Science brings good old flavor back to tomatoes

Posted on March 13th, 2017
By ISRAEL21c Staff

Israeli researchers join international team mapping tomatoes’ chemistry and genetics to reintroduce taste traits lost over 50 years of breeding.

Supermarket tomatoes often look a lot better than they taste. That’s because modern commercial tomatoes have gradually lost their flavor as breeders tinker with their shelf life, firmness and disease resistance.

Now it seems that we can have our tomato and eat it, too.

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Purim and Vegetarianism

Posted on March 6th, 2017

There are many connections between vegetarianism and the Jewish festival of Purim:

1. According to the Talmud, Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, was a vegetarian while she lived in the palace of King Achashverus. She was thus able to avoid violating the kosher dietary laws while keeping her Jewish identity secret.

2. During Purim it is a mitzvah to give "mat'not evyonim" (added charity to poor and hungry people). In contrast to these acts of sharing and compassion, animal-based diets involve the feeding of over 70 percent of the grain in the United States to animals, while an estimate 20 million people die of hunger and its effects annually.

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For more information about Purim, check out our Purim Resource Kit.

Could this new Sundance film be the next 'Blackfish'?

Posted on February 27th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 

'Trophy' will air on CNN to spotlight hunting and wildlife conservation in Africa.

From "An Inconvenient Truth" to "Blackfish," the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah has a reputation for introducing the public to important documentaries about our natural world. This year is no different.

The world premiere of "Trophy," took place on Friday, during the opening weekend of the festival. The documentary explores the intertwined issues of trophy hunting and conservation. The movie follows a handful of people – from breeders to anti-poaching activists.

The new film was co-directed by American filmmaker Christina Clusiau and Israeli documentarian Shaul Schwarz. "I think sometimes we believe that there's this utopian world in magical Africa that the animals just roam free and they live alone on these vast plains, but that's not the reality," said Clusiau. "This symbolism of what a trophy really is to different people I think is important. … One man's treasure is another man's trophy."



Israeli NGO doesn't monkey around when saving rainforest

Posted on February 20th, 2017
Jacob Dembitzer for

For the first time, an environmental non-profit has raised enough money to buy part of a biodiversity hotspot in Amazon rainforest; purchase might be able to save critically endangered woolly monkey from extinction.

Israeli non-profit This Is My Earth (TiME) has managed to buy almost 200 acres of Peruvian rainforest using a crowdfunding campaign in what is being seen as a first in environmental conservation.

TiME was able to raise over $30,000 using a crowd funding platform to purchase land in the El Toro District rainforest region of Peru.
The El Toro region is under constant threat of being sold by the Peruvian government for the establishment of new farms, making its protection all the more urgent.

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Israel’s forest ranger to the world turns 115

Posted on February 13th, 2017
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

KKL-JNF doesn’t only plant trees; it also teaches other countries proven Israeli methods to deal with problems such as drought and climate change.

The words “Jewish National Fund” conjure images of blue-and-white charity boxes and the sight of celebrities,  diplomats and visitors from across the world planting trees in Israel.

Indeed, Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund  (KKL-JNF) has planted some 240 million trees in Israel since its founding in 1901. And it has undertaken massive projects in sustainability, conservation, education, tourism, agriculture, roads and reservoirs.

Yet few are aware of the organization’s growing impact on the environmental health of countries outside of Israel.

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