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OU finally bans quinoa on Pesach

Quinoa has finally been banned to eat on Pesach, ending a debate that has lasted years and any need for vague statements on the grain that supposedly isn’t really a grain. It wasn’t expected that everyone in the OU would agree to banning the elusive new world grain, but it was literally tearing families apart. In the gray zone that is centrist modern orthodoxy, where the OU has been struggling since open orthodoxy came on the scene – many families were split on whether or not to eat the “sort of grain but not so grain like” kosher for pesach grain on pesach. The OU representative we spoke to told us that those OU Rabbis who were for keeping quinoa kosher for pesach either had vested interest in keeping quinoa processing plants open or weren’t that frum, “this is not to say that the OU employs anyone who’s yiras shamayim could be questioned, but those of a more modern tilt, who may not wear a hat on shabbos – were more likely to suggest that quinoa was a good kiruv tool.”

The funny thing about the ban is that no one really cares, you see quinoa is a very healthy grain like food and anyone who really keeps kosher on pesach – knows that the Rabbis never meant for it to be a healthy holiday. “If you want to get rid of that matza in your system eat prunes” One Rabbi told FS News as he leaving the meeting where quinoa was formally banned. “Just like we don’t mess with leniency on shabbos, we don’t eat things that may be considered chometz by anyone”, but when asked why the OU remains steadfast in its commitment to a pro-gebrokts policy, we couldn’t find anyone to comment on it.

According to many more right wing kosher agencies like the Star K and KAJ, gebrokts is what sets apart the frum from the modern. “You always hear people say things like, my father remembers when everyone ate gebrokts” , but those were different times, those same people who ate gebrokts probably worked on shabbos, didn’t cover their hair and sent their kids to public schools. America just wasn’t that frum back when your parents were kids. We tried to find a hotel that served gebrokts or quinoa on pesach and as we expected, the only hotels that served such items were the ones who had mixed swimming, Israeli dancing and no advertisement claiming daf yomi or fully stocked beis medrish.

Whether or not people will listen to the OU ban is another story. We have been told that since the OU is essentially a modern Orthodox organization that supports things like women, the state of Israel and Yeshiva University – many people don’t trust their kashrus anyway and may just ignore the ban and continue to eat quinoa anyway.

Find out more about pesach quinoa on 4torah.com

{ 77 comments… add one }
  • Mark March 12, 2012, 7:46 AM

    Prunes??? Are you crazy!!???? Prunes are assur d’oraisa because they might have bugs like raisins!

  • PeleYoetzElGiborAviAdSarShalom March 12, 2012, 8:17 AM

    Not exactly a frum satire post – but does anyone know of a real rabbi
    ( other than Hesh masquerading as one … ) who says you can simply buy costco quinoa and check it yourself ?

    • tesyaa March 12, 2012, 9:19 AM

      The Rabbi of Common Sense

      • Avrumy March 12, 2012, 9:55 AM

        The Rabbi of Common Sense died in 1986, but his te’udah is still on the wall in some places.

        • Telz Angel March 13, 2012, 10:42 AM


        • sk March 14, 2012, 4:05 PM

          As Rabbi Avi Berkowitz once said- “Haredi Jews are those who accept all of Rav Moshe’s stringencies, but none of his leniencies. Modern Orthodox Jews are those who accept all of his leniencies but none of his stringencies.”

          • Lex Luthor March 14, 2012, 4:24 PM

            Lemme guess, Rabbi Avi Berkowitz is the perfect balance?

    • Lex Luthor March 12, 2012, 12:33 PM

      You may.

  • Frum Satire fan March 12, 2012, 9:32 AM

    Let me further complicate matters by shedding some light on the facts.
    From Wikipedia:
    It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

  • Avrumy March 12, 2012, 9:56 AM

    Today’s Judaism can’t handle truthiness.

  • Frummer than you March 12, 2012, 9:59 AM

    I don’t allow my husband to buy anything that contains wheat on pesach, in case some kitnios is mixed in.

