Food, Glorious Food

I enjoyed the food issue of the magazine but was disappointed by minimal mention of childhood and adult obesity and the need for nutrition education in the United States. Artisanal cheeses are delicious but not a critical need. Perhaps you could identify alumni and faculty who work on nutrition issues to feature in a future issue.

Melodee Siegel Kornacker, Ph.D.’65
Columbus, Ohio

Brandeis grad Phyllis Glazer ’75 should have been among the fine foodies you mentioned. Here in Israel, her name became a household word during the ’80s and ’90s as she appeared on TV, published books, and spread the word about great vegetarian cooking to a public who thought it was an aberration not to eat meat. She brought wonderful cooking ideas and introduced sound nutritional concepts into many people’s homes. She has a distinct American accent and style, full of grace and humor. I myself remained a quiet fan of hers for many years, but it is time to speak up! Israel is hardly a backwater, and her success is hardly provincial.

Lisa Cain Hammerman ’74
Mitzpe Yericho, Israel

Thanks for including me and the Tangled Vine in Brandeis Magazine’s food-focused issue. Aside from the obvious reasons, I honestly thought this was the best magazine issue in the 13 years since I graduated. It was refreshing to see a topic covered that usually doesn’t get much attention from the university. While there are not too many alumni in the culinary and hospitality field, it is an area that receives increased attention in the media these days and certainly an area that almost all alumni have experienced from the customer’s side. On behalf of those of us who have spent years hard at work in hot kitchens across the country, thanks for recognizing our achievements. I loved the cover shot, too — very vibrant and seasonal!

David Seigal ’98
New York, N.Y.

Two reasons we are moved to write: first, to celebrate the transformation of Brandeis Magazine. It was always good, and now it is great in both content and aesthetic. In our M.B.A program at Heller, we teach students about the challenge of moving an enterprise from good to great, and it can be a formidable one. Kudos to editor Laura Gardner and her team for bringing the passion, intelligence, skill and commitment to make this transformation happen. The food issue runs the gamut from exquisite cupcakes, foie gras and wine to the very real threat of hunger and the role of government, corporations and citizen leaders to address it here and abroad.

Which brings us to our second reason for writing. Our centers at the Heller School have been invited to serve as the managing partner for a new Corporate Coalition to End Hunger in America. More than 30 corporations have committed $2.5 billion to work together in unprecedented ways to address hunger across the country and across the age span. Our job is to serve as the voice of the coalition, strategizing with our partners and coordinating investments to end hunger.

We are so pleased that the food issue has introduced us to other Brandeisians who are in the food industry and taking part in the solution.

Professor Susan P. Curnan
Director, Center for Youth & Communities

Professor Andrew B. Hahn
Director, Sillerman Center for theAdvancement of Philanthropy

I just finished going through the latest issue of Brandeis Magazine, and that was some ambitious article [“Finding the Inner Foodie”] you put together; I am in awe! There was one highlight that brought back many memories: Theresa Pease’s story on Ruth Fine Handy. We were roommates freshman year (1952–53) in the Castle. I’ve lost touch with Ruth over the years and would love to congratulate her on her new life.

Tania Grossinger ’56
New York, N.Y.

I just spent part of a soothing train ride to Washington, D.C., reading the summer issue of Brandeis Magazine. What a delight! I’m hungry for more after reading “Finding the Inner Foodie” and learning of so many accomplished alums whose careers involve food. Great job on keeping us informed, interested and connected with our alma mater — through both the food features and the other sections of the magazine, which were all very well done.

Allen Alter ’71
New York, N.Y.

Congratulations to you and your staff on producing an excellent issue of the Brandeis alumni magazine. While I’m not a “foodie,” I enjoyed reading about the passion of other alumni.

Jeremy Silverfine ’79
Belmont, Mass.

Now that’s the kind of alumni magazine that’s worth reading! I’m impressed. Thanks for doing a food issue and limiting the who-cares articles as much as possible. I love food. And Brandeis.

Rebecca Handler ’95
San Francisco, Calif.

Gourmet Cruelty

As the first women’s studies major at Brandeis, I studied the marginalization and oppression of women. I am now involved in protecting animals who suffer far worse marginalization and oppression. There are wellresearched links between animal oppression and human oppression. That is why I was disturbed and saddened to see “Not Your Grandma’s Chopped Liver” in the most recent edition of Brandeis Magazine.

The article featured Michael Ginor ’85, who owns and operates Hudson Valley Foie Gras, one of two foie gras production facilities in the United States. Just because a successful business owner is an alumnus does not necessarily mean he should be celebrated in Brandeis Magazine. Most people who do not follow the issues involved in the animal exploitation industries do not know about the cruelty involved in producing foie gras.

Foie gras — French for fatty liver — is the grossly enlarged liver of a duck or goose. Medically known as hepatic lipidosis, foie gras is a disease marketed as a delicacy. Birds raised for this gourmet cruelty are force-fed enormous quantities of food through a long metal pipe three times a day. This process of deliberate and painful overfeeding continues for up to a month, by which time the birds’ livers have swelled up to 12 times their healthy size.

The process of forced feeding is so traumatic, and the confinement and conditions on foie gras farms so debilitating, that the preslaughter mortality rate for foie gras production is up to 20 times the average rate on other duck factory farms.

As for the veterinarians who say foie gras is not inhumane, I have run across this notion before with all sorts of animal abuse issues where vets were involved in animal-use industries. Often they are financially motivated to turn a blind eye to what normal people would consider to be abuse or have become so inured to animal cruelty that they are unable to be trusted as experts on the level of inhumaneness involved. There is a term for this — “regulatory capture” — which means that those who are entrusted with regulating a practice dominated by an industry instead advance the commercial interests of that industry.

Karen Levenson ’79
Toronto, Canada
Levenson is director of the Animal Alliance of Canada/Environment Voters.

Thumbs Down on New Look

I just received the foodie issue and immediately noticed the new logo and font for the title. Is this just for the magazine or for all campus branding for Brandeis? Either way, I’m writing in to offer my thumbs down. This is the first time since I graduated that I’m contacting Brandeis, so perhaps it tells you how strongly I feel. That is such a bland font that I wondered if I was receiving an advertising supplement. What is the goal of your change? I’m confused and alienated.

Shireen Deboo ’94
Seattle, Wash.

Can we have a word?

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