Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quinoa on Pesach 2.0

By @azigra 

Two years ago I wrote about and predicted the inevitable future of quinoa as a non kosher for Passover food item:

.................Quinoa becomes a popular food in the 1970s as people look for healthy foods -> Jews question the halachic status of Quinoa on Pesach as kitniyos -> R. Moshe Feinstein permits the consumption of Quinoa on Pesach -> The Eida HaCharedis prohibits the consumption of Quinoa on Pesach -> Jews remain divided on Quinoa’s halachic status -> Rabbis place bans on quinoa in Jewish weekly’s stating that quinoa production has changed since the Igros Moshe was published -> Hotels advertise their kitchen as glatt kosher and quinoa free -> Jews choose hotels based on the shechita and quinoa use of the caterer -> Non-Haimish Jews who stay home for Pesach burn their Quinoa -> Shidduchim are broken based on gebrochts and quinoa -> Most Jews do not consume Quinoa on Pesach, it is only the more modern elements that still pretend it’s permissible -> It is assur gamur to consume Quinoa on Pesach -> Jews who eat Quinoa on Pesach are chayiv Kares and are basically seeking to destroy Judaism as it has been know since the times of the Tanaim, Amoraim, and Achronim, who all knew that quinoa was assur and didn’t eat it on Pesach  
see original post here for additional notes.
When I wrote this, only the Eida HaCharedis, a fanatical Hasidic faction,  prohibited this item, however, today the Forward reports that as of this year the Orthodox Union will no longer certify quinoa as kosher for Passover:

The Orthodox Union announced last year that it would not certify quinoa as kosher for Passover out of concern that quinoa falls into the category of kitniyot, a group of legumes forbidden because they look similar to grains proscribed on the holiday.
Star-K, a rival kosher certification company based in Baltimore, has been certifying quinoa as Passover-friendly for years and dismisses what it sees as an outlandish prohibition.
As of now the reason provided by the OU is that  “[they] can’t certify quinoa because it looks like a grain and people might get confused” otherwise known as Ma'aris Ayin, the same reason why many people dont serve non dairy ice cream at meat centric meals. 

This of course means that any hotel that is under the OU will not be serving quinoa this year. A new generation of Jews will grow up under this prohibition, confusing fact with fiction. As Orthodoxy moves to the right, the Star-K will be forced to prohibit quinoa as well or risk losing their validity as a legitimate kashrut organization in the face of an ever right moving world.  

In several generations there will be no working memory of a time when people did eat quinoa.


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