    • Chumrah Man March 12, 2012, 10:42 AM

      So no Matza then !
      How about that.

      • Mark March 12, 2012, 11:16 AM

        Don’t laugh! I read about a group of Charedim that don’t eat matza on Pesach out of fear that it may be chametz. They eat the minimum required on seder night for the mitzvah and that’s it.

        • Heshy Fried March 12, 2012, 10:23 PM

          Yeh I wrote about them years ago, but it was satire.

          • thinking outloud March 13, 2012, 1:17 AM

            but unfortunately its true.
            The Liska Rebbe, Rav Tzvi Hersh Friedlander and his chassidim only eat matzah at the Seder.
            I think VIN may have an article on it.

          • thinking outloud March 13, 2012, 1:23 AM

            The Liska Rebbe, Rav Tzvi Hersh Friedlander and his chassidim eat only at the seder; look them up.

            • Telz Angel March 13, 2012, 10:42 AM

              Chazon Ish too.

  • Lex Luthor March 12, 2012, 10:35 AM
  • Skeptic March 12, 2012, 11:04 AM

    Do you have any evidence that the OU banned quinoa? There website lists the same information as last year: “There is a difference of opinion among Rabbinic decisors (machloket ha-poskim) as to whether quinoa is considered kitniyot. Ask your Rabbi for his guidance.” I wouldn’t consider that a ban. Do you have other information?

    • Synapse March 12, 2012, 4:52 PM

      This is frum satire, nothing is true, everything is permitted. Especially interviews with FS News aka frum satire news.

      • Alter Cocker March 12, 2012, 6:29 PM

        nothing is true. That’s why I couldn’t believe Heshy got engaged!

        • Heshy Fried March 12, 2012, 11:03 PM

          Not only that, but we just opened a joint savings account

      • Skeptic March 12, 2012, 11:09 PM

        If it were funny, then I guess I would have gotten it as a joke. Since it wasn’t funny, I assumed it was a rant.

        • Synapse March 13, 2012, 9:14 AM

          IMO FS has always been hit or miss. If it’s a miss, just keep moving on.

      • A. Nuran March 13, 2012, 2:10 AM

        Heshy is one of the Hashisheen?

        • Synapse March 13, 2012, 9:13 AM

          Looks like at least one person got it.

  • Philo March 12, 2012, 11:21 AM

    Heshy, please make it clear whether this is entirely satire or a satirical take on real news.

    In other words, did the OU really ban quinoa or was that news part of the satire?

    While I always appreciate your satire, you have a large readership who could easily take things seriously.

    • Crowin' Cock March 12, 2012, 11:33 AM


      It doesn’t appear to be true, and most kashrus agenices accept it’s use it it has a hechsher for Pesach. As the Badatz has certified Osem’s quinoa, it’s perfectly fine (imho). I doubt there is anyone that will contradict them.

      I agree with you, many people could easily take the title seriously resulting in some unforeseen disasters.

      • thinking outloud March 13, 2012, 1:22 AM

        Out of all the agencies that would ban quinoa, the OU is ironically the most likely. I’ve heard from one of their posekim that because they consider themselves an international kashrus organization (as distinct from a regional organization) they have to be concerned with everyone’s chumras, (as long as those chumras are reasonable).
        Thus, whereas a regional organization can ignore the radical chumras and say that they follow minhag hamakom, the OU can’t just follow minhag hamakom…

        • Ish Yehudi March 13, 2012, 7:30 PM

          Reasonable chumras… such a paradox.

          • Yochanan March 14, 2012, 5:50 AM

            The Jewish “Sound of one hand clapping”.

    • Heshy Fried March 12, 2012, 11:05 PM

      The point of this post is to show how vague everyone is being about quinoa, how the kosher agency’s are slowly making the restrictions on quinoa harder and harder and will someday finally ban it. It is satire, but it will come true within a few years.

