walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Complaining about _Kosher_

I picked up _Kosher_ by Lytton. I'm really pretty unhappy about it. It begins by describing the Peanut Corporation of America and how that was an example of failed government regulation. And after a paragraph detour into labelling schemes, it then says this:

"a little-noticed area of industrial food regulation offers a model of successful food certification".

I just want to point out something really, really important here. PCA lost its kosher cert _after_, not before, _after_ the plants were shut down. And I'm reasonably certain that when you have rats dry roasting with your peanuts, it ain't kosher.

Now, you can make the argument that the kosher cert PCA had was a crappy cert. And I will take your argument very seriously because _I agree_. But Lytton doesn't appear to be making that argument. You can also argue, well, kosher beef doesn't have horse meat or pig meat in it, the way other beef has in recent scandals -- that is, what's in there is what's supposed to be in there and not a bunch of other stuff. But again, that isn't what Lytton seems to be arguing.

Lytton is either not as careful and intelligent as his reviewers, students, colleagues and fans think he is, or he is very, very, very dishonest.

I'm betting on (b), but I'll read a little more to find out for sure. I am _extremely_ disgusted by this however.

ETA: To be fair, the author appears to be about my age, so some of this could be chalked up to a youthful lawyer writing a book about the food industry, having other lawyers read it, and not having someone in the food industry read it and point out the problems. Altho the PCA/U cert scandal was _well covered at the time_.



"Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator at the OU ... explained that “salmonella is caused by a microorganism. This contamination can only be detected by a lab, and by federal and state inspectors. Our mashgichim will report anything visible, but contamination requiring testing can only be done by the appropriate authorities following the appropriate testing methods. The bottom line is, the Orthodox Union will not accept filth, contamination, or anything that can prove to be a health hazard. We will pull our certification from companies where such contamination is found.”"

_That's_ some "independent" "private" regulation. Not.

Obvs, there was a ton of mainstream coverage at the time (WaPo article from the same month and year is near the top of search results).
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