Kosher Nation: Why More and More of Amer­i­ca’s Food Answers to a High­er Authority

  • Review
By – August 31, 2011
Sue Fishkoff, author of The Rebbe’s Army, exam­ines the state of kashrut in the Unit­ed States today. Kosher food has nev­er been more pop­u­lar, but eighty-five per­cent of the 11.2 mil­lion peo­ple who buy it are not Jew­ish. They are Mus­lim, Sev­enth Day Adven­tist, veg­e­tar­i­an, or afflict­ed with food aller­gies. Fishkoff trav­els all over the Unit­ed States and to Shang­hai to learn about the pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of kosher foods. She inter­views food man­u­fac­tur­ers, mashgichim, shochetim, wine­mak­ers, bak­ers, and patrons in upscale kosher super­mar­kets. She also exam­ines the cor­rup­tion and price­fix­ing in ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry kosher meat pro­duc­tion and the recent scan­dal at the meat­pack­ing plant in Iowa. A dis­cus­sion with Ortho­dox and Con­ser­v­a­tive Jews involved in the eco-kosher move­ment illus­trates the desire of many Jews for stronger eth­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal val­ues in kosher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This is a book that will appeal to any­one inter­est­ed in food, reli­gion, Jew­ish val­ues, and busi­ness.

Read Sue Fishkof­f’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

The Allure of Kosher Food for the Jew­ish Hol­i­days

Get­ting Close to Your Food is Hard­er When Meat is Involved

Mak­ing Kosher Food Is an All-Night Affair 

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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