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Morningstar...a non kosher transition?

I just came across this:
"following kashrus advisory is from the OK on December 13 2010. Please be advised that Morningstar Farms Chik'n Strips are no longer being produced as Kosher. The item will no longer bear an OK symbol on the package. Items seen in the store with an OK can still be used. "
(http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=...

)

Any word out there if they're going to switch hashgachot or why this might be going unkosher? Man, our veggie fajitas were the best with these...any other good replacements out there?

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  1. Aaaargh! That is terrible news for my Chinese Chickenless Salad. I'll have to start experimenting with the White Wave chicken style seitan. The family likes it in stir fry dishes.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mamaleh

      Never heard of it. I just sent them an e-mail asking where to buy it.

      1. re: SoCal Mother

        I buy it at Whole Foods or Mothers Market.

        1. re: mamaleh

          The Tofurky brand marinated tempeh flavors are pretty good too, but the texture is not as smooth. Yves makes imitation chicken strips that I use to make wonton.

          1. re: mamaleh

            Thanks! I need to go to Whole Foods this week anyway to get toasted sesame seeds if it EVER stops raining.

          2. re: SoCal Mother

            Wegman's in NJ has it White Wave products..

        2. Time to start writing letters to Morningstar!!

          It worked when Duncan Hines started to make their cakes dairy even though it didn't work when Dannon trefed up their fruit yogurts.

          1. makes ya wonder what's going on in the corporate office. a few years back, they dumped the corndogs. (ostensibly due to supplier problems)

            1. I stopped using them when I realized everything had milk in it. I use the yves chicken strips and "ground beef" they are awesome and parve.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pitagirl

                I think a letter writing campaign is definitely in order. I just sent an email.

              2. I'm particularly unhappy because the Morningstar products are much less expensive (especially if I get them at Target) than the other companies' products. Yves is delicious but $$$.

                1. ARGHHHHH I use it for making my indian dishes.

                  1. I received this reply from Morningstar:

                    Thank you for your recent email regarding the Kosher certification in MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters™ Chik'n Strips.

                    The Kosher certification was removed from this product due to change in manufacturing location. Over time, these Kosher certifications may change, so the best way to determine a product's Kosher status is to look at the package. We do not offer Kosher lists of our products, as these may become outdated and inaccurate over time. However, the product's package will always reflect the correct information.

                    We are sorry that this change has made an impact on your dietary needs and will be glad to share your comments to the appropriate personnel.

                    Best of health,

                    Mark A. Suriano
                    Consumer Specialist
                    Consumer Affairs

                    7 Replies
                      1. re: pitagirl

                        why do you say mexico? are most of their products made in mexico?

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          The kosher Chik'N'Strips are made in Canada according to the label.

                          1. re: SoCal Mother

                            This is mine:

                            Thank you for your recent email regarding in MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters™ Chik'n Strips, we are happy to provide the following information.

                            Over time, Kosher certifications may change, so the best way to determine a product's Kosher status is to look at the package. The facility in which these strips are being made in has been changed which is why it no longer is kosher certified.

                            The kosher certification refers to the entire production process, and not just a product's ingredients. It is possible that this product could not be certifiable even though it does not contain any objectionable ingredients. Under these circumstances, it is likely that a non-Kosher product was produced on the same line, which led to the product not receiving certification. Over time, these Kosher certifications may change, so the best way to determine a product's Kosher status is to look at the package. The product's package will always reflect the correct information. We do not offer Kosher lists of our products, as these may become outdated and inaccurate over time. However, the product's package will always reflect the correct information.

                            We appreciate you taking time out of your day to reach out to us. Happy Holidays!

                            Best of health,

                            Giselle Mendoza
                            Consumer Specialist
                            Consumer Affairs

                            TLXGXM01/cl
                            021472521AA

                            1. re: KosherVeg

                              interesting that Giselle's response is a bit (albeit the same) in more detail than Mark's.

                              maybe there's a new thread "who's your favorite Morningstar spokesperson ID?" yeah!

                              1. re: hill food

                                Well it worked for Duncan Hines. People wrote and begged them not to go dairy and they listened!

                                Since the Seattle bus thing is over, why not take a minute out and write to Morningstar and complain?

                                1. re: hill food

                                  I just received the following. Note how it's a bit different from the other one that the same guy sent out.

                                  Thank you for your recent email regarding Kosher certification with MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters™ Chik'n Strips, we are happy to provide the following information.

                                  Currently this product is not certified Kosher. The Kosher certification was removed due to change in manufacturing location.

                                  If the product you are interested in is Kosher certified, its packaging will reflect the Rabbinical Council that certified the product, as well as the certification category. Over time, these Kosher certifications may change, so the best way to determine a product's Kosher status is to look at the package. We do not offer Kosher lists of our products, as these may become outdated and inaccurate over time. However, the product's package will always reflect the correct information.

                                  Thanks again for contacting us about this and hope you'll enjoy many of our products for years to come.

                                  Best of health,

                                  Mark A. Suriano
                                  Consumer Specialist
                                  Consumer Affairs

                      2. How upsetting!! My daughter is a vegetarian and she's been eating this product for a long time, with stir fry veggies. I used to buy the steak strips but haven't found them in months. I will definitely join those of you who have contacted the company. Thanks for the information.

                        1. I highly recommend Lightlife Smart Strips Chick'n style strips - they are circle K and pareve, which is better for vegans.

                          1. I only hope this is not the beginning of a trend for them, but while we are writing, maybe we can convince Gardein to get a Hechsher too, it was started by the guy who made Yves, so I am not sure what is stopping them.

                            As for other options, you can try and make your own Seitan, it is a bit of work, but you can make it ahead and then cut into strips and flavor how ever you want.

                            1. I just sent an email to Morningstar Farms to weigh in on this issue, (fortunately I still have one OK certified package in my freezer). In addition to commenting specifically on the Chik'n Strips, I mentioned that all the new entrees are not certified Kosher and asked if they were planning to move in a nonkosher direction.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: evalinrose

                                I am a member of their FB group. I noticed that they have brought back both corn dogs and mini corndogs (people were complaining daily about them being discontinued)- of course, neither of these are kosher.. BUT it got me thinking that if they respond to some consumers complaints, chances are if enough of us write and complain abt the chicken strips etc, they may listen to us too.

                                1. re: marissaj

                                  Ok, that's it then. Let's spread the word. Tweet it, FB it...everything.

                                2. re: evalinrose

                                  In response to my email, I received a telephone call from customer service at Morningstar Farms Monday afternoon. The young representative seemed like a nice kid but he really didn't have any information.

                                  1. First he tried to tell me that there were two kinds of chik'n strips and thaty only one of them wasn't certified.

                                  2. When I read him the label from my certified package and told him that I had seen the same product without the symbol in the grocery store this week. He said it must have been a labeling mistake

                                  3. Next I mentioned the kashruth alert, which he didn't seem to be aware of. He responded with something to the effect that the products will probably be recertified the next time the plant is inspected.

                                  Frustrating to say the least.

                                  1. re: evalinrose

                                    beingraised a Gentile myself I can only sympathize (although I recently found out my dad would have had right of return by his mother, wha??) , but the kid on the phone and perhaps management just don't understand how important this issue is to observant people, and let's face it some of the rules are difficult to understand (they are there for a reason, just difficult for a newbie to grasp)

                                    but no reason to dismiss a smart label reading consumer base.

                                3. A replacement to some of the morningstar products I would recommend is http://www.uptonsnaturals.com/ - their seitan meat substitutes are excellent and under CRC supervision -