Eco-Kosher Jews Fulfill Religious Obligations At The Dinner Table


Photo: Sara Novak

Diet has always played a major role in the Jewish faith. But according to a recent article in the LA times, for some Jews eco and kosher now go hand in hand.For eco-kosher Jews, fulfilling your religious obligation to respect the planet means ethical eating at the dinner table, according to a recent article in the LA Times. For Joanna Arch and her husband that means serving a sustainable Sabbath dinner using organic and local foods to "elevate their practice of Judaism." The couple indulged in homemade goat cheese with various herbs and a ratatouille made with home-canned tomatoes.

"Jewish tradition has a lot to say about the use of land, the treatment of animals, and workers," said Nigel Savage, Hazon's executive director. "Jewish tradition should heighten our awareness of the choices we are making."

Hazon Leads the Way
Hazon, is an organization devoted to creating a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community and is working to create the first CSAs in the American Jewish community, as well as educating the public on local food issues.

Magen Tzedek Adopted After Slaughterhouse Backlash
Most recently a new certification, Magen Tzedek, or shield of righteousness was adopted when a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa was accused of abusing workers, animals, and the planet last year and rabbis quickly responded. The certification sets standards for protecting workers and the environment. Some Businesses have also started to adopt kosher grass fed beef.

According to kosher foods expert Giora Shimoni, eco-kosher connects modern ecological responsibility with kosher, ancient Jewish dietary laws about food production, preparation and eating including ritual slaughter and the separation of meat and milk. The term was in fact adopted in the 1970s by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, renowned for his tendency to fuse together old and new approaches to Judaism.

More on Sustainable Eating:
Enjoy Local, Farm-Fresh Foods All Year Round
Ready, Set, Green Week Two: Eating My Way Green
How to Find Restaurants That Use Organic and Local Food

Tags: Food Miles