Monday, December 5, 2005

It don't smell fresh



Anyone else out there see the posters all over the frum NY neighborhoods concerning the prohibition on produce from "Fresh Express"? Do you see a problem with it? I do.

1) One day a gentleman in Israel, who purports to be an "expert on insects in food" decides that the insect-removing process is not to his satisfaction. The fact that these products have Rabbinic supervision and are deemed to be insect-free by the supervising Rabbi did not concern him. He decided it isn't to his liking, and that's final. According to my sources he has written many books on this matter, and he basically prohibits the consumption of most fruits and vegetables because of insects.

2) The next thing we know, there are posters up with tens of Rabbonim signed on, that these products are no good. All Rabbis probably based their words on the testimony of the afore-mentioned "expert". I doubt that most of these Rabbonim have any knowledge of the insect-removing process, and I'm sure that most of them would not take him seriously due to his outward appearance and background, וד"ל

3) Interestingly enough, days later a little poster from the makers of "Bodek" appears claiming that their product is not included in the "ban' since they do not use lettuce and some other veggie. You might say that they're just trying to save their own collective hides, or you might not.

Is that the way to go about it? is it OK to destroy somebody's livelihood and lots of jobs due to shaky research and questionable Rabbinics?

DO THE SUPERVISORS LOSE THEIR CREDIBILITY NOW?!

44 comments:

curious said...

How come Roshei Yeshiva are signing thses letters? isn't thios a halachic matter rather than a shevere sugya?

gardner said...

I used to work in hashgacho about 10 years ago, and we were clearly told that the salad bags were not fool-proof and that we still had to clean and check them.
I think these letters should state that clerly, instead of stating that they shouldn't be used - people think that the bags are suddenly worse than an old fashioned head of lettuce.

AMSHINOVER said...

they are all a bunch of shh'ratzim

do they check their money with this much kavana?

Anonymous said...

your a sicko buddie!

I WAS THERE WHEN THIS MUMCHAH DEMONSTRATED TO ALL THE "RABBIS" HOW TO FIND BUGS.
AS A MATTER OF FACT HE LET THE RABBIS BRING THEIR "OWN" BAGS OF LETTUCE THAT THEY PURCHASED AND HE OPENED IT IN FRONT OF THEM, AND SHOWN THEM BUGS IN EVERY SINGLE BAG!!!!

SO SHUT UP! YOU IGNORANT JACKASS!!

Anonymous said...

AND TO MR. CURIOUS....

THE BIGGEST ROSH YESHIVA (REB SHMUEL BERENBAUM) CLEARLY TOLD THEM THAT HE WONT SIGN SINCE HE ISNT A POSEK!!!

GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU START THE BASHING!!!

MORONS!!

curious said...

Anon,
I realize that you are a worthless shmuck, but there ARE A NUMBER OF ROSHEI YESHIVA, even if that one isnt listed.
you should get help for your condition.

Anonymous said...

YEAH WHO?

AKV's Son's Friend said...

Below is the article from Koshertoday...what has been the response in Chabad?


Rabbis Rule Romaine Lettuce Off Limits to Kosher Consumers
(New York) A cross-section of Orthodox rabbis ruled last week that “it is forbidden” to eat romaine lettuce and several other packaged vegetables, including Spring Mix and Baby Spinach, because of insect infestation. The 30 rabbis, however, noted that “this prohibition does not apply to iceberg lettuce, cabbage or greenhouse vegetables provided they are under a reliable, expert hashgacha.” According to several rabbis reached by Kosher Today, a key target of the edict published in many Jewish newspapers was Fresh Express, whose certifying rabbis have since withdrawn their certification. A spokesman for the Orthodox Union said that while the US grown romaine lettuce was off limits, it approved the romaine lettuce grown in hothouses by Alei Katif, which after having being evicted from the Gaza Strip was said to have resumed production in Israel’s Negev Desert. The letter by the rabbis singled out pre-washed romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, romaine mixes (European, Italian, Greener Selection) and Fresh Leafy Salads (such as Spring Mix and Baby Spinach). The letter noted: “It is unfortunately our duty to inform you that insect infestation was found in most packages, regardless of the company or the supervising authority…Caterers, restaurants and stores that offer these products are guilty of offering food that is forbidden by Torah law.”

bpunbound said...

