The OU's Kosher Tidbits

We’re FOR Grain, Not Against It

There's grain and there's grain. Of the many different types, Jewish law only accords special recognition to five of them. The ramifications of this distinction are numerous; let Rabbi Eli Gersten, the OU Kashruth Rabbinic Coordinator charged with recording OU Psak and Policy, be your guide! Tune in as he touches on such topics as brachos, Shabbos, taking challah, gluten allergies, and more. Come "wheat" Rabbi Gersten and the issues will be "spelt" out!

Whose Food is it Anyway?

Sometimes, you need to juggle two volumes of the Shulchan Aruch at the same time! A case in point involves doing business with non-kosher food. Join Rav Hershel Schachter, one of OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, as he examines such questions as: Are there foods a Jew mayn’t sell? Are there foods a Jew mayn’t even own? Is a Jewish stock-holder considered an owner in the eyes of the Halacha? Tune in - you’ll see it was a good investment!

Why is This Chemical Different from All Other Chemicals?

There are some chemicals that enhance the taste of food, but some chemicals are lethal. How does the OU handle both? Join Rabbi Eliyahu W. Ferrell, a Rabbinic Coordinator with OU Kashruth, as he examines the halachos and science behind the kashrus certification of inedibles and animal-derivatives. Glycerin seasoned with glass-cleanser may not be so delicious, but you’ll enjoy this Tidbit anyway!

The Berachos on Cold Cereals: A Hot Topic

Wake up hungry? Want some cereal? Get a spoon, a bowl--and listen to this Tidbit! In this installment, Rabbi Eli Gersten, the Rabbinic Coordinator with OU Kashruth charged with recording OU Psak and Policy, discusses the berachos made on breakfast cereals. He'll give you an overview of some of the fundamentals of the laws of berachos, and describe how crucial it is to know how cereals are made. Tune in, and you'll be ready for action when it's "crunch" time! If you have questions or comments for Rabbi Gersten please send them to:

It’s Dairy. And Parve. Sort Of. In a Way…

Some foods just can't make up their minds! If I prepare a parve food in a clean dairy utensil, it's treated like dairy in some ways and parve in now what do I do? Join Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, a Rabbinic Coordinator with OU Kashruth possessing unparalleled expertise in dairy products, as he explores the mysteries of "DE" foods. You'll have your eyes opened as he discusses why the looks of an ingredient panel can be deceiving--surprise cheese powder, anyone..? Even the allergen data could mislead the kosher consumer! Tune in and en"cow"nter this a"moo"zing presentation! If you have questions or comments for Rabbi Gordimer please send them to:

The “DE” Foods: Can a Product be “Sort” of Parve?

Perhaps the question most frequently asked of the OU is, “Does this OU-Dairy product actually contain dairy?” This question is of particular interest to those observing supra-legal kashrus stringencies with respect to dairy products. Join Rabbi Binyomin Geiger, the public face of OU Kashruth on the OU Hot-Line, as he discusses this deceptively complex topic. Find out if ingredient panels can assist the curious consumer, and learn once and for all the reasons the OU does not put “DE” on its labels!

What’s Cooking With Kosher Tea?

You may want us to “leaf” you alone, but there really are kashrus issues with tea! Rabbi Akiva Tendler, a Rabbinic Coordinator with OU Kashruth, masterfully weaves together the Torah and the technology of tea manufacture. Enzymes, acid, rice—all kinds of kashrus surprises are in store, so come “oolong” with Rabbi Tendler.

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