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Use Vegetarian Diet for Kosher Meals

April 01, 1990

Mathis Chazanov's poignant story (Times, March 18) that escalating costs have brought to an abrupt end (one agency's) provision of kosher meals for the elderly could have a happy ending after all.

The sponsoring Jewish Family Service's senior nutrition program need only change to an all vegetarian, vegan (non-dairy) menu to keep costs down while still conforming to kosher requirements and, at the same time, adding to the longevity of the seniors who consume the meals.

Senior citizens should note that progressive epidemiologists, nutritionists and physicians are, in increasing numbers, advocating a grain-centered, fiber-rich diet for health and longevity.

The financial crunch that confronts the Los Angeles Jewish community in providing hot, kosher meals for its old people may turn out to be providential. We need only turn to the high-fiber, low-fat diet that contains all of the protein, calcium and other minerals and vitamins needed not only to sustain life but also to prevent the ghastly diseases of a society that gorges on animal foods, white flour products and refined sugar.

It is also the violence-free diet that reduces animal suffering and can help ameliorate world hunger. More than half of the harvested farmland in the United States is used to grow food for livestock. One acre of land used to produce cattle feed will end up delivering 165 pounds of beef. That same acre could produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes.

We could better share the bounty of our planet with the elderly, with the homeless, with undernourished children and keep all of us healthier in the process, if we return to the grain- and green-centered diet of Genesis.

RABBI SIDNEY J. JACOBS

BETTY JACOBS

Culver City

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