Book On Kashrus Reveals Dark Secrets of Food Industry


kashrus-hamazonAccording to a mythological Bnei Brak fable, the city’s Chief Rabbi Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau is one of the few people in the entire world who have been exposed to Coca Cola’s secret recipe. Otherwise, he would not have been able to grant a kosher seal of approval to the popular drink.

A new book published ahead of Pesach does not reveal the secret formula worth millions, but its authors – who are experts in the field of kashrus – definitely reveal a number of dark secrets about the food industry.

One of the most sensational discoveries made in the book – published by the Rabbinical Centre of Europe and edited by Rabbi Asher Gold – is provided by Rabbi Mordechai Sofer, head of Rav Landau’s kashrus system.

As part of the halachic discussions, one of Rabbi Sofer’s revelations is that most soft drinks claiming to have “pieces of fruit” do not really contain them. The “deceit” is made possible by mixing stabilizing substances which cause the absorption of particles from the drink and adopt its color – a problematic process requiring special kashrut supervision, which is discussed in detail in the book.

Rabbi Sofer also reveals that many companies color white beans in additional layer of white for a fresher look, and there are those who cover apples with wax in order to make their color look “livelier”.

As a rule, the rabbi says, one should not rely on the list of components provided with each product in order to determine whether it’s kosher or not, as general definitions like “flavorings” and “stabilizing materials” often conceal components which are “completely unfit for eating” according to Jewish Law.

Fruit juice defined as “100% natural” is not necessarily kosher as well, although the fruit itself is fit for eating, as the filters separating the juice from the fiber and seeds are used many times to filter non-kosher foods, and the residue blends into it. The book also claims that many companies add water to these juices, so that in any event it is not “100% natural”.

Is a kosher seal of approval needed for bacteria? Definitely. According to the book, in the United States there is a “bank” with 80,000 germs for food production, used mainly as a culture for different products such as cheese. Most are not kosher as they are stored inside the blood of cows which have not been slaughtered according to halacha. The solution: In Indonesia there is a wide production of bacteria preserved in different, kosher conditions.

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, deputy director of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, notes that the book is unique as it is appeals to the entire public and not just to the small community of people involved and specializing in kashrus issues.

“If in the past kashrut issues were reserved to experts and elected people, today we ding a public interest on the past of a large public seeking to get involved and be updated on kashrut issues.”

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. We found that the only Romaine that does not require any checking or rinsing is the Positive brand. We checked the others from Eretz Yisroel, Califiornia, Canada, etc and they had thrips, aphids, flies, etc

  2. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Tzav
    Time 6:26 PM Pacific Standard Time

    On almost every Matzav article about this subjuct, I have posted the following remarks, and thus I will post them again at this article.

    I will never forget the afternoon fourty-five years ago when I was sitting in the classroom of my fifth grade class. Our teacher related to us:

    “There are only two people in the entire world who know what is in Coca Cola;



    Many years latter, in some “table talk” conversation, I heard the following story. Rav Eliezer Silver, ZT’L, was once involved in a proposal for a Hechsher – a certification of kosher on Coke Cola.

    Now, before I go any further in the story, for those readers who are not familiar with certain principles of Halacha – Torah Law, or/and who are not familiar with certain words and terms of Lashon HaKodesh – the Holy Language, I will first explain the following.

    For there to be an issue of whether a particular item is kosher to eat or not, that item has to be some kind of a food. The defining line of what can be called a “food” is that the item must be edible enough that at least a dog could eat it. In Halacha terminology, this is called: “Roy L’Achilas Kelev” – “Fit for the consumption of a dog.”

    Now, let us continue with the story. So Rav Eliezer Silver was asked about giving a Hechsher on Coke Cola. So Rav Silver meet with the appropriate company officials; he explained to them that before he could determine if a product was kosher, he was going to need to know what were are all its ingredients — including all its secret ingredients.

