Why The OU Bugged A Mathematician Or Why I’m Going To Think Twice Before Buying Any Packaged Product
Did you know that when you purchase packaged fruits and vegetables, you are buying food that may contain bugs? They’re not listed on the label. You never see it mentioned on TV commercials and in newspaper advertisements. But they might be in there.
Vegetables have forever been a basic staple of a person’s diet. Rich in fiber and vitamins, God’s gift to mankind is essential to maintaining one’s health. Unexpectedly, certain types of vegetables also provide a good source of protein. Vegetables rich in protein are those that provide a safe haven for insects, with the protein found in the insect itself. This trend has made the kosher certification of vegetables highly challenging. Insects are naturally found in the environment and in farm fields. However, kosher law strictly prohibits the consumption of insects.
Pesach Kashrus professionals are familiar with the intricacies of ingredients and food production. Often, consumers who have health concerns contact kashrus agencies in order to obtain information about foods and ingredients. This is especially true when it comes to Pesach. Before Pesach, the consumer information lines at the major Kashrus agencies are constantly ringing. Many of these consumers ask question about Pesach and their health needs. This article will discuss some of the ways in which Pesach certified foods may impact on health issues. However, it is important to note that kashrus agencies and Rabbonim are not health specialists. Persons who need guidance with respect to health matters should obtain advice from qualified health specialists, not from kashrus agencies.
HaModia, March 29, 2006
Once, not long ago, executives of a global health-nutritional manufacturing company met with representatives of a kosher certifying agency. One of the topics the certifying agency was keen on raising was the Jewish community’s need for Passover certified infant formulas. Outside of Israel few, if any, infant formulas are produced and certified specifically for Passover. Would the health nutrition company, already certified kosher for its infant formulas year-round by the agency, be interested in producing a Passover certified product? After discussing the measures that would need to be taken to certify the product for Pesach, the executives were not willing to commit to the project. The economic incentive for producing a special Passover infant formula did not, apparently, justify the disruption in standard production nor the limitations on ingredients suppliers the manufacturer would have to accommodate.
Dating back to the time of Moses, the practice had always been to make matzah by hand. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, however, things changed. In France, in 1838, Isaac Singer invented the first machine for baking matzah.
The Mitzvah of tevilas keilim is alluded to in Bamidbar 31:23 where Elazar HaKohen instructs the army returning from war with Midyan regarding the booty they have captured “Kol davar asher yavoh ba’aish ta’averu ba’aish v’taher”—All utensils that have been used to cook ma’achalos assuros must be purged of the flavor they have absorbed in the manner that they were used. V’taher—they are then made tahor through an added step of purification.
Milk and dairy products are increasingly available with cholov Yisroel certification. This article will explain what cholov Yisroel means and how facilities operate in order to produce cholov Yisroel. Let’s take a look.
The most fundamental aspect of supervision is to ensure that all ingredients meet the kashrus requirements of the kashrus agency. Baking companies use a vast number of ingredients, more than most other industry. In addition to the obvious and somewhat innocuous use of basic flours, the full range of ingredients requiring intense certification is used. For example: oils and shortening, egg products, emulsifiers, flavors and enzymes. Product formulas must be reviewed and monitored to make sure than no pareve products contain dairy ingredients.
Let us take a close look at the trip these baked goods took from the time the flour was milled until it was brought into the Jewish home. Is it as simple process as one is wont to assume? While many of us bake at home, the neighborhood bakery is a very different type of operation. As we will see, the neighborhood bakery is significantly more complex and has its unique kashrus issues.
In order to assist you, our customer, benefit from the OU kosher certification, the OU would like to present eight points to remember when purchasing the products we certify.