Consumer Kosher

Eich Noflim Giborim

January 23, 2008

In the past three months, Klal Yisroel suffered the loss of two remarkable individuals, Gedolim in their own rights, who for many years maintained a special relationship with the OU. Each left an indelible imprint on the OU, and in a broader sense, profoundly influenced the world of Kashrus. These two giants were Rav Arye Lerman, zt”l, who was niftar on the 29th day of Tamuz, 5767, and Rav Shimon Eider, zt”l, who was niftar on the 16th of Tishre, 5768.

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OU Position on Certifying Specific Animals and Birds

January 21, 2008

Daf Notes: The following article is taken from the soon to be published Sourcebook of the Three Day Harry H. Beren LA Halachic Adventure which is to take place Bs’d August 5-7. We thank Rabbi Seth Mandel and Rabbi Chaim Loike for their efforts in transcribing Rav Yisroel Belsky Shlita’s response concerning the specific animals and birds listed below.

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Cholov Yisroel Ricotta Production/First Exclusively-OU Cholov Yisroel Product Ever

January 21, 2008

On Sunday evening, November 25th, I joined Dr. Simcha Katz, Chairman of the OU’s Joint Kashrus Commission, Rabbi Avrohom Juravel, head of OU Kashrus Technical Services, and a group of senior OU Kashrus staff for a special kashering and production at a well-established ricotta cheese company. The evening’s protocol was to kasher the cheese facility’s cholov stam equipment and to supervise an overnight production of cholov Yisroel ricotta for an OU-certified ‘heimishe‘ manufacturer of upscale Italian specialty products.

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Halachos of Hafrashas Challah

January 18, 2008

We are all familiar with the mitzvah of hafrashas challah. When baking large amounts of bread, cake, or cookies, we make a berachah and take off a small piece of dough as the challah. Many bake extra dough in order to be able to perform this special mitzvah.

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Dear Rabbi, How Do You Make Kosher Wine?

December 24, 2007

The Orthodox Union receives many inquiries about certification of wine. This is a typical response, as written by Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator.

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Everything’s Popping! (With the OU and Popcorn)

December 24, 2007

According to http://www.popcorn.org, Americans consume in excess of 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually – or about 54 quarts for every man, woman and child. The world’s primary popcorn producing region is the Midwestern United States and an entire food industry has grown up around it.
Why is popcorn so popular? Because it is nutritional, versatile and delicious! Popcorn is an easily prepared whole grain snack. Without butter or other additions, popcorn is about 31 – 55 calories per cup. It goes with almost anything, and can accept a wide variety of flavor enhancements. Today, you don’t have to do much work to enjoy this treat. While of course one can still purchase raw popcorn and either air or oil pop it, microwave popcorn has become ubiquitous. In fact, the first test of the microwave on food in the 1940’s was popcorn. By the 1990’s this product niche had over $240 million in sales. And while salt and butter remain the most popular flavors, today’s marketplace is full of gourmet popcorns — and not only caramel. There are cheese flavors, chocolate covered, nut balls and new flavor trends like jalapeno, too.

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Here’s Something to Chew On: How Granola Brings Benefits to Health-Conscious Consumers

December 24, 2007

Americans today are looking for alternatives. This trend has manifested itself in many different areas but is perhaps the most pronounced in the health sector. How often do we hear about alternative medicine? As a result, more and more Americans are electing to have a homeopath, chiropractor, or kinesiologist be their primary care physician in place of the more conventional medical doctor. In a word, Americans are looking to lead a more ‘natural’ lifestyle. After all, what can be better than what nature itself has to offer?

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Brandy Is Dandy, But Needs Special Attention to Be Kosher as Well

December 19, 2007

Brandy is short for brandywine and is derived from the Dutch brandewijn, meaning burnt, or distilled, wine. The alcohol for brandy is produced by fermenting fruits to produce wine. Because fermentation is a result of the action of microbes in yeast, there is a natural limit to the alcohol content of the fermented material. When the alcohol concentration reaches a level of about 12 percent, fermentation stops. The reason is that the alcohol kills any remaining yeast so that no more alcohol is produced; the limit of alcohol content in wine, therefore, is around 12 percent. There is, however, a type of bacteria, called acetobacter, which thrives on alcohol, turning it into vinegar, thereby souring the wine. Thus, wine is ordinarily subject to two drawbacks in quality: The one is a limit to its strength, the other, a limit to its shelf life.

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Profile: Meeting the Demands of Shemittah:

December 18, 2007

Israeli Farmer Ariel Porat Speaks with Journalist Michael Freund

It’s that time of year again in the Jewish State. An entire industry has shut down, workers are refraining from taking up their posts, and their tools and machinery lie about idly gathering dust.

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Shemittah For The Clueless

December 18, 2007

“And the land shall rest” (Vayikra 25:1-7).

Every seventh year, residents of the land of Israel are reminded that the land that flows with milk and honey is God’s property and domain. He grants the bounty of the six “regular” years and He commands that the land lie fallow during the seventh year, the shemittah year. During this period, landowners are required to relinquish ownership of their produce–whatever grows on their property must be made accessible to all. In this way, shemittah also serves as an antidote to greed and stinginess. Special halachot regarding the sanctity of the produce also prohibit their disposal as well as their profitable sale.

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