Hirshel,

For the record, Belsky is knowledgeable in this area, even if he may be an abomination in other areas.

And anon, your cause may be righteous, but take a name please!

Friendly Anonoymous said...

Please stir-fry all your veggies. Bugs taste better crisp.

Hirshel Tzig said...

anonymous

are you daft? Is it so difficult to just choose a username? You have much to add to the conversation, so you'll be spared the axe, but please choose a name!

Hirshel Tzig said...

"what has been the response in Chabad?"

Is that supposed to mean something? A coupla Rabbis get together, obviously without inviting any Chabad Rabbonim, and you ask what has the Chabad response been?

AKV's Son's Friend said...

Hirshel, Since you are a Lubavitcher chassid, I asked this question to find out if this ban had any impact on your community.

I was not trying to antagonize you, I was asking out of curiousity to see if others were taking the ban seriously.

X said...

Thanks for this post. It's about time this whole issue of alleged insect infestation was put under the microscope.

A number of years ago, when this whole insect hysteria came to the frum community in the USA, a intelligent Jew (let's call him Reb Meir), remarked that those people who are suddenly seeing insects all over may have bugs in their heads.

Like many things today, where it has become the trend to blindly copy things from Eretz Yisroel, in the mistaken belief that they automatically know best there, in all cases, the bug hysteria has come from there too. However, there are significant grounds to say that the situation in the USA is better than there, as the USA is more isolated geographically than EY, and the USDA takes quite strong measures at times, to protect us (for example, see how they are fighting the mediterranean fruit fly, citrus canker, etc.).

It's gotten so far, that some people think that you can't eat regular fresh fruit and vegetables anymore and you have to buy only pre-made salads in platic bags (there is however, a trend even in the non-Jewish world to pre-made salads and the like, so that may have helped the 'frum' products of that nature catch on, it seems). Additionally, sometimes people buy inferior products without choosing carefully at their fruit and vegetable store, and then find bugs in them, and then assume that all products are similarly infested. However, if they would be more selective at the point of purchase, they would have less problems. Of course, one must be careful, but to blow up the problem way out of proportion is wrong.

What did our holy ancestors do, for hundreds and thousands of years before Bodek and the like ? Did they not eat fruits and vegetables ?

One should also consider if some people have a commercial interest in exaggerating the extent of the problem.

n said...

HT,
come on, tell us who who really shot kennedy! and who assassinated the inventor of the two hundred mile per gallon carberator and erased all his efforts from the US patent office? Ford? that antisemite....
I don't know who is who on the rabbonim list but did see Rabbi Belsky on the list and have heard some of his halacha shirum on tapes and he gets my vote of confidence as a kashrus expert to trust... bugs are a serious issue...I found them all the time even on the gush katif stuff...this is not an area that i wanna be chumra happy...bugs love lettuce and fruits and vegetables, and most people are too lax in this area. you wanna eat everything in sight...go ahead...you wanna see a conspiracy around every corner..go ahead...Lets welcome this bug publicity in a positve light and start looking at what we fres in order to sanctify g-d rather than our stomachs...

Moderner said...

Hey give the rabbis a break . The Ou got ahigh signing off on a document with the CRC.

n said...

i would rather question all those who give hashgochas on the so many assorted non haimish brands of prepackaged lettuce out there...how and why do they beleive the lettuce is free of bugs? how can you trust every peel off label rov whose name is on a sticky tag?

Flatbushyid said...

Hey x


You really know what you are talking about the government is really watching us only 75 per 100 grams. See here aboutvm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html

x said...

