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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kashrut Politics, Not Very Kosher and Not Always Healthy

Fred Taub's Boycott Watch has revealed that kashrut authorities are making deals with countries that boycott and shun Israel.
...OK Kosher Certification based in Brooklyn, New York certifies palm oil manufactured in Malaysia and Indonesia as kosher, despite the fact that both those nations boycott Israel.
Indonesia is 86.1% Muslim and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, claiming establishment of an independent Palestinian state as a prerequisite for normalized relations. Malaysia, which also has no diplomatic relations with Israel, is 60.4% Muslim and its prime minister accuses critics as being "Zionist agents."
Palm oil output in 2006

There must be other sources for palm oil. Aren't there?  According to wikipedia, you can see that palm oil can be found in a number of other countries. 

Nigeria, Columbia and Kenya also have large palm oil industries.  According to the MFA-Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel does have diplomatic relations with Nigeria and Kenya.
In September 2009, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, where he met with the leaders of these countries and signed a series of political, economic and development cooperation agreements. He also inaugurated joint projects between Israel and the African host countries.
Israel has diplomatic relations with Columbia.
Today Israel maintains full diplomatic relations with all the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean region, except Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela (the latter two severed relations with Israel in 2009). These relations are reflected in productive cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, as well as in a large number of bilateral agreements in many areas.

I'm sure that most kosher foods consumers would prefer that the ingredients in their foods be from countries that have diplomatic relations with the State of Israel.

When it comes to palm oil, there's another concern.  It's not considered healthy.  It has the wrong types and combinations of fats.
Palm oil contains five different saturated fats. Saturated fats will raise your blood cholesterol levels and can lead to heart disease. All oils have some saturated fat in them but palm oil is very high in saturated fat relative to corn, soy or olive oil.
Studies show that substituting palm oil for trans fats wouldn't do any good.  It is just as bad for human health.

Too bad the kashrut industry ignores health issues.

2 comments:

goyisherebbe said...

Is palm oil used for greasing palms? If the they want to pay the inspector to certify it kosher (good for halal as well), fine. It's not healthy as well as coming from an unfriendly country. Jews and friends of Israel shouldn't buy it. I don't think it is proper to declare something non-kosher for non-kashrut reasons.

Batya said...

goyish, good point
They may have very soft hands...