What Kind Of Kosher Chicken Do You Eat?

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Kosher Chicken

 

What kind of kosher chicken do you eat?  

My daughter asked to try chicken recently at a Shabbat dinner at Chabad in Phnom Penh. Since then, I have been ardently searching for an ethical kosher chicken choice.

I am searching for a chicken that meets my kosher standards, my ethical ideals about animal welfare and my health and taste requirements. I don’t know much about kosher chicken because I am vegan and follow a plant based diet. This approach works for me but my husband and daughter are more food flexible.  

 

kosher chicken

If I’m going to serve chicken to my family, my guidelines are:

Kosher: the chicken must be kosher;

Ethical: the chicken must be raised in a way that meets my ethical standards: no hormones, no systematic antibiotics, no overcrowding;

Healthy Genetics: the chicken is genetically healthy (i.e. not a genetic hybrid): slow growth, good immune system and bred to live a healthy outdoor life;

Reductionist Philosophy: If I serve chicken to my family, I serve it infrequently and in small portions for their health and the health of our planet.

I believe that humans have an obligation to give the animals they ea ta good life and a humane death. I am very concerned about the chicken industry, and how its animals are raised and treated.   

Buying, cooking, and serving the modern average american chicken is not an option for me.  Most chickens available today in the USA, and indeed the world, are genetic hybrids which have been bred to grow unnaturally fast. This unbalanced genetic makeup leads to poor animal health and significant animal suffering.  It also leads to  chicken that’s lacking in nutrition and flavor.

 

kosher chicken

In the midst of my search to identify the most ethical kosher chicken, I got a personal email from Yadidya Greenberg (I interviewed him here in 2015).

 

kosher chicken

He wrote:

I recently started working as the Kosher Meat and Animal Welfare Specialist for an amazing new organization called The Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA for short), which is a project of Farm Forward. My central job at JIFA is to get more ethical, high welfare meat back into the hands of kosher consumers. I’ve recently reached a big milestone: kosher heritage chicken is now available in 48 American states for the first time in 50 years!

Following receipt of his email, I did a bit of googling to learn about Frank Reese and heritage chickens.

It turns out Frank Reese’s chickens and turkeys are famous in their own right, having been featured in Vogue and on the Martha Stewart show.

 

kosher chicken

It is clear that heritage chickens are much healthier, and therefore heritage kosher chicken meat is a healthier choice for our families.  Below is comparison between heritage chickens and hybrid chickens:  

The price of kosher heritage chicken (several times more expensive than the cost of a hybrid chicken) reflects the actual price of raising a chicken humanely and paying farmers and workers a fair wage.  Unfortunately, inexpensive chicken allows, indeed trains, consumers to eat larger quantities of meat more often.

Better to eat much smaller quantities of higher quality and ethically produced animal products less often.

I know that I will keep eating a vegan plant based diet because it aligns with my values and makes me feel well.  However, I know that veganism does not appeal to everybody.  

If you choose to purchase and eat chicken, you also can choose to honor our Jewish values of compassion for animals.  Today, kosher heritage chicken is a ethically produced kosher chicken choice for our homes and synagogues.

Your turn: What appeals to you most about kosher heritage chicken?


Good to know details about purchasing and preparing heritage kosher chicken

Purchasing:

heritage kosher chickens are available for purchase from Grow and Behold and KOL foods , 

Grow and Behold – Offers nationwide shipping via FedEx, home deliveries in New York and New Jersey, and through local buying clubs,

KOL Foods – Has options for direct shipment nationwide, or local buying clubs to save on shipping.

Preparation

heritage chicken requires different cooking methods than hybrid chicken.  For best results, consult this heritage cooking guide for braising, roasting and making chicken soup, and read this best practice tips and methods for cooking heritage chicken.

kosher chicken

P.S. Not sure what makes food “kosher”? It is pretty confusing!  Start by learning what makes food “kosher” right here. If you want an introduction to kosher slaughter, read this first.

(This post is sponsored by the The Jewish Initiative for Animals. Their mission to support innovative programs to turn Jewish values of compassion for animals into action. Thank you for supporting the projects that support Jewish Food Hero.)

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From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Easy No-Mayo Coleslaw

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No Mayo Coleslaw

A refreshing coleslaw that is colorful and delicious. This coleslaw is healthy, as it is oil-free and mayo-free. Serve as as a side dish for lunch or dinner meals. It is a perfect salad to add to your Shabbat and holiday table. Serve cold. This salad can be made 24 hours in advance.

