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.