Two years ago, a coalition of organizations that included Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the Gershman Y and the National Museum of American Jewish History, began a conversation about food, ethics, sustainability and eating Jewishly. It was soon dubbed, What Is Your Food Worth? Their intention: to pose serious questions about food culture in public spaces, including "How has the concept of 'eating Jewish' changed over time and space?" and "Why is kosher food so expensive?" These are some of the very questions that I've been contemplating — and trying to answer — on The Bubbi Project.
Lucky for us, one of the continuing conversations this spring will feature The New York Times' award-winning food writer Mark Bittman. The March 13 event, at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, is billed as "The Future of Food." It will examine food production and consumption. Bittman will also explain how eating a healthier and more socially conscious diet is better for the planet, whether you're concerned with your own body, public health, animal welfare or the environment.
A few years ago, I attended a Bittman event at the Free Library of Philadelphia when he was promoting his book, Food Matters . He candidly told the story about his personal evolution with food. When his health was declining, he, like many of us facing our own mortality, decided to redefine his relationship with food as a way to get better — specifically with meat. As a result, Bittman, a middle-aged Jewish New Yorker, shed 35 pounds and improved his cholesterol and other blood vitals.
I find Bittman's perspective refreshing, intelligent and relatable. However, he's not one to shy away from controversial topics — the part I enjoy most about him! For example, his recent opinion  (and bash) of Beyonce's decision to work with Pepsi.
This event is free, but you must RSVP  — and fast — there are already 750 people pre-registered, and advertising for the event has yet to begin. Read his blog  and get excited (especially the part about how he admires our city )!
Food for Thought,
The Bubbi Project
P.S. For you super foodies, I'm sure you appreciated the Mark Bittman cameo in Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones and Butter  when she met him while working at his daughter's summer camp. Yes, that was my favorite part, too! ;)