FROM KOSHER TODAY, MONDAY, JULY 20, 2010
The Kosher Symbol: A Seal of Trust for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Food Purists
New York…by Tova Ross, Feature Editor…As people around the globe continue to move towards a healthier diet, many vegetarian, vegan, and health-oriented food companies are also increasingly obtaining kosher certification. The reason is that many manufacturers believe that people buy kosher foods not only for religious reasons, but with the belief that kosher is synonymous with higher-quality. A few months ago, the New York Times reported that in today’s world, with worries over food contamination and a heightened awareness of food allergies and purity of ingredients, “kosher equals pure” for many people – Jewish or not. And Mintel, a consumer goods research company, found that only 15 percent of those who purchase kosher products regularly do so for religious reasons.
The Redwood Wholefood Company, the British ethical and vegan food company owned by Heather Mills, was just awarded kosher certification for its broad range of natural, plant-based foods, including dairy-free cheeses and similar-tasting alternatives to meat in beef, turkey and chicken flavors. The kosherization process took almost a full year to complete, and the supervisor is the Manchester Beth Din. Said Heather Mills. “Achieving kosher certification is an endorsement of the care and attention we give to the sourcing of ingredients and to the manufacturing of our products.” The company’s products are sold under the VBites label in the United States.
Daiya Foods, non-dairy (pareve) products that are similar to dairy cheese in taste and texture, have recently received OU kosher certification. In addition to being dairy-free, Daiya foods are free of gluten, soy, eggs, wheat, barley, whey, peanuts, and tree nuts. Mara Friedman, editor-in-chief of The Jew and the Carrot, a blog about Jewish thought and food tradition along with contemporary issues like sustainability, organic eating, and nutrition, (www.jcarrot.org) stated, “Vegetarians navigating a world of confusing food labels know that innocent sounding ingredients in conventional products are often animal-derived. A kosher label on food is one of the most trustworthy guarantees that certain animal products will not be