Amy’s Kitchen makes some amazing and healthy products, their canned chili, refried beans and soups are all amazing as well as their microwavable pizzas, Asian and Mexican meals are all very tasty and mostly vegan and organic. The problem is in the hechsher, no one seems to know of it and everyone seems to think one way or the other, even if they have never seen the hechsher.
The hechsher is the Torchlight-K and it is on the back of most of their products, small town Rabbis who are usually more lenient on hechsherim, mostly because it isn’t part of their business, mostly agree that it is fine.
I have asked others and even though they want to say I don’t know, they always answer “I wouldn’t eat it” or “I don’t trust it” when they haven’t heard of something. Why don’t rabbis encourage people to do research themselves?Why don’t rabbis themselves do the research rather then just make up some answer?
My theory is that since Amy’s products are really healthy for you, the rabbis don’t want people to all eat healthy since it makes people better looking and hence it tempts them to dress untznius.
Here is how a conversation about hechsherim goes:
“I don’t hold of that hechsher.”
“I heard it’s not good.”
Who told you that?
“I can’t remember, I just heard the guy isn’t trustworthy.”
Sometimes they actually did call up the Star-K or the OU, which may not be trustworthy, because since they may not actually know anything about the hechsher, and many people from organizations cannot actually tell you if something isn’t good, so they say “not recommended” which is annoying as hell.
Then of course you have the conversations about how something isn’t kosher, but the person who bought it saw it at someone’s house during a shalom zachor, so goes the saga of flavored beers and arguments about scotch aged in sherry casks – which I heard is good and bad from multiple people.
What about illegible hechsherim, why are these the best ones, you know those hechsherim on really heimishe products that you can hardly read, but they must have Yiddish in them so they are ok. Of course these products usually have 2, 3 sometimes 4 hechsherim on them just to make sure and spread the kasharus money around.
If the hechsher isn’t good in many peoples minds, does that mean it’s not kosher? Or does it just mean that it’s not up to your standards, like non-glatt meat or something? Speaking of non-glatt meat, many people think it’s treife, but we just have taken on the chumra of glatt.
“You sure that’s kosher”
Yeh they sell it at the Glatt Mart.
“I don’t know about that, it says pork and beans.”
So why would they sell it at a kosher store? These people don’t make mistakes.
Don’t even get me started on triangle-K…and the kasharus industry in general.
As a side note, I tend to argue with the folks who bitch and moan about kasharus nowadays compared to 50 years ago, there are so many folks that think you can merely look at a label and tell that it is good to eat and that just isn’t the case. There are so many animal and insect by-products used in flavoring and preseving that without kosher supervisors we wouldn’t be able to eat much of the processed food available today.
I think we do need hechsherim and kosher supervision, but the industry in general is somewhat of a racket, kind of like the mob. You have these restaurants that have threats from local kasharus agencies that want them closed on Saturday nights to prevent intermingling of the sexes – or else they will take away their hashgacha, what does that have to do with whether it’s kosher or not? It almost goes along the lines of hechsher tzedek – which doesn’t certify kasharus, it certified ethics.
I really would love to have a conversation with someone smart about vegan or raw food that doesn’t need a hechsher on it, someone who knows the industry but can actually talk frank – so hard to find.