Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More Proof That Kashrus Buzzwords Don't Mean Anything

I've known for a while that kashrus has been moving away from actual kashrus to marketing. For example, I posted last December about a package of unprocessed barley needing two (I guess one isn't good enough) hechsherim.

Today's Jewish Press has a gem of a letter from Dr. Yitzchock Levine:

Today I saw in a store a self-heating meal labeled “Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage, Pareve.” Over the kashrus symbol giving the name of the supervising rabbi, there was Hebrew lettering that read “Glatt Kosher.”

I can’t wait to call this rabbi and ask him how they check the lungs of the cabbage and rice that are in this product!

It is so comforting to see a kashrus standard namely Glatt Kosher, Pareve that our great-grandparents never enjoyed.

More proof that kashrus "buzzwords" such as "Glatt Kosher," "Mehadrin" and "Chassidishe..." are losing their true meanings and are becoming mere marketing tools.

The Wolf

14 comments:

-suitepotato- said...

I don't take part in the "whose hechsher is more reliable" at all. I default to dan l'kaf zechus (a phrase oddly popping up on the Internet quite a bit) as if their hechsher is said to be no good, then it is tantamount to saying their semicha is no good either and they should not be considered a rabbi.

I'm not going to get into that nonsense.

ProfK said...

Kashrut symbols as cachet. My husband recounted last Shabbos how the Chinese are really hopping on the kosher product bandwagon--some 300 companies that are producing products under the OU. One company, recognizing that an OU symbol on the package lends some sort of higher level of consumer assurance, sent the OU mashgichim in China plastic fruit they manufacture, asking for the OU hechsher for the product. No stranger I suppose then checking the lungs of cabbages.

Anonymous said...

Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass. "’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. "It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’"

KT
Joel Rich

concernedjewgirl said...

Its all about the money.

In regards to your vote at the top of your blog with whom is to blame for Gas at $4...will we be asking the same question when it is $7 or even better $10? Just asking :-)

BrooklynWolf said...

In regards to your vote

Actually, that's a Google ad. I have little control over that.

The Wolf

Eees said...

Silly Wolfish, of course cabbages have lungs! Where do you think Xavier Roberts got all those Cabbage Patch Kids from?

Ezzie said...

Well put.

I love the people who say they don't hold of [pick large, recognized hechsher] because they've heard this or that - but if you ask them if they'll eat at certain restaurants or if they eat at other people's houses, they have no problem with it. Kashrus is a political game and nothing more all too often.

aaron from L.A. said...

There's this new hashgacha;it's called the "Frum Union"...they're putting the FU on everything.

Rich Perkins said...

ProfK said... "One company, recognizing that an OU symbol on the package lends some sort of higher level of consumer assurance, sent the OU mashgichim in China plastic fruit they manufacture, asking for the OU hechsher for the product."

I'm surprised the OU didn't grant such a hashgacha just to make. And if you think it is bad in the US, just come on over to Israel where it is completely insane

BrooklynWolf said...

they're putting the FU on everything.

Reminds me of this great line of Oscar's from the Odd Couple (the 1968 movie):

"You leave me little notes on my pillow. I told you a hundred-and-sixty-eight times I can't .. stand .. little notes on my pillow! 'We are all out of Corn Flakes. -F.U.' It took me three hours to figure out that 'F.U.' was Felix Ungar!"

The Wolf

Rich Perkins said...

Ezzie said . . . "Kashrus is a political game and nothing more all too often."

If you think it is bad in the US, come on over to Israel. It is completely insane. They have 2 hashgachot on everything because there is always someone who wo't trust it for some crazy reason.

Plus, their seem to be a lot more people in Israel who love to pile on chumras.

aml said...

A rabbi friend of mine who used to supervise factories for a large kosher organization told me a story about 10 years ago... his organization was a conversation with a large domestic beer brewing company. When he explained that they did need a hecsher, they didn't care. They said that its a marketing tool well worth the cost.

If you think about it, they're right... if you had to choose between two equally good brands of beer, you like them both, they both cost the same... even if you know that domestic beer doesn't need a hecsher, you're more inclined to get the one with the hecsher. Well at least I am... its a sickness I think!

Garnel Ironheart said...

I once ate at a milchig restaurant in Israel that advertised itself as Glatt Kosher. Boy, did I have trouble explaining that one to my chiloni cousins.

aaron from L.A. said...

I know this guy who is so machmir in Kashrus,he won't even eat in his own house!