Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now here is a very nice conversation

My name is Blank Blank, and I'm a yeshiva bachur learning in New York.
I was on the internet and gathered that you give kosher certification to Vegan restaurants.
If this is fact, I wanted to ask you (if you have time) the following questions.

I read your blog and saw that this conversation may be easier for you if done by phone, but I was hoping that this email could serve you well for your blog. (also email is easier for me...)


Some people are concerned that the bedikas tola'im done by the workers of these establishments is not halachically sufficient. Why is their method for ridding the produce of bugs considered halachically sufficient?
First of all, every restaurant has an incentive NOT to serve bugs. No patron wants to eat bugs. And a bug served could ruin their reputation. Plus a Vegan place has even more of an incentive.
Secondly, I do inspect the way they check and clean for bugs on their own as the way an establishment checks is not inherently acceptable. But in the places that I certify they were serious about not serving bugs and the method they used was acceptable. I only requested a second rinse after checking and they comply.

Some people are concerned that there are bishul akum concerns in these restaurants. Why is there no concern for bishul akum?
There are 2 rules for Bishul Akum that for the most part exempt the foods served at vegan restaurants. The first, and this takes care of most things, is that whatever can be eaten raw is not a problem of Bishul Akum and obviously that takes care of most products. That primarily leaves beans and rice, and the second rule, that it has to be exquisite enough for a King's Table, takes care of that according to most opinions.

If there is no concern for bedikas tola'im or bishul akum, then why do these restaurants require certification at all?
Mainly the fact that grape products ie. wine, vinegar, grape juice, etc whereas they are still vegan, need special Kosher certification. Also, and I found this myself upon occasion, sometimes the owners don't realize that a product they purchased may contain a non-kosher or dairy ingredient.

Thank you very much,


  1. Just stumbled upon your blog. Yasher Koach for setting up a way your Kashrut angency can answer questions in a transparent manner. I hope others follow suit. This blog is a Kiddush HaShem. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. I try.
    It's always nice to get positive feedback.