In the special Food Issue of the New York Times Magazine, Samantha Shapiro describes how Jewish communities are beginning to apply the ideals of sustainability and humane food production to the kosher dietary laws of kashrut. Most Americans, Jewish or otherwise, associate kosher food with safety, cleanliness, and humane treatment. The article reveals, however, that this assumption is startlingly unfounded, as kosher food markets have become increasingly industrialized. Shapiro describes a variety of ways in which Jewish organizations and individuals are seeking to redefine the concept of Kosher cuisine and eating in terms of green ideals. Whether they are educating themselves in shechita, the kosher art of butchery, establishing grass-fed kosher meat co-ops, or expanding the notion of what it means to be kosher to energy consumption and the local food movement, these “eco-kashrutists” are popularizing the ethos of the environmental movement within new communities of consumers.
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