Google “Sabra Hummus” and a few suggested topics down, you’ll find something like Sabra boycott or Sabra controversy. For someone who considers hummus among her top five favorite foods, this is particularly upsetting.
What is the Sabra controversy?
About a year ago, students in Princeton University’s Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) boycotted the fact that the only hummus sold on campus was Sabra. The group explained that Sabra is partially owned by the Strauss group, an Israeli company known for supporting the Golani Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces, a group that has been accused of numerous human rights violations. The boycott gained national attention and spread to DePaul University.
[Interesting note: Sabra’s other owner is PepsiCo. Could that mean that by association, PepsiCo has a hand in supporting this group of the Israeli Defense Forces]
Where is the Sabra controversy now?
The student protests have been unsuccessful in banning the sale of Sabra, but the issue has gained attention.
Articles about the boycotts have run in student newspapers (Loyolla University in Chicago published a story just this month) and national outlets such as the New York Times and Huffingtonpost. The company does not appear to have made a formal comment.
I am a student at Temple University in Philadelphia, and while I am proud of some of my university’s efforts to appease vegetarian lifestyles (i.e. a vegan station in the main dining hall and a commitment to Meatless Mondays), I was surprised to see Sabra pretzels and hummus for sale at a campus café. Fortunately, while the grocery store closest to campus sells Sabra, it also has plenty of alternative choices.
What are your choices?
As far as I know (and as far as I can gather), no other hummus companies have any alleged association with human rights violations. As with any food you it, it is important to see where it came from. When possible, it is most eco-friendly to buy products that are made locally, but since most of us live pretty far from chickpea farms, this can be difficult. To decide which brand is right for you, a little research goes a long way. My personal favorite brand in Cedar’s but it is sold primarily in the greater-Boston area, and I have yet to find it in Philadelphia.
Making your own hummus
Of course, you can always try making your own. Because hummus has four primary ingredients (chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil), it is fairly simple to make and just requires a food processor or blender. If you’re feeling creative, it is a great food to experiment with as you can add any of your favorite veggies or spices
to give it an extra kick.
I suggest serving your concoction with warm pita bread, but you can dip anything from crackers and pretzels to carrots cucumbers. Enjoy!
How do you spice up your hummus?