The Hazon Food Conference

I plan on devoting the next few posts to my take-aways from the Hazon Food Conference where I was last week in in Monterey, California.

Monterey California

Monterey is gorgeous and the conference was fantastic. Hazon (Hebrew for vision) is a prominent Jewish environmental organization and the food conference brought together an eclectic mix of more than 600 farmers, wanna-be farmers, passionate eaters, activists, environmentalists.Hazon is famous for its Jewish environmental bike rides which it sponsors on the east coast, west coast and in Israel. Their slogan is: the people of the hike, the people of the bike and the people of the bite.”

“I finally found my people,” my friend Dara Frimmer said. I couldn’t agree more.
The conference reinforced my belief that the way we think about what we eat and the way we relate to our food is critical to the future of the planet and to each individuals’ health and sense of connectedness. As an activist in the Jewish community, it was great to explore these issues in a Jewish context.

At the beginning of the conference, the double decker, upside down Hazon Climate-Change bus pulled into Monterey after driving all across the United States fueled entirely on vegetable oil! Check out this video to see what this was all about:

I went to sessions on amd will write blog posts over the coming days on the following topics:

Honey Bees and “colony collapse disorder.” (did you know that we rely on honey bees for 2/3 of our fruits and vegetables?) Definitely check out the film: The Vanishing of the Bees.

Rice and how a cool companu called Lotus Foods is helping to introduce new, more efficient rice farming techniques around the world and is inyroducibg new rice varieties into the US market. (did you know that more than half of the world relies on rice for a significant part of their diet?)

Slow Money. Author Woody Tasch expounded on the Slow Money movement and how spending and investing locally can re-orient us toward building a sustainable, healthy economy.

Composting. Farmer D, an entre-manure from Atlanta, Georgia gave a presentation on the ins and outs of composting. Stop laughing- He’s litetally made a real busIness of shovelling shit.

Urban Agriculture. There are so many intrresting people doing cool things in this area. From school garden to roof-top gardens to reclaiming unused city land, this “field” is booming.

The role of “place” or “land” in Judaism. Rabbi Steve Greenberg discussed the centrality of being attached to the land in Jewish thought and history.

A do-it-yourself mozarella class. Having made a bunch of my own mozz, i skipped this one.

A do-it-yourself sourdough making class taught by Sarah Klein. She has a lot to say about bread and is a really good teacher.We made bagels. I got some pointers for my next sourdough starter.

Stay tuned for more posts about all of this and more….

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