I'll post some good summer recipes to help deal with the Tel Aviv heat shortly.


  1. Well tonight I am finally going out for my birthday dinner (at Oba!). I plan to have my favorite mojito and no meat ( especially after reading the article by Jonathan Safran Foer). Thank you for posting it.

  2. Can you share a gazpacho recipe with us??