Kosher-for-Passover processed foods are increasingly available. From cake mixes, candies, and snacks, a lot of these foods are junk food and playing off our vulnerability. Most of us relate Passover with food restriction and deprivation rather than food freedom.
“Junk food” refers to low quality, low nutritional value processed foods. Junk foods contain detrimental ingredients including, but not limited to, sugars, saturated fats and sodium. More and more, we are understanding that eating processed food is an addictive experience. It is not a matter of willpower; sadly, junk food is scientifically engineered to get us hooked. Eating junk foods is a main cause of the global obesity epidemic.
This Kosher-for-Passover-processed-junk-foods phenomenon has more to do with the American food industry than with the Jewish holiday of Passover. It feels especially ironic that Kosher-for-Passover processed foods are marketed to us during this holiday of liberation where we are asked to reflect on freedom from slavery, oppression, and confinement.
It is a bit perplexing that Jewish people driven to uphold Kosher-for-Passover standards and being very diligent about avoiding whole food chametz are at the same time consuming, unconsciously, Kosher-for-Passover processed junk foods.
Here are 2 compelling reasons to Avoid Kosher-for-Passover Junk food this year:
Break Free of Our Addiction to Junk Foods
Aligned with the spirit of Passover, it is an excellent time to break free of our addiction to junk foods. As such it is a perfect time to make ethical food choices that are also healthier for our bodies. With more and more Kosher-for-Passover “junk” food available, we have to be more disciplined about our eating habits during the holidays and say “no” to foods that are not serving our bodies and our environment. Just because we can eat Kosher-for-Passover processed food, does not mean we should. Passover has the potential to be a healthy physical experience. Eating junk foods during the holiday is really a wasted opportunity to feel “free” in our own body.
Many adults use children as an excuse to buy and serve processed junk foods. Yes, junk foods are highly attractive to children and it is our job to protect them from these types of foods. When we give our children processed junk foods we are basically promoting more diet-based health problems for our children. Obesity, chronic illness, low self-esteem, and depression can all be linked to poor diet.
Kosher-for-Passover-processed-junk-foods are not “Kosher” as they are neither fit or proper for the human body.
As a positive alternative to Kosher-for-Passover junk foods, we can:
Cook For Ourselves
We can make our own sweet treats for Passover. Even if these foods are not as healthy as they could be, they will be healthier than store bought processed foods and since it takes time and effort to prepare them, we will eat them less.
Here are two of my Kosher-for-Passover treats
Enjoy Plant Foods
The modern Passover side story that we tell ourselves about food deprivation is not serving us (pun intended) in these times. Whether you follow Sephardic or Ashkenazi tradition, we can center our plates and our diet predominately around plant foods like fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables from the squash family and roots tubers like potato and sweet potato during Passover. If we eat Kitniyot (I do and here is why) we can eat legumes and rice too.
These are just a few ways that we can break the Kosher-for-Passover mindset that we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years. You’ll feel much more connected to your body and the intentions of Passover when you focus on health-conscious meals for you and your family.
Do you have any more ideas for how we can break this Kosher-for-Passover processed food mentality?
If you are looking for healthy whole food plant based recipes for the Jewish holidays, you’ll love the Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Plant-Based Recipes