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Bugs in Ocean Spray?

  • m

I just finished reading the book "Fast Food Nation" and read something that I thought could be of interest. In the chapter which discusses the manufacturing of artificial flavors and colors (in which he describes that the smell and flavor of a hamburger grilling over a fire can be recreated on a chemical strip), he describes that the artificial red color used in Ocean Spray pink grapefruit juice coctail contain pigments that are derived from a very specific type of African red-shelled beetle!

Is anyone familiar with this? Does Ocean Spray have a hecks.?

Mr. Taster

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  1. It's probably CARMINE, which is known to be prevalent in many popular food items that have artificial coloring (esp. red). And this is another of the several major brands that has a Triangle K, which I personally do not use. Interesting!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Eric

      I am going to try to ask a Rabbi about this over the weekend .. in leu of all the bugs in the water talk in new york.

      1. re: Eric

        The Triangle k only certifies the drinks that don't have this red coloring ,however the ones that do namely pink grapefruit etc' they dont certify, as is aparent by looking on the bottle which only carries the symbol on cranberry apple etc'.
        In fact i called ocean spray myself, and Rav Ralbag the Rav Hamachshir, and they never certified those specific juices from ocean spray for this specific reason.They even implemented a specific cleanup procedure following the production of those drinks and the ones with grape juice that they dont certify in order to kasher the utensils. So Eric p. rosen be careful of spreading motzi shem rah, rather pick up a phone and call the rav hamachshir themself , and maybe you will start eating triangle k!

        1. re: dovid

          Kol HaKavod...as I admitted in other posts, I have heard very "good things" about Rav Ralbag (the son) and the Triangle K in general, though I still do find it interesting that despite what you wrote about your conversation with Rav Ralbag, the acceptable beverage list put out by the Star - K does not include (to my knowledge) any of the Ocean Spray products. Nevertheless, I was even considering re-thinking my use of the Triangle K until I recently learned that they have placed their symbol upon the Hebrew National line of products, which has made me simply unwilling to do so. Whether or not this is a legitimate decision is obviously up for debate; indeed whether their hashgacha is reliable under any circumstance is up to each person to decide for his or himself, and I apologize if I have inadvertantly tried to sway anyone's opinion based on my posts. I shall be more careful in the future.

          1. re: Eric

            Eric, I was also shocked to see the triangle k on hebrew national, so i did some reseaerch and found out to the contrary . even if i myself only eat glatt nevertheless there are thousands and thousands of jews secular included that want to eat kosher meat (not nesecerally glatt). and guess what they have to eat kosher too. Based on that i found out that the tri-k took upon themselves the hasgacha to make sure it is truly kosher, and i heard and read that they indeed implemented a number of things to better the shechita. So too the contrary ,eventho initially i thought it lowered their standards, then i found out to the contrary this is a service that they are doing for the benefit of jewish consumers (even not orthodox) who want to eat kosher but will not pay for glatt.And most imp. they are not claiming it to be glatt (so just dont eat that product if you only want glatt)all they are doing is to make sure it is kosher for those that will eat it.All thru out history there have been glatt shechitas and non glatt shechitas even the same hechsher shochet or rov, this doesnt lower a standard it just gives the option and opportunity for all to eat kosher.This type of compromise is only applicable to shechitah, since the price difference is so great between kosher (glatt ) meat and treif meat, and also the sin is so great to eat non kosher meat, here you have to consider all jewish consumers and give them a realistic option to eat kosher too,
            The Vilna Gaon once told a secular maskil that he is going to get gehenom for not making a brocho on his food, the secular jew told him but i dont even believe in Hashem , where upon the Gaon told him dont think that in any way you are less obligated in any mitzvah just because you are a greater sinner.

            1. re: Eric

              I was shocked to see the triangle k on hebrew national, so i did some research and found out to the contrary . even if i myself only eat glatt nevertheless there are thousands and thousands of jews secular included that want to eat kosher meat (not nesecerally glatt). and guess what they have to eat kosher too. Based on that i found out that the tri-k took upon themselves the hasgacha to make sure it is truly kosher, and i heard and read that they indeed implemented a number of things to better the shechita. So too the contrary ,eventho initially i thought it lowered their standards, then i found out to the contrary this is a service that they are doing for the benefit of jewish consumers (even not orthodox) who want to eat kosher but will not pay for glatt.And most imp. they are not claiming it to be glatt (so just dont eat that product if you only want glatt)all they are doing is to make sure it is kosher for those that will eat it.All thru out history there have been glatt shechitas and non glatt shechitas even the same hechsher shochet or rov, this doesnt lower a standard it just gives the option and opportunity for all to eat kosher.This type of compromise is only applicable to shechitah, since the price difference is so great between kosher (glatt ) meat and treif meat, and also the sin is so great to eat non kosher meat, here you have to consider all jewish consumers and give them a realistic option to eat kosher too,
              The Vilna Gaon once told a secular maskil that he is going to get gehenom for not making a brocho on his food, the secular jew told him but i dont even believe in Hashem , where upon the Gaon told him dont think that in any way you are less obligated in any mitzvah just because you are a greater sinner.

              1. re: dovid

                I thank you very much for that research into star-K. HOwever, I have an opinion about that. What about the people who DO eat ONLY Glatt Kosher and are not 100% up to date on the hechsherim. Those people are going to go and now buy Hebrew National hot dogs. That is the bad side to the story.

                It sounds great that the Star-K puts their certification on the hot dogs because Jews will now be eating kosher, but still it should clearly say on the label that the hot dogs are not glatt kosher

                1. re: chaim

                  Question 1 - Who is in this group 'the people who DO eat ONLY Glatt Kosher and are not 100% up to date on the hechsherim'? Does this group exist?

                  Question 2 - If indeed this group exists, they are either Sephardic or Orthodox leaning. Given that - is there anyone in this group who either doesn't know to double check on the triangle K or not to eat Hebrew National? I very seriously doubt it.

                  They are not going to "fool" glatt consumers to eat Hebrew National beef products. Plus, if you eat ONLY glatt, then you MUST know to look for the word Glatt near the hechsher regardless of how up to date you are on the trends in certification.

                  1. re: chaim

                    Triangle-K, not Star-K

          2. k
            KEEPING KOSHER

            Why don't you contact the company and ask them?

            1 Reply
            1. re: KEEPING KOSHER

              I don't keep kosher, nor do I drink Ocean Spray. I just thought it was an interesting item and was curious what an orthodox take on it would be.

              Mr. Taster

            2. Actually, that dye is very common in food processing. Hard-core vegetarians have a problem with it as well since it's animal derived. If kashrut isn't an issue for you, but you want to stay away from this stuff, look for food items that are certified vegan.

              1. From the Star-K site:
                Cochineal or Carmine is a natural red colorant extracted from the dried bodies of the coccus cacti insect which produces a highly stable natural red dye. Major kashrus agencies do not consider cochineal or carmine as a kosher colorant.

                I have no idea whether Ocean Spray uses this as coloring, but I have not seen their juice drinks ever listed on any acceptable list of beverages, and I do not use them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Eric

                  Isn't it sad that our society has veered so far away from "real" (i.e. minimally processed) food that we need to even have this discussion?

                  Mr. Taster