Monday, December 8, 2008

Slow Food Jewish Food & Music 2008

Here's a video that merges two of my favorite things, slow food and Jewish music. Slow food, from the official definition on the Slow Food International website, is a movement "to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world." For my wife and I it means, as much as possible, knowing the farmers we buy our food from and eating what's fresh in the current season. I currently have a quarter of a cow in my freezer that came from a pasture about 2 miles from my house. From April to November, the bulk of our produce comes from two farms, both of which are within 4 miles of our house.

The video below is a short feature about Aotearoa Slow Food, the Wellington Australia New Zealand chapter of Slow Food International. They held an event earlier this year to support delegates to the Terra Madre, a Slow Food event held in Turin Italy back this past October. Their entertainment for the event was the Jews Brothers "Irreverent, iconoclastic, wickedly playful," Cafe Klezmer, and The Klezmer Rebs, an 8 piece Wellington klezmer band. The soundtrack for the video below is The Jews Brothers doing some serious Yiddish Swing. Great stuff.

Slow Food Jewish Food & Music 2008

The Klezmer Rebs and Cafe Klezmer don't appear in the video, so here's The Klezmer Rebs from their "Live at their Wellington Folk Festival" CD. I haven't found an online sample of Cafe Klezmer, but if I do I'll let you know.

Dem ganefs yikhes

There is a much deeper connection between the slow food movement and Jewish culture that has received a lot of attention recently. The connection is about what food is fit for a Jew to eat. Traditionally, that question has been primarily answered through application of kashrut laws (e.g. no pork). The last couple of years has seen a rise of folks in both traditional and liberal communities that wish to see other aspects of Jewish law and tradition energetically applied to the question as well. These other aspects include fair labor practices, humane treatment of animals, and minimal environmental impact. There are a wide range of opinions on this topic. One group, Heksher Tzedek, is taking it as far as wanting to place an additional mark on a food product assuring the committed Jew that the food item was produced in accordance to this wider range of halachic requirements. My buddy Michael Croland of Heeb 'n Vegan also routinely writes thought provoking pieces from his vegan perspective. What ever your opinion, it is a fascinating topic worthy of personal and communal consideration.

Hat tip to the folks at Aotearoa Slow Food for posting the video and organizing the event.


Ramsey said...

Nice post, but there’s one error that needs correcting: Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand.

Jack said...

Oops. Sorry about that. All fixed.