I didn't say that the gvt. is stopping all bugs - I was just saying that I think the problem is less severe in the USA than in EY and that differences between the two countries must be taken into account in discussions of this nature.

vaiter mit ligend said...

'and I'm sure that most of them would not take him seriously due to his outward appearance and background, וד"ל
The above is a quote from Tzigs post, since I don't know the details and have not seen the posters I won't comment 'legoofoi shel inyon' I just think the above, is one of the most sickening and crudish comments from Tzig as of yet.Is there anything wrong with R'M V's apearance and backround?!He is a yeshiva mahn well known in this field in Eretz Yisroel .Do you rate people based on their 'appearance'?Shame on you!
A guy who hasen't opened a sefer in ages in our new 'mumcheh' in halachik questions.
Tzig, go open up a sefer.Anything.Afeeleh a kappitel tehillim.

fltbshyid said...

Hey x

If you would read the link I provided you would see the USDA is not concered about bugs they care more about harmfull sprays.

fltbshyid said...

Hey x

If you would read the link I provided you would see the USDA is not concered about bugs they care more about harmfull sprays.

ock said...

flt

despite the profundity of your statement it was grasped the first time.

n said...

ht, yet another thought...a disparate group of rabbonim cooperate on a halachic issue...is that not wonderful? what are you against? halacha? cooperation? peace amongst different groups? Is lettuce such a political catalyst? Or maybe you wanna live and let live...eat whatever you want, do whatever you wanna do...

Hirshel Tzig said...

akv's son friend

the whole ban was announced through posters hung in the communities. I wonder if the undersigned Rabbonim thought it important enough to include their brothers and sisters in Crown Heights in this important notice.
I do not live in CH so I do not know.

The last major Rabbinic conference, that of מציצה בפה, did include the Crown Heights Rabbonim, as did the water controversy.

I believe that the stores have pulled the stuff from the shelves, so all that remains is for those that have some at home to discard it.

fltbshyid said...

Hirshel

The ok which is lubavitch pulled their hechsher before all this came out. They were the organization that requested R' Vaya to come to America to give approval or disapproval. The letter he wrote was addressed to them. R' Vaya is international known no-one has a bad word to say about him. I think you were a little off base in your post.

Der Shygetz said...

Just for the record - the original poster and the Bodek letter are posted all over Crown Heights. I don't use the stuff myself, nor did I look to see what the groceries did with their stock of the products in question.

Hirshel Tzig said...

fltbshyid

you wrote:"The ok which is lubavitch pulled their hechsher"

The OK is not Lubavitch, it is headed by a Lubavitcher Chossid.

Which product had their Hechsher?

Friendly Anonoymous said...

Trader Joe's has nice big lettuce leaves that are easy to wash.

Hirshel Tzig said...

FRIENDLY

the posters say that washing does not suffice

x said...

Even if the USA is not concerned with bugs to the extent frumme Yidden are, that doesn't mean that they are totally unconcerned and that agriculture in the USA today is hefker and not any better than years ago. The USA is a world leader in agriculture. Wake up !

How did Yidden throughout the ages eat fruits and vegetables eat them before bodek and the like ? Did Mayshe Rabbeinu have bodek ?

fltbshyid said...

Hirshel

They were giving a hechser on fresh express and called R' Vaya since he is the world's biggest expert in bugs. He is also non partisan. They sponsored various shiurim he gave in the summer in America. I know all the details of the whole bug issue and will post all the "wormy" details. To their credit ok took off their hechser once they received R' Vaya letter but star k immediately certefied it kosher. The owner of fresh express Mr. Brown who you didn't mention is a tremendous mechuzaf among other things. The dole products which are certified by star k and R' rapoport from vineland NJ are just as bad. There ia a tremendous fooling of the public in what this people are doing and it must be exposed.

Hirshel Tzig said...

FLTBSH

is Brown a frum Jew?

