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