The Story of MitzvahMeat

Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein

Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein is a physician who practices integrative pediatric neurology. She is involved in many community food projects, including speaking to parents and educators about the impact of  nutrition on neurological development and academic success. She has recently joined forces with to help spread the word on a national level.  In addition to her neurology practice, Dr Shetreat-Klein is a fellow in the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine program founded and run by Dr. Andrew Weil.

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Welcome to MitzvahMeat, a fledgling source of kosher, ethically raised and slaughtered, grass-fed meat from local New York farms.   We are a meat co-op that will supply the New York Metropolitan area, with sites planned in Riverdale, Westchester, and New Jersey.

The name Mitzvah Meat is a playful approach to a very serious problem facing the Jewish community and our country at large.  The problems are many, including how animals are treated during their life, what they are fed, how it eventually impacts their nutritional value, and how they are treated at the time of their death. 

As a pediatric neurologist, I treat children who are victims of nutritional deficiencies even in the face of unlimited and even excessive food.  Evidence-based studies support the benefits of nutrition in treating many child and adult neurological disorders, often with efficacy equal to the typically used medications.  As I’ve educated myself and treated patients in this way, I’ve been awed by the success of an integrative nutritional approach to neurological and behavioral disorders.  It is deeply rewarding to offer patients the option to improve symptoms through treating the underlying problem when they were previously provided only a band-aid through medication. 

In this way, MitzvahMeat was borne out my desire to provide a source of locally-raised healthy meat for my family and my kosher patients.  My reasons for doing it while working as a full-time physician and parent of three have snowballed, as I’ve learned more about nutrition, locally-raised food, and ethical issues with regard to slaughter.

It has become clear to me that our food dollars are the most powerful way to voice our outrage against the unethical and unhealthy way that our food reaches our dinner tables. 

Stay tuned for upcoming CSAs (community supported agriculture) among many other opportunities brought to you by MitzvahMeat to feed yourself and your family well.