I was thinking that yesterday when my wife served Dole salad; was I supposed to not use that either?

Man, what a sham!

x said...

Do you guys think that non-Jews like bugs in their produce ??

RIETSguy said...

they eat bugs on those "reality shows", no?

fltbshyid said...

Hirshel

Yes you should not be eating dole either. There will be clarification coming out do dispel the myth that dole is any different. Brown is a chasidishe "osvorf" from boro park. There was a meeting two weeks ago by R' Yechzkel Roth's house to show many rabbonim what the problem was. They called this Brown guy down together with his masghiach to be eyewitnesses. They had already done this checking before in front of the rabbonim and proved there were bugs but these two guys said it wasn't fair they were not present at that one. To make a long story short they opened fresh express bags in front of these two guys and showed them the bugs. This guy Brown each time they found a bug he said nah the bugs are from your head, from the water, from the soap, it was really sickening to watch and hear this "behama" talk. He at one point said "you think I care I will put a menorah and a magen dovid on the bags and the "oilam" will buy". It was heart rendereing to hear a person talk like this. I am proud that the rabbonim stood up to this creep and put him out of business. His own mashgiach on the spot was forced to rescind his hechser. It is sad but true all washed vegetables contain thrips, aphids, white fly's, mites, leaf minors among other "guta zachen". If the goyim would know and see all of this they would throw up. A video tape of a checking was recently done in R Eli Teitelbaum exposing what really is going on. Give him a call he will confirm everything I say.

fltbshyid said...

Hirshel

Yes you should not be eating dole either. There will be clarification coming out do dispel the myth that dole is any different. Brown is a chasidishe "osvorf" from boro park. There was a meeting two weeks ago by R' Yechzkel Roth's house to show many rabbonim what the problem was. They called this Brown guy down together with his masghiach to be eyewitnesses. They had already done this checking before in front of the rabbonim and proved there were bugs but these two guys said it wasn't fair they were not present at that one. To make a long story short they opened fresh express bags in front of these two guys and showed them the bugs. This guy Brown each time they found a bug he said nah the bugs are from your head, from the water, from the soap, it was really sickening to watch and hear this "behama" talk. He at one point said "you think I care I will put a menorah and a magen dovid on the bags and the "oilam" will buy". It was heart rendereing to hear a person talk like this. I am proud that the rabbonim stood up to this creep and put him out of business. His own mashgiach on the spot was forced to rescind his hechser. It is sad but true all washed vegetables contain thrips, aphids, white fly's, mites, leaf minors among other "guta zachen". If the goyim would know and see all of this they would throw up. A video tape of a checking was recently done in R Eli Teitelbaum exposing what really is going on. Give him a call he will confirm everything I say.

x said...

Those shows don't represent normal life. Maybe Chinese eat bugs, but I don't think normal white Americans want bugs on ther produce.

Anonymous said...

"leaf minors" ?

Seems we are dealing with serious entomologists here. ;-)

x said...

Oops - sorry, that 2:09:26PM comment was from me.

vml said...

I'm bothered by Tzigs disgusting, unadulterated hate.He implies that since R'M.V. is a yeshiva guy chasidic rabbonim would not take 'notice' of him because of his 'different' non chasidic appearance.
Open question to Tzig:Have you learned 'hilchos tolo'im' ever?If you have do you consider yourself authorised to actually 'pasken' a question?Do you know the technical details?Do you at all know R'M.V?
If you answer no to any of the above you have proven to be an undisguised hater and somebody who pollutes the world via their derriere.
Keep on 'projecting' your hate upon others.Lubavitch ubber alles

Hirshel Tzig said...

VML

my words about Rabbi Vay were an assumption on my part based on years of experience. If you disagree just say so, there's no need to blow a gasket.

kadydid said...

vml,
don't knock lubavitch because tziggy happens to be an aspiring one...
btw ht, who killed kennedy?

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kennedy? The Mossad, of course! :)