Yaela Goldblatt, Providence, RI: Providence Hebrew Day School, Grade 6

Stranded in Montana

Back when my parents were growing up in Connecticut, it was hard to go into any store and find a lot of certified kosher foods. People would read the labels and look to see that there were no non-kosher ingredients used in the product. Of course there were Kosher stores around here and there that carried certified Kosher foods. If you were lucky there was a Kosher butcher. This was the case if you lived near a big city like New York or Boston. If you were “unlucky” enough to find yourself stranded in Montana, you could buy some fruits/vegetables or maybe some canned food that had no non-kosher ingredients listed.

Today, it could be even harder because a company could process a food on the same equipment that they make non-kosher food on, but you wouldn’t know that. Thanks to organizations like the OU if you find yourself “stranded in Montana”, you would find some kosher foods from national companies. One would be able to go into a grocery store and look on a shelf and find canned, frozen, or packaged food bearing the OU symbol. This would assure you that the products were certified Kosher. Of course you could still buy the fruits and vegetables.

Breads, baked goods, and dairy items might be a little harder to find in Montana, but there are always national products like Dannon Yogurt (although not all their products are Kosher anymore). Let’s not forget M & M’s, Hershey Bars, and Duncan Hines cake mixes, all national products (of course you would have to find the other ingredients to make the cake mix). Things like Cheerios, Skippy Peanut Butter and Fluff (a staple in many homes) should be available. As you can see, you would not starve if you were “stranded in Montana”, you just might not have a large variety of foods. Of course let’s not forget about having food shipped to Montana. If you have computer access/Internet service, Kosher food could be delivered to your door the next day ready to eat.

If all else fails, contact the OU and they might be able to tell you of a rabbi they work with in Montana (or find the nearest Chabad Center).