    So they told him.

    At that Rav Silver exclaimed:

    “This does not need a Hechsher!!



    NO person should drink Coke Cola! Not during Pesach and not during any other time of the year!

    While Pepsi Cola may not pride itself on having any “secret ingredients,” it does not take much logic to realize that Pepsi is not too much less of a harmful material than Coke is.

    And the “Diet Coke” and the “Diet Pepsi” and all the “Diet Sodas” are all a thousand times worse!

  3. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Tzav
    Time 7:17 PM Pacific Standard Time

    In our modern society, there are many product areas where, rightly or wrongly, full ingredient disclosure is quite lacking. We have all seen countless packages of cereals, cookies, candies, cake mixes, sauces, and numerous other processed food products, where the lists of ingredients includes vague phrases like: “artificial colors,” “artificial flavoring,” “natural flavors,” etc. Furthermore, almost all conventional canned goods contain a poisonous substance of the class of chemicals called “Phenols”; this phenol substance is never listed in the ingredients list on the can label.

    Furthermore, I think that it is especially with aerosol and other spraying products like spray paints, spray deodorants, air fresheners, insect repellents, bug sprays, bee killers, weed killers, and other insecticides and pesticides, that there are two kinds of ingredients: “active ingredients” and “inert ingredients.” Active ingredients are the “main” substances, the chemicals that actually “do” the job of what the product is bought for: to freshen the air, to kill the bugs, etc. However, these main chemicals cannot exist or function or do the wanted job all by themselves. For they need to have a whole pack of other chemicals to keep them “active” and to “help” them do the job; these “other” chemicals — stabilizers, preservatives, propellants, etc., etc., etc. — that play a “supportive” role are called “inert ingredients.”

    On the label of these spray products, there will be a slot that says: “ACTIVE INGREDIENT [its chemical name (which in even small print may be three inches long)] — 3%”; then, there will be another line that says: “INERT INGREDIENTS — 97%”; but the actual names of the 50 or even 100 inert ingredients are not printed!!

    In 1998, when I was residing in Portland, Oregon, I volunteered for a tiny environmental group in their campaign for a proposed law in that year’s election. At one point of my work there, I saw the following article in their file of newspaper clippings.

    The article related a statement that had been made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The statement was that the EPA admitted that when it tests a proposed new product to determine if the item is safe, it only tests the main “active ingredient,” and if that active ingredient appears to be OK, then the EPA gives the whole product its certification and declares it “safe.” However, the EPA openly admits that it makes no tests at all on the more than 50 or even 100 “other” inert ingredients that are usually also in the product!! For the EPA explains that it does not have anywhere near the time, manpower, or resources that would be needed to make such extensive tests.

    And if the EPA makes no tests on the 50 or 100 or whatever inert ingredients, then it goes without saying that it certainly does not make any tests at all on the results of the INTERACTIONS that occur with the countless thousands of thousands of COMBINATIONS of each of the numerous ingredients (both inert and active) with each other!!

  4. coca cola is very good to get corrosion off your car’s battery terminals and it is good at dissolving enamel off teeth. You can also clean your toilet bowl with it. I would never drink it. Who knows what it can do to your insides?

  5. There is no truth to the rumor that Coke can remove corrosion from anything or enamel from teeth. I have experimented with Coke for both rust and brass corrosion to no avail, and a dentist friend of mine keeps a tooth in a jar of Coke to disprove the rumor.

    The amount of phosphoric acid (active ingredient in time tested rust remover Naval Jelly and source of the rumors) is too negligible to have any effect on corrosion or teeth.

  6. To Comment #9 from “Albert Einstein” and Comment #10 from “DIY’er and Cola Drinker”:

    Whether Coke will or will not dissolve a tooth or whether Coke can or cannot be used as a rust remover, the fact still remains that those people who do know what are Coke’s hidden ingredients clearly state that it is an item that is bad for people to drink.