The Sustainable Passover Seder

I had a blast at my good friends' Passover Seder last night. Awesome people, an exciting story ("Let my people go!" Moses demands each year), and terrific food. My wife and I made the matzo ball soup again this year, this time a more local, organic version - free range chickens, organic chicken broth, home-made matzo balls (with locally raised cage-free eggs, all from The Wedge Co-op) - and even the kids asked for more.

The Jew and the Carrot featured a great post about how to make a sustainable Passover Seder this week, including tips for which ingredients can be found locally (apples for the charoset, greens, eggs, turnips, horseradish, lamb shank in Minnesota) and which ones are available in organic versions (pecans, all of the above). Here's an excerpt (Yiddish included her at no additional fee):

Serve local / ethically-sourced meat. Meat dishes like chicken soup with matzah balls and brisket are traditional favorites for Pesach. Try buying your meat from the person who raised it (or as close to that as possible. Where to shop: farmers’ markets, meat order co-ops, local butcher shops (ask them where the meat comes from). If you’re looking for kosher organic meat, try ordering from Wise Kosher, which is double certified organic and kosher.

This is a great example of how thinking about traditional food can help us make healthier, better choices. My grandmother would never have looked for local food, organic food, or sustainable food - she might not have even known what those things were. But she clearly served whole foods, foods that her mother cooked, foods that her grandmother's neighbors sold them.

My great-grandmother would not have had to seek out "local" foods because they would have been readily available to her. Today, we're fortunate that finding delicious, good food is relatively easy and affordable.


Two things...please send me your recipe for matzoh ball soup--I love it but haven't had it in way too long. Secondly, for the sake of arguing, while I agree we could all do a little more in terms of shopping locally, think of how much more robust our diets can be because we have access to foods outside our perimeter. Not only does it help ward off monotony, it gives our palates new experiences and our bodies vitamins and minerals that we might not be able to get if we, for example, were stuck looking for local fruit and vegetable options in MN in the dead of winter.
Hi Michelle, Thanks for the note! I will send the recipe (or post it here), hopefully yet today. And I totally agree with your point about access to foods that help ward off monotony and provide additional nutrients. My goal is to be more mindful when I make my choices - I want to eat the foods that are available locally from local places (largely because I think they taste better), and to expand my knowledge and consumption of local stuff for the same reasons. But I'm not giving up bananas, oranges, chocolate, coffee, turmeric, etc. No way. Wanna fight? :-) Thanks again! -Lee
Great post - I want your matzoh ball soup recipe as well! I trade it for my chopped chicken liver recipe :-)
[...] Spring is in the air! For my family, that means loads of birthday celebrations, along with Easter, Passover, and May Day. We celebrate whenever we [...]

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