I am what I eat -- Part II
A couple of weeks ago, I posted on the horrifying (and ongoing) story of the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa. Since then, the Uri L'Tzedek boycott against the Rubashkins was lifted due to a feeling that the federal compliance officer assigned to the plant was getting the labor practices into the shape they needed to be. In theory, I should have felt better, but still I was uneasy about the whole business. I wondered if other kosher meat plants were going undetected in their equally scary labor practices and if, though the official boycott had been lifted, I would ever be willing to buy Rubashkin's meat again. After yesterday's editorial in the New York Times, I feel justified in my remaining queasiness.
So how is a person supposed to eat? Lucky for me, the Times Magazine had a profile feature yesterday about the women who are the vanguard of new farming in the Northeast. I am so inspired by the way these women have transformed their ideals about food, food culture, and sustainable living into their real lives. It's a breath of fresh air after reading about the abuses in Postville, and I am not surprised to know that it is women who are the front line innovators in this movement.
I don't know that a single one of the women profiled here is Jewish. But I can't help but think that collecting wild edibles, raising cows and chickens outdoors to produce the highest quality dairy and eggs, and farming vegetables bio-dynamically is an authentically Jewish way to interact with the Earth and with our food. Certainly it's more kosher than hiring underage laborers and turning a blind eye as illegal immigrants are arrested for using false Social Security numbers to get work in your plant.