Friday, October 24, 2008

Follow-up to previous post on Triangle-K

I wanted to preempt your question before you asked it. "Zoe, if you are frum and you have the slightest doubt about a piece of food you might eat, as a frum Jew, why would you even consider eating it in the first place?!?"

My answer is that much of what I eat when I eat in a restaurant, even one that has the best hechure, I have seen enough to have doubts about the kashrus of what I am eating, although bide'eved (after-the-fact) it is probably kosher.

When I eat at friends homes, while I am equally discriminating (l'chatchila), I often have doubts about kashrus after seeing things (e.g. over a recent meat sukkos meal, one of our newly-married hosts almost made a serious basar b'cholov mistake when after the meal, the husband took dairy soymilk into the Sukkah and wanted to serve us coffee with it; when questioned about it by his wife after seeing the looks of horror in our faces, he insisted it was parve [despite the dairy OU hechure on the back of the carton], exclaiming, "...soymilk is Parve!"-- NOTE: I will not be eating there anymore) thus I am slow to eat at people's homes.

When it comes to a bag of chips that is likely kosher, as you well know now, my opinion is that there is probably nothing wrong with eating it. If I have a legitimate reason to think it is TREIF (not kosher), I won't touch it and would likely vomit or spit it out. However, with triangle-K, all I would have here is a doubt that it is not up to my standards, not chos-v'sholom (G-d forbid) that the food would be treif!


Ahuva said...

I think pretty much all communities say that Triangle-K is fine for items which don't need a hechsher.

Just a random question... would you eat tablet-K outside of the home?

Zoe Strickman said...

As far as I recall, tablet-K is only on certain kinds of bread or chumus, right? (Probably wrong.)

I'm not familiar with the hechure, but I usually look it up on the web before buying food with a hechure I'm not familiar with. My barometer is that if the hechure is an orthodox hechure, I'll eat it. Conservative, no. Reform, definitely not.

When it comes to meats, we stick to Chassidishe hechures, and if we can't find those, when eating out, we'll eat Glatt. As for other types of meats (the part of the conversation we should avoid but I'm including anyway), as Lubavichers there are certain types of meat we don't eat because of what happened when a bunch of Lubavichers were beat up by another group of Jews and when the Lubavicher Rebbe asked their Rebbe to apologize, he wouldn't, and so goes the story... ;)

So that was the long answer to your question. The short answer: I don't know that hechure.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Tablet k is on many things including restaurants it is truly unreliable and you can not rely on it for anything. If you see it just imagine it's not there. It's a worthless hechsher in every way. I hope I'm clear on that :)

Ahuva said...

Zoe, tablet-k is on a lot of cheeses.

JB, that's what people tend to say about triangle-k, which is why I asked.

Zoe Strickman said...

Okay, maybe that's why I'm unfamiliar with it. So no, I wouldn't use it.

Ahuva said...

What is the difference between a bag of dairy chips with an unreliable hechsher and a cheese with an unreliable hechsher? Or do you only eat the parve chips?

Zoe Strickman said...


I keep cholov yisroel, so no, I don't eat anything cholov stam, even with the reliable hechures -- this is a conversation on it's own where R' Moshe Feinstein said it was okay Bidieved to trust the US laws and have cholov stam, not L'chatchila.

I know this slaps the face of most of the orthodox world, but the truth of the matter is that cholov stam is probably kosher, so if I weren't holding by the dictates of the Lubavicher Rebbe to only have cholov yisroel dairy products, and if I weren't aware of the existence of writings on how cholov stam negatively affects the soul of a Jew, I would consider eating/drinking cholov stam as kosher.

All this being said, I know that triangle-K is frowned upon, but the purpose of this investigation is to determine whether it is because of rumors (which it might well be) which would mean that triangle-K is OKAY, or whether there are valid halachic objections to the hechure (e.g. traif oil truck stories, etc.). What I want is for Rav Ralberg to openly confront the rumors and either explain them or refute them; this whole "being quiet thing" and non-confrontational approach is a turn-off for me, and probably the whole orthodox community.

OJ said...

before you accuse you might want to check your facts. OU does not certify things as dairy equipment anymore. As such, the soymilk he served after the meal (as I'm gleaning from your post) may have well been parve and completely muttar to serve you after the meal.

It always annoys me to see people judging others, especially without knowing the facts. (As I seem to be doing here)

Zoe Strickman said...

OJ, you are forgetting that I wrote this blog entry in 2008, and things probably have changed since then.

Plus, the soy milk they served had a dairy hechure. This is what freaked us out about the experience (we never ate at their house again).