While I myself am not Jewish and have only had a Passover seder once with friends as a kid, I love learning about holiday traditions from around the world. And while many here in the states celebrate Passover, it’s undeniably a holiday that began in the old world, long ago, in Israel. It is a beautiful holiday full of symbolism and spirituality as well as one with food at it’s center!
Here is a bit about the holiday as well as how you and yours who celebrate Pesach can make it healthier, vegan and eco-friendly!
The Quintessentially Eco Seder Plate
The seder plate is one heavy in symbolism. Each ingredient on the plate stands for something and below, I listed them with vegan alternatives ; )
Horseradish for Maror – Check out Silver Spring Organic Prepared Horseradish. It’s certified organic by Oregon Tilth as well as kosher. Or make your won with all organic, natural ingredients.
Parsley for Karpas – Opt for local as well as organic.
Charoset – Use your favorite charoset recipe and be sure to make it with organic and locally sourced ingredients!
Eggs for Baytzah – For vegans, go for an organic chunk of pan fried or baked tofu instead of the hard boiled egg.
The Meal – There are all sorts of great Kosher recipes for Passover. From matzo ball soup to vegan gefilte fish, there are lots of ways to green your Passover menu. But the best rule of thumb is simply to get as many organic and local ingredients as possible, regardless of where you get your recipes. Beyond that, if you’re looking to lower your impact, try serving a vegetarian or better yet, vegan meal! Check out this week’s recipes!
The Service – If you can, try to use reusable cups, wine glasses, plates, and silverware. This way, you’ll have the least amount of disposable waste — and of course, make sure you put your dishes in the dish washer! It’s far more water efficient than washing by hand.
If you are looking to pick up something new for the occasion, check out eco-friendly tableware like glassware made from recycled glass such as trycycle or plates made from bamboo. If you do go with something disposable, look into biodegradable and compostable plates, cups, and utensils. For something a little less formal, check out the offerings from WorldCentric or the compostable cups from Greenware. For something with some eco-chic to it, check out VerTerra’s plates, bowls, and platters made from nothing but fallen leaves and water.
THE Matzah – There are a bunch of options for organic spelt and organic whole-wheat matzah. Like the following:
- Handmade Shmurah Matzah made with 100% certified organic spelt from Matzahonline.com.
- Haddar 18-Minute Organic Spelt Matzah and Matzah Meal from KCKosherCoop.com
- Chicago’s Original Organic Matzah. It’s made in the U.S. and it’s certified organic and free of any GMOs.
- Organic Spelt Matzah from Chabad of greater Dayton
And be sure to keep it green by wrapping your organic matzah in an organic cotton napkin when you hide the afikomen.
Don’t Forget The Wine – Go organic as well as kosher! Organic Kosher wines exist and here’s the list:
- Yarden Chardonnay Odem Organic
- Odem Vineyard in the northern Golan in Israel has been farmed organically since 1998. You can buy it online at Kosherwine.com for $16.99 a bottle.
- Four Gates Winery. Four Gates, located in the Santa Cruz Mountins in California, produces organic and Kosher chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, and cabernet franc. The grapes are certified organic by the CCOF and the vines are not irrigated.
- Baron Herzog Wine Cellars. Ranging from cabernet sauvignon to brut champagne, Herzog Wine Cellars produces Kosher and Mevushal wines. While not certified organic, many of the wines use grapes that have been sustainably grown.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, make it a healthy, happy and green one! Happy Pesach!