      • thinking outloud March 13, 2012, 1:19 AM

        Stand up now or it will go the way of the peanuts of the 1950’s (See, e.g., R’Moshe’s Teshuva on the matter)

      • A. Nuran March 13, 2012, 12:14 PM

        That’s why it’s the best kind of satire. It’s uncomfortably close to the truth.

  • Velvel Belkin March 12, 2012, 11:49 AM

    Hesh what is your source?

    • Synapse March 12, 2012, 4:52 PM

      The academy of satire.

  • Alter Cocker March 12, 2012, 12:45 PM

    Yeah, I thought it was serious. I already sent out an e-mail inquiring. Oops.

    Most of it looked like a real post, although obviously certain parts (like the interviews with “rabbis”) sounded fake.

    • tesyaa March 12, 2012, 1:07 PM

      there was no link, that was the giveaway

  • BZ March 12, 2012, 12:51 PM

    A bit off topic: I was told that according to the Rabbis who instituted kitniyos, you’re not supposed to check ingredients of products that might contain derivatives of kitniyos and that such are always kosher lepesach. So what’s up with corn syrop and other such things?

    • Avrumy March 12, 2012, 2:18 PM

      Todayís Judaism canít handle truthiness.

  • Philo March 12, 2012, 1:20 PM

    According to the CRC, there ARE some new restrictions on Quinoa for Pesach:


  • Philo March 12, 2012, 1:28 PM

    According to the CRC, there ARE some new restrictions on Quinoa for Pesach. Go to the CRC website ( c r c w e b d o t o r g ) and click on the link reading Quinoa – “Alert for Passover”

    (my other comment with the actual link is in comment limbo )

  • Dan March 12, 2012, 7:31 PM

    I have no interest in eating some strange grain like grass on pesach. I’m good with 8 days of meat

    • Lex Luthor March 12, 2012, 7:45 PM

      My uncle eats steak every day. He says it’s cheaper than Matza.

      • Dan March 12, 2012, 8:22 PM

        My brother says the same thing. Serve good meat and people won’t fill up on matza.

    • Crowin' Cock March 13, 2012, 4:44 AM


      I tried this “strange grain like grass” last Pesach, when a vegan relative came to us for Pesach and brought her own stash (with hechsher).

      I wasn’t bad at all, filling and similar to rice. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

      • Dan March 13, 2012, 10:14 AM

        I don’t d0ubt it tastes like any other grain like grass (rice). I don’t have a particular need to eat quinoa on pesach, or any other day of the year. I don’t go through pesach wishing I could eat rice either.

        • Crowin' Cock March 13, 2012, 10:28 AM


          I believe it’s a mitzvah to enjoy a good yom tov meal, diversity enhances it.

          I know many people that won’t deviate from matza/chicken/potato for 8 days. No spices, no unpeeled veggies, no store bought / pre-packaged anything, etc.

          Kind of makes for a very bland holiday, by the time the sedarim are over, they’re already whining.

          Not I.

        • Woodrow/Conservadox March 13, 2012, 2:53 PM

          For me personally, rice (and quinoa too!) are sufficiently boring that I can do without them.
          But it might be an issue for people who (for various wacky health reasons) can’t eat potatoes. (One thing you learn when you have older, health-conscious friends is that there is almost no food that doesn’t create problems for someone!)

  • Yisroel H. March 13, 2012, 12:48 AM

    Can they ban it all year round? Yuck.

    Yisroel http://www.kosherunicorn.com

  • Ken March 13, 2012, 10:28 AM

    I think all the headscratching, “is it true or is it Heshy?” is just hilarious and proves Heshy’s point.

    • Alter Cocker March 13, 2012, 10:39 AM

      we all know the frum world is absurd and all kinds of things are believable, which is why this blog exists. However, it would still be good to know when something is a report of something that actually happened (Heshy engaged, Heshy hiking, etc.) or something intended as a joke (X frum organization bans X).

  • Liora March 14, 2012, 5:14 AM

    Quinoa is not a grain it is a seed….

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