Generating over $12 billion in annual sales, kosher food is big business. This week on Eating Matters, host Kim Kessler and guest co-host Talia Ralph welcome Timothy Lytton, law professor and author of “Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food” to the show. Discussing how kosher food came to be a successful private-sector regulation in an era of growing public concern over the government’s ability to ensure food safety, Tim divulges the factual evolution of the kosher certification. Currently, a network of over three hundred private certifiers ensures the kosher status of food for over twelve million Americans, of whom only eight percent are religious Jews. However, Tim explains in detail that this system was not always so reliable. After the break, Tim speaks on the Vinegar Scandal of 1986 and how the horrible instance went on to further improve kosher regulations and how private kosher certification holds important lessons for improving food regulation in general. Like organic and locavore enthusiasts, a growing number of consumers see in rabbinic supervision a way to personalize today’s vastly complex, globalized system of food production. Tune in for a wonderfully informative show. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.
“What we find in kosher is that people want different levels of stringency.”
—Timothy Lytton on Eating Matters.