Posted on October 2nd, 2017
By Susan Paykin, for AJWS

This piece examines the environmental implications of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and the need for increased legal safeguards to protect natural resources. Originally published in the Union for Reform Judaism's Ten Minutes of Torah series.

Sukkot is a joyful holiday. We breathe a sigh of relief as we leave the solemnity of Yom Kippur behind, and gather outside, eating and reading and sleeping in a sukkah. We also read the book of Kohelet, known in English as Ecclesiastes, which reminds us that humankind can control only so much of what happens around us on Earth. “One generation goes, another comes, but the earth remains the same forever (1:4),” Kohelet teaches. The sun will rise, the wind will blow, and rivers will always flow into the sea, uncontrollable no matter how hard we try.

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For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas about Sukkot & Simchat Torah, visit our Sukkot & Simchat Torah Guide.

Fruit fly ‘Iron Dome’ for the farmers of India

Posted on September 25th, 2017
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

Biofeed’s revolutionary no-spray, environmentally friendly solution against the Oriental fruit fly is a hit with Indian mango growers.

Shortly before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in early July, Indian diplomats in Israel heard about a revolutionary no-spray, environmentally friendly solution against the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) made by Biofeed, a 10-employee ag-tech company.

They invited Biofeed to be one of six innovative Israeli companies meeting with Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The company’s founder and CEO Nimrod Israely, who has a PhD in fruit-fly ecology, told the two leaders that Biofeed’s product can protect Indian farmers against fruit flies like the Iron Dome system protects the people of Israel against missiles.

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You've never seen fruit this color before

Posted on September 18th, 2017
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine 

Pigments made from beets can enhance not only the color of your produce, but the nutritional value, too.

What can beets do for you? We already know they're packed with health benefits and make a great addition to lots of dishes, like salads, juices and hummus.

But did you know they can also make other foods healthier?

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel recently discovered that fruits and vegetables can be genetically engineered to produce betalains, the same pigments that give beets their vibrant red color. Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants can be altered to give off a whole variety of colors without changing the look of the plants they grow on.

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Eat a purple potato if you know what’s good for you

Posted on September 11th, 2017
By Brian Blum for Israel21c

Israeli scientists synthesize healthier potatoes and tomatoes in brilliant colors. The technology can also produce unusually hued ornamental flowers

Are you ready for violet-colored potatoes? How about orange tobacco? Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have figured out how to produce betalain pigments in plants and flowers that don’t normally have them.

If you’re thinking, “Who needs violet tomatoes?” you should know that red-violet and yellow betalain pigments contain healthful antioxidant properties. They’re also the basis for natural food dyes for products such as strawberry yogurt.

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Israeli institute trains Palestinian avocado growers

Posted on September 4th, 2017
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

Galilee International Management Institute enables Palestinian farmers to join Israeli growers in meeting high avocado demand in Europe.

This July was a month full of depressing news regarding diplomacy among Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.
And yet, far from the headlines, cooperation across these populations was thriving at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, a city in northern Israel.

During July alone, GIMI gave a training course to Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli olive-oil producers, taught farmers from Palestinian Authority territories to grow avocados for export, and began planning a tele-course for Gazan computer engineers meant to lead to remote employment at Israeli companies.

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