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Program Bank: Promote Food Justice

Don’t Panic—Buy Organic!

Organic food is food produced according to organic standards, which means crops grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers or sewage sludge; animals reared without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones; and food processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. Purchasing organic products is a great way to protect oneself against harmful pesticides, become more aware and conscious of the food we eat and how it is grown, as well as support organic farmers, whose hard work and dedication make it possible to enjoy such products. Buying organic is also a wonderful way to educate children about the dangers of pesticide use and how important it is to make informed decisions, especially on what goes into our mouths.

Organic Oneg

One way to introduce organic foods to congregants is to organize an “organic oneg” whereby community members bring to the synagogue organic produce and foods for a Shabbat dinner or oneg. Alternatively, the synagogue might host an “organic tasting” where members are blindfolded and asked to taste different foods and determine which ones are organic and which ones are not. This program allows members to see for themselves that organic food tastes just as good as “regular” food and educates members about safe food measures.

Fair Trade Coffee

Coffee is the world’s second largest traded commodity after oil. It is also the leading source of income for the developing world. Fair trade certification for coffee, chocolate and other products guarantees that local farmers are paid for their wages, workers are treated fairly and environmentally sound and sustainable practices are utilized. Congregations can educate members about Fair Trade practices, hold Fair Trade coffee tastings and make a commitment to purchasing only Fair Trade coffee. Advocates and consumers can put pressure on their local supermarkets to guarantee that they stock Fair Trade Certified™ products, display them prominently on shelves and market them to their shoppers. For further information, please visit: The Good TradeFair Trade Shopping Guide.

Tuv Ha’Aretz 

Tuv Ha'Aretz is Hazon's Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program, which enables the Jewish community to support local, sustainable agriculture. Individuals commit to purchase an entire season of produce from an organic family farm, thus providing the farmer with a stable base of customers. Supporting the work of small farmers helps protect land from development and urban sprawl. Such programs can be replicated in other communities to support local organic farms and educate the Jewish community.