Opinion | The Importance of the Sustainable Seder

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By Joshua Bloom

The story of Passover recounts the experiences of the Israelites who fled slavery and oppression in Egypt — securing the future of the next generation of Jews.

The food we eat during the Passover seder is part of this story-telling, turning foods into powerful symbols. At Weavers Way Co-op, we believe how you get that food should also be a part of the story. By showing a commitment to eating sustainably, we demonstrate our continued dedication to future generations.

Here are some tips for a sustainable seder:

 

  1. Shop wisely. Locally grown and produced items, as well as fairly traded goods exemplify a commitment to sustainable communities and local economies. Weavers Way, as a cooperatively owned grocer, is led by cooperative principles, one of which is “concern for community.” The products we sell reflect that concern. We seek out farmers, vendors and suppliers that source humanely raised meats and nutritious food that is made with fair labor and that produces the smallest carbon footprint possible. We make transparent our food sourcing as much as possible. By knowing where your food comes from and how it was produced, you have the opportunity to share foods that support communities and the environment.
  2. According to the World Economic Forum, every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. The main cause of the increase in plastic production is plastic packaging. Ask your butcher to wrap your brisket or whole chicken in paper. Avoid plastic bags. Bring your own grocery bags and, when possible, shop bulk. When you’re shopping for something you don’t typically use or only need a small amount of – maybe the nuts for your charoset – buy a small amount from the bulk section eliminating the waste of food and packaging materials.
  3. Know in advance what you plan to make. Planning your menu carefully and shopping in a focused way can help cut down on the number of trips to the store. Call ahead to be sure the store select actually carries what you’re looking for in order to avoid wasting time and gas making multiple stops. Of course, be on the lookout for specials. Most of all, preparation means more time to reflect and enjoy the seder!

 

As we gather at our seders, teaching our children, honoring our elders, and sharing the stories of our ancestors, we demonstrate a deep commitment to our community. By incorporating elements of sustainability into our seders, we take this commitment into the future, with the hope that our descendants have access to safe and healthful environments and foods, no less empowered and robust communities.

Joshua Bloom is the board president of Weaver’s Way.

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