Still raving about kosher food: It’s not safer, it’s marketing

We’ve blogged about kosher in Canada; how kosher in the U.K. sorta sucked.  Now, U.S. News & World Report cites Mintel, a Chicago-based market research firm, as saying that "kosher" has become the most popular claim on new food products, trouncing "organic" and "no additives or preservatives."

The report said,

"4,719 new kosher items were launched in the United States last year—nearly double the number of new "all natural" products, which placed second in the report."

Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst at Mintel, said,

"It’s the belief among all consumers that kosher food is safer, a critical thing right now with worries about the integrity of the food supply."

I really dislike people who speak on behalf of all other people. It usually means they know shit.

Moshe Elefant, a rabbi and chief operating officer of the Orthodox Union KOSHER, a kosher certification organization based in New York, said,

"Jews aren’t allowed to ingest bugs, so produce must go through a thorough washing and checking to ensure that no bugs are found within the leaves or on the surface of the fruit or vegetable."

Remarkably, the story notes that bacteria can remain even after this type of washing, so consumers can’t assume they’re less likely to get food poisoning with bagged spinach marked kosher than with a conventional bag.

I understand there are religious reasons for choosing kosher, halal or anything else. For me, I’ll focus on microbiologically safe food.