Talks at Temple Emanu-El, UA to probe ethics of eating

Joseph Regenstein

You are what you eat. So what does that mean for your morality? Do the choices you make about food affect your ethics?

And can food standards unite Jews and Muslims as nothing else does?

These and other questions will be answered by scholar-in-resi­dence Joseph Regenstein, who will explore “Jews and Food — the Ethics of Eating” at the 2011 Bilgray Lectureships, cosponsored by Temple Emanu-El and the University of Arizona, Feb. 3-5.

Regenstein, who holds a doctorate in biophysics from Brandeis University, is a professor of food science at Cornell University, where he has been on the faculty since 1974. He is one of the founders of Magen Tzedek, a new kosher certification authority that stresses humane treatment of animals, workers and consideration for the environment. Regenstein is the only person to serve as an expert for Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform kosher food certification boards and to hold the same position on the Muslim national board for halal food preparation.

Regenstein will present “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Kosher and Halal but were Afraid to Ask” on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Hillel at the University of Arizona. On Friday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El’s Shabbat service, he will tell the story of “How the Oreo Cookie Became Kosher,” and on Saturday, Feb. 5 at noon at the Rabbi’s Tish, during a dairy potluck lunch, he will explore “The Ethical Treatment of Food Workers and Animals.”

All Bilgray Lectureship presentations are free. There will be a catered Shabbat dinner with Regenstein on Friday at 5:30 p.m., which has a charge of $36. RSVP for the dinner by Feb. 1 to 327-4501.