Food is never something lacking at Jewish celebrations, but, like most things in life, their environmental footprint keeps expanding, whether the factory-farmed chicken that ends up in the soup pan, or the throwaway plastic cutlery destined to spend the next few centuries in a landfill site.
Our friends at Jewish eco-NGO, Hazon, have devised a guide for a healthy, sustainable Purim that brings together traditional Jewish faith with modern concerns about unsustainable consumption. Purim is also an occasion when booze flows freely, so their tips come well in advance of the festival itself, which starts on Thursday 20 March.
One suggestion is ditching ready-made hamentaschen for fresh, ideally home-made, cakes made from wholewheat flour and fruit jam instead of bleached, artificial ingredients. If you are catering for guests, then check out Green Prophet’s list of Israeli organic farms that deliver fruit and vegetables to your door. All-important for Purim are the drinks. How ‘sustainable’ one can be quaffing alcohol until you pass out, I don’t know, but kosher organic wines are increasingly available and mixers can be made from freshly-squeezed fruit juices, which make a refreshing change to the saccharine Israeli beverages which have barely had a whiff of a real orange.
Something that Hazon don’t give advice on is what to wear or how much to drink… Needless to say, it’s a mitzvah to do both on Purim!