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Copley Square Swag Report: 6/27/06

Can it be? Yes it is!

It's the return of The Copley Square Swag Report!

Today, on my way back from lunch, I spotted a few people at a table on the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth Sts., giving out products from Zoe Foods. The products they provided to me included a Zoe's Chocolate Delight Bar and a packet of Zoe's Flax and Soy Honey Almond Granola Cereal.

I had already walked past the table, but then I remembered you, my readers, and how much you depend upon The Swag Report. So I did a one-eighty and went back to the table for the products. Because I keep kosher, I examined the two packages but found no certification symbol on either one. So I asked the young woman who had provided me the food the following:

"What's in it?"

"Soy, protein, fiber..."

"Is it kosher?"

That stumped her. However, one of the other folks behind the table assured me that the cereal was kosher, but the bar wasn't.

"I don't see a certification on the cereal," I said.

"You'll find it on the website," he replied.

And he was right. If you click the link above for the cereal, you'll find an OU-D next to the Nutrition Facts and under the Ingredients list. Major kudos to the company for making sure one of their people had a ready answer to my question about kashrut. (I should also note that he reminded me a second time that the bar wasn't kosher; he didn't want me to eat it accidentally. I assured him that if it wasn't, I would give it to a friend.)

As for the quality of the food...well, I can't eat the bar, so I have to find someone who wants to try it on my behalf and supply a report. As for the granola cereal, since I just ate lunch I'm not hungry for it yet. If I do choose to eat it, I'll let you know what I think.

Copyright © Michael Burstein

Comments

That is pretty cool that someone was able to answer the question!
I was taught that if it wasn't on the package you couldn't rely on the fact that it was kosher. All kinds of reasons... Only some manufacturing plants may be kosher, it might have been made before/after certification was in place/stopped, etc.

I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just curious what your practice is.
I was taught to check the OU newsletter and website when in doubt. There are many situations in which the packaging ends up in error, for whatever reason. (Such as with the Stella D'Oro cookies a few years ago.)
I just ran a search at http://www.oukosher.org, and they have the product listed as kosher and certified by them.
I just called the OU and confirmed that they think that the product is kosher even lacking certification. This is interesting - when I called the Star K a few months back with a similar problem they said 'no symbol, we guarantee nothing'. Different strokes, I guess. Look forward to seeing you Sunday.
I just called the OU

Aren't you going to a lot of trouble for something that you probably don't plan on eating? (A friend of mine ate the nonkosher bar and she reports that it's not bad but not great. Hopefully she'll give me a full report soon.)
Nah - it is fun. The proper phone number was at the bottom of the oukosher.org web page. Most of the time was spent on hold, continuing to do work while wating for an answer.

Anyway, I am fascinated by the question of how people implement kashrut.
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