No Mayo Coleslaw Pin

Easy No-Mayo Coleslaw
Jewish Food Hero
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Category: salad

  • 10 cups green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 ½ cups carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 large shallots, sliced thin
  • Dressing:
  • 3 cloves garlic (or more)
  • 2 Tsp tahini
  • 6 Tsp rice milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp natural sugar (depending on how sweet you like your salad)
  • 5  Tsp lemon juice
    Tools:
  • Food processor
  • Box grater
  • Blender
  • Large salad bowl
  • Small salad bowl

  1. With the thinnest slicing blade for your food processor, slice cabbage and place in large salad bowl.
  2. Grate carrot and cucumber, place in a small salad bowl and set aside.
  3. Tenderize the cabbage:
  4. Using your hands, massage the cabbage for 5-10 minutes. The cabbage will become softer.  
  5. Add the carrots and cucumber and massage for another minute.
  6. For Dressing:
  7. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  8. Dress the salad and combine evenly.
  9. If you like a lot of dressing, make double of the dressing!

Serving Size: 6-8

If you love this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook // jewishfoodhero.com

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Jewish Love Quotes that Will Make You Smile

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Jewish Love Quotes

In honor of Tu B’Av (sometimes called the Jewish Valentine’s Day), I’ve gathered some quotes about love which I think are thought-provoking and inspiring. Hopefully the quotes will make you smile too. Classic Jewish sources refer to heterosexual love between a husband and wife, but the ideas about love apply to any type of loving relationship.

Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty damn good. -Woody Allen

Woody Allen Quote

To me, spirituality means ‘no matter what.’ One stays on the path, one commits to love, one does one’s work; one follows one’s dream; one shares, tries not to judge, no matter what. -Yehuda Berg

Yehuda Berg Quote

You can be lonely even when you are loved by many people, since you are still not anybody’s one and only  -Anne Frank

Anne Frank Quote

The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. -Viktor E. Frankl

Viktor E. Frankl Quote

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love. -Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud Quote

Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak , pawned a part of their narcissism. -Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud Quote

This law of love requires that every man be treated as a Thou, a person, an end in himself, never merely as a thing or a means to another’s end. – Will Herberg

Will Herberg Quote

You can’t force anyone to love you or lend you money. -Jewish Proverb

Jewish Proverb Quote

It is an essential part of the interpretive work that it should keep in step with fluctuations between love and hatred, between happiness and satisfaction on the one hand and persecutory anxiety and depression on the other. -Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein Quote

Love your neighbor as yourself. -Leviticus 19:18

Leviticus 19:18 Quote

Our sages recommended that a father should spend less than his means on food, up to his means on dress, and beyond his means for his wife and children. -Maimonides

Maimonides Quote

A wife is as a protective wall to her husband. -Menachem Recanati

Menachem Recanati Quote

All that you do, do only out of love! -Sifre

Sifre Quote

I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me. -Song of Songs (6:3)

Song of Songs 6:3 Quote

Be careful to honor your wife, for blessing enters the house only because of the wife. -Talmud, Bava Metzia 59a

Talmud, Bava Metzia 59a

 

There can be lunacy without love, but is there any great love without a little lunacy? -Yochanan TverskyYochanan Tversky Quote

Your turn:  Please share your favorite quotation about love in the comments section below.

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Surprising (and Some Disturbing) Jewish Views on Animal Sacrifice

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Surprising (and Some Disturbing) Jewish Views on Animal Sacrifice-Jewish Food Hero

In light of Tisha B’Av, I want to write about animal sacrifices in Judaism.

On Tisha B’Av Jews mourn the destruction of the first and second Jewish temples, in 586 BCE and 70 CE, respectively.

Tisha B'av-Jewish Food Hero

In addition to emotions of mourning, Tisha B’Av also brings up questions about the future. Jewish prayer includes the wish that the Temple will be rebuilt and that a Divine presence will reside in Jerusalem. The Temple was a center for Jewish worship and sacrifice.

When Jewish people pray today for the Temple to be rebuilt, are they also praying for a return of animal sacrifice?

It is difficult to connect to passages in the Torah (and some in the Talmud) about animal sacrifice. When we read, we tend to relate to animal sacrifice as a historical fact that is a part of Jewish history. It is true that some rabbinical sources clearly expect animal sacrifice to reappear in the messianic age. Thankfully, Maimonides thought differently. According to him, animal sacrifice was never an ideal means of worship.

Surprising (and Some Disturbing) Jewish Views on Animal Sacrifice-1-Jewish Food Hero

Ancient Judaism came into being in a time when all worship was focused on sacrifice, so the Torah allowed it with very specific structures and restrictions. But once the world advanced to a point where it was no longer needed, Judaism would not require it either.

According to Maimonides and others who followed in his footsteps, the messianic age is primarily about Jewish autonomy and a Third Temple would be a house of gathering and prayer. and not of animal sacrifice.

Surprising (and Some Disturbing) Jewish Views on Animal Sacrifice-3-Jewish Food Hero

It’s hard to imagine a contemporary society in which animal sacrifice would be acceptable. Even among meat eaters, there is a natural compassion and unwillingness to be involved in the indiscriminate killing of animals. If animals have a place in the Third Temple, it is easier to imagine that it would be a hobby farm with a vegetable garden, to teach respect for animals and the earth.

