The Big Felafel

Everything I’ve learned about recycling and trying to go green in Israel. Part 2: Local Organic Produce and The Omnivore’s Dilemma

organi Sorry for the long delay in posting.. I’ve been growing increasingly addicted to twitter where I can post quick thoughts and because I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma actually really ties into my whole attempt to be a bit greener. This is possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’ve been recommending and talking about it to anyone who comes within shouting distance. Pollan discusses 4 types of meals you can eat: industrial, industrial organic, organic/grass-fed farms, and hunting/gathering. It opened my eyes as to what I put in my body and brings a whole new meaning to “you are what you eat”.

And, like most things that you become aware of, you start seeing related information everywhere. I was checking Janglo last week and noticed that someone wanted to share the delivery cost from an local organic farm. I wrote to her and asked about 1,303 questions – what kind of food can you get? how much does it cost? when do they deliver? etc. She directed me toward Teva Habsor (1800- 25- 90- 90) which is an organic farm in the Negev. When I asked where exactly they were located, she said ‘in the Kassam region’. She said that usually explained it best to people. Pretty sad. But I guess life goes on. The farm sends out an Excel pricing sheet on Sundays and delivers to Jerusalem on Tuesdays; to Tel Aviv on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; Negev area on Thursdays [from honey]. The best ‘deal’ from the farm seems to be a box of seasonal vegetables for 110 shekels which includes delivery. This seems a little steep, especially compared to the prices at the shuk. I guess a better comparison would be with the supermarkets, where the produce is unbelievably overpriced.

However, The Omnivore’s Dilemma talks about the bigger idea of cost, meaning that the prices at the shuk may seem cheaper but we end up paying for it indirectly. We pay for cheap produce through higher taxes for healthcare because of new food-related diseases, polluted water from insecticides and synthetic fertilizers, and fossil fuels used in the transportation of our food. Currently, I’m not sure that buying only organic is financially possible on an Israeli salary, but I’m excited to try it hopefully once a month and come home to a box of seasonal and locally made produce. Did I mention that this book was awesome?

Here’s a list of Organic Farms that deliver in Israel, thanks to Crunchy Greenola