IMPORTANT QUINOA INFO FOR PASSOVER
The CRC from Chicago has just issued an important change in policy on the use of quinoa for Passover. It can be seen on their website alert page. http://www.crcweb.org/alerts.php
according to the Ancient Harvest website:
PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE BEEN HAVING ISSUES WITH INFLATED UPS RATES THAT ARE QUOTED IN SOME CASES. AT THE TIME THE PRODUCT IS SHIPPED, THE EXTRANEOUS SHIPPING CHARGES WILL BE MANUALLY REFUNDED BACK TO YOUR PAYMENT SOURCE. SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
Hopefully the $39.07 S&H is considered excessive.
The latest news is that Ancient Harvest is almost out of the Passover product and they are being asked to make another run. If you are going to order, you might want to do it sooner than later.
Due to the nature of that alerts.php page being frequently updated (e.g. if you check this post closer to Pesach, a new alert will probably push the quinoa alert down, or the warning may even be removed by that time), I thought it would a good idea to copy/paste this alert for reference here.
February 23, 2012
In 2007 HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlit''a, the Av Beis Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, issued a p'sak that quinoa is not considered kitniyos and therefore may be used on Pesach. Most of the quinoa comes from Peru and Bolivia and has been grown in areas where other (problematic for Pesach) grains were generally not grown. However, as the popularity of quinoa has risen, this is no longer the absolute case. This was confirmed this year by a Star-K mashgiach who visited Bolivia and found that barley does indeed grow in those areas. It was also recently discovered that some farmers cover their quinoa with barley and/or oats to keep the birds from eating the quinoa while it dries. Finally, there is a concern that the sacks used to transfer the quinoa may have been previously used to hold barley or oats.
We have, therefore, determined that the only way to allow quinoa for use on Pesach is to track the quinoa from certain farms that are free from the above concern. The Star-K spearheaded this endeavor and sent a mashgiach to find such a farm. While they were successful in their search, it proved to be challenging from a practical point of view, as the company visited generally sells their products in large quantities. The Star-K has now worked with other companies to pack the usable quinoa into smaller packages, and the following three options have been approved for Pesach quinoa consumption:
1) Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold only in 1,000 lb increments. The contact information is:
Sergio Nunez de Arco; Andean Naturals; Organic Quinoa and Quinoa-based Ingredients
Brought to you by Specialty Commodities, Inc.
Toll Free (888) 547-9777 x 711
2) Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold in wholesale 25 lb bags. The contact information is:
Tania Petricevic; email@example.com
194 Orange St. Oakland, CA 94610
Sales Support: (914)220-2974; Customer Service: (954)336-1743
Hours of Operation M-F (PST) 10:00am-4:00pm
3) Quinoa Corp, Ancient Harvest brand, lot code 3.01.14 k, sold in small retail 12 oz boxes.
When ordering directly from them, mention that you want the Passover run.
It is important to note that even the quinoa from the above approved sources should be carefully checked before Pesach for any foreign matter before use. This can be done by spreading the quinoa out on a plate and carefully checking there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in.
The cRc would like to thank Rabbi Zvi Goldberg of the Star-K and Rabbi Reuven Nathanson of the OU for their help on researching this issue.
Another alternative might be to purchase Sugat brand, which is marked K for P kitniyot. The kitniyot designation is for the quinoa, but if you jold as the CRC does that it is not kitniyot, then you are assured that it is chametz free (presumably any trace of "real" kitniyot would be batul). Check with your rabbi of course, but that is what I did last year. (or buy from a store under reliable supervision and rely on their judgment as to whether it is acceptable or not).