When Judaism was formed, it was impossible to imagine a religion without sacrifice, but today’s monotheistic religions have become prayer and ritual centered, and animal sacrifice has almost disappeared from the world.

Surprising (and Some Disturbing) Jewish Views on Animal Sacrifice-2-Jewish Food Hero

To me, the concept of a Temple is primarily about unity and peace. I hope that animal sacrifice stays in the past and never returns to Judaism.

Your turn: What’s your view on animal sacrifice in Judaism?

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The 5778 Jewish Holiday Calendar Release

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The 5778 Jewish holiday calendar will go on sale on 1 August, 2017.   You can read more about the calendar here.

This is the forth year that we offer this modern and beautiful calendar.

Here are a few pictures of it.

Framed in a simple white wooden frame:

 

A close up of the top and Yom Kippur holiday icon:

A close up of the Chanukah and Purim holiday icons:


A close up of the Shavuot holiday icon:

If you are already on our mailing list, you will get a special offer in your email inbox on 24 July 2017.

If you are not on our mailing list yet, you can sign up here (and get a free guide too).

Your turn:  Share this post with a friend you know will love this Jewish holiday calendar.

 

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The One Jewish Food Tradition You Need to Bring Back

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Bringing back Jewish food traditions, Jewish food traditions, food traditions

In my kitchen, I keep The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden on my shelf. This book offers recipes (some of which are vegetarian) and tells the story of Jewish cooking in Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities.

One recipe introduction caught my attention.

In the introduction to a lentil soup recipe, Roden writes:

Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils. Lentils are often mentioned in the Talmud and the Bible. They have always had an important place in the Sephardi diet. For centuries they sustained the poor communities – often mixed with rice or cracked wheat or noodles, or eaten as a salad with an oil-and-lemon dressing. In several communities they were an obligatory part of the Thursday-night evening meal, which was often meatless.

To repeat the Jewish food tradition:

The Thursday evening meal was often meatless.

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From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Vegan Oil-Free Red Lentil Soup

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vegan red lentil soup receipe, vegan soup, vegan lentil soup ideas

Lentil soups is delicious, simple to make and healthy for us. Red lentils in soup make a dairy-free creamy base for the soup, they cook quickly and I feel they are very easy to digest.

Added to this is that it is endlessly versatile in that you can prepare it with only salt and pepper or add different spices.  Below, I have given the basic bare bones recipe (when you want to eat a simple taste) plus two of my favorite spice options for the soup.

red lentil soup receipe, vegan lentil soup, how to make vegan soup, vegan receipes

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Chag Notebook: Luciana Carmela Friedmann

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Luciana Carmela Friedmann, Chag Notebook, Jewish Food Hero interviews

One of my goals with the Chag Notebook series is to tell stories from our global female Jewish community.

This year, I have a personal goal to feature Jewish women who live outside of the largest Jewish communities (i.e. United States and Israel). To help me reach this goal, I contacted the Joint Distribution Committee, which works to help build Jewish life and leadership all over the world. They connected me with Luciana Carmela Friedmann, a Jewess from Timisoara, Romania.  Luciana is a journalist by profession, and since 2010, the leader of the Jewish community she grew up in.

Let’s get to know Luciana and learn from her.

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Do You Make this Mistake When You Eat Salads?

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salad receipes, making salads, how to make a healthy salad, making a complete salad

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat across from a woman eating a huge salad for lunch or dinner and thought to myself, “How soon is she going to need to eat again? That’s not a filling meal!” Western culture has drilled into our heads that the best possible meal is greens, raw vegetables and some salad dressing, and that salad eating is the ultimate path to weight loss and health.  This is actually a myth.

I think we all know this. That is why people often add high fat foods to their salad: nuts, dried fruits, cheese, meat, rich salad dressings. Adding these high fat foods is an effort to make salad satisfying, but it’s not the healthiest way to eat (for more information on this, see 5 Simple Ways to Cook with Less Oil). There is a better way.

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Interview with Personal Organization and Decluttering Expert: Rebekah Saltzman

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organizational expert, Rebekah Saltzman, cleaning, staying organized, minimalism, how to want less

It has long been a fantasy or mine to hire a personal organizer. I know you might be thinking that this is paying someone for something that I can do myself. True, and yet here are the reasons I still dream about working with a professional.

Somehow, I wonder what the benefit would be to do it alone. Organization and decluttering seem to get pushed off my to-do list and I want to learn new ways of organizing and decluttering better that I can mainstream into my work and home life.

In a recent conversation with a friend, a digital marketer living in Israel, I mentioned this dream and she told me about a personal organizer and decluttering expert based in Haifa who focuses on zero waste and getting rid of physical and emotional clutter. I knew I had to talk to Rebekah Saltzman and that you, my readers, would enjoy hearing from her as well.

Let’s get to know Rebekah and learn from her.

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