Saturday, May 31, 2014

Milk in todays times

by Rabbi Dovid Wheeler of pig DNA were found in Cadbury chocolate bars in Malaysia. The Muslims that live there are religious, and their religion prohibits the consumption of or contact with pigs.  Naturally they were very upset.  Since the British chocolate company was purchased by Kraft Foods, questions were raised regarding the other dairy products of Kraft (like Oreo cookies).  (In the past pig milk, a very fatty milk, could be used to “enhance the quality” of cow milk or compensate for watering down the cow milk.)
Suddenly it becomes clear for the Kosher consumer that the whole issue of Chalav Stam [cholov treif] vs Chalav Yisrael (cow milk in a Western Country under national standards versus Fully Kosher Supervised & Milked Milk) is not so simple. We are no longer in the days when food things were simple.  With all the modified additives that are popping up in the food industry, the unknowns become bigger and bigger.
(Interestingly butter made from Chalav Stam is permitted, as milk from non-kosher animals won’t churn into butter – at least it wouldn’t in the past.  Nowadays food technology can overcome the problem by adding the missing enzymes – meaning butter today requires kosher supervision to guarantee it does not include non-kosher ingredients or come from non-kosher animals.)
Historically the restriction that was made was on milk from non-Jewish dairy farms was on liquid milk only, not on milk powder (what is used in most chocolate bars).  Yet we find the ingredients of milk powder are NO LONGER ONLY MILK… Milk Powder: nonfat dry milk, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, sweet dairy whey, non fat dry milk solids, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and high fructose corn syrup. (Source)
Those ingredients are of particular note for those concerned about what corn products are doing to children and some of the behavior problems they are having, as well as diabetics or anyone with blood sugar problems. the kosher consumer they might be interested in all of the ingredients as well as the vegetable oil, the source and purity of each of which must be checked to make sure it’s not coming from a non-kosher source.
I myself don’t panic mode but it does make me think that when we looking at a heter (an easing or way around a restriction) in halacha (Jewish law), we need to truly look to see what the final impact will be.  The the food industry has become so complicated that maybe it is time for us to go back to purer or simpler sources such as, for the kosher consumer, dairies that follow fully kosher standards and supervision.  simple way of life and just go back to Jewish Milk.  Just food for thought.
Wishing all of you Happy Shavous and that you receive the Torah with Joy.
About Rabbi Dovid…
Just a plain American Husband, Father, Rabbi, Reflexologist, Herbalist, and owner of (100% kosher cheese making supplies, cheese making workshops) and, and lover of nature with all that it has to offer. He lives in Israel with his wife and son in the Golan Heights. - 100% Kosher Home Cheese Making supplies and workshops.


What A Surprise!! said...

Thank you for this very important article. I am sure no one was aware that dairy products manufactured in Malaysia are Cholov Akum according to all shitos.

Curiouser said...

But milk powders are imported from all parts of the world, and used here. Does the USDA routinely test all such products for even small traces of non bovine milk? Rav Moshe's permission for using milk from large companies in the US emphasized that the farms are actually visited by an inspector!

Anonymous said...


Sorry to inform you. Oreos are not a dairy product.

David Wheeler said...

In Israel that are marked Chalav Nochri in the ingredients