Kosher? who cares?


#1

This is really absurd? why do they have to make the product more expensive just to have the kosher cert?

Since when the design of the products follows religions restrictions? I thought this was about science and release a product affordable to everyone, this is absurd.
The kosher restriction will lead to a more expensive product and problems with supply specially in certain areas of the world.

Why do we have to care about a this religion or any other?
Does Kosher makes soylent better? NO, then do not take it into account, there is no medical reason why a “Jew” should not eat non Kosher food. If they prefer to die or starve in order to follow their religion, is their decision.


#2

They are trying to reach a more broad range of people. The more people who buy it the cheaper it will be in the future. Could you please show some citation about the product being more expensive other than a few pennies by it being kosher? To be honest I think your post is more absurd than anything else.


#3

You are lock down to only suppliers with the K cert, out of US products with this cert almost doesn’t exist, here in Europe you can’t find any certified product in a normal supermarket.

I’m not saying that the product will be more expensive because they have to pay for the cert, I’m saying that you are limiting the possibilities to get a better prize because you without any intelligent reason are limiting the number of companies that could provide you with the product you need.

Why should we limit the potential of Soylent due to a superstition?


#4

How does having the first batch kosher limit Soylents possibilities? It doesnt. Furthermore the Soylent team has already stated that once the first shipment is out and there is steady supply they will be working on multiple versions. And this is the US. [quote=“graiden, post:3, topic:12007”]
I’m not saying that the product will be more expensive because they have to pay for the cert,
[/quote]

You did in fact say that.

Quite frankly it sounds like your real disdain is for Jews and not the kosher certification.


#5

Untrue. A very large number of bulk materials suppliers are already certified kosher because the process is relatively non-invasive and cheap while simultaneously broadening their audience of industrial purchasers.

You don’t need different certification for different markets. It’s a relatively straightforward process that mainly involves continuous quality control by a third party. In this case, RFI is already certified, so the powder essentially needed almost nothing in order for it to be certified kosher, especially since this is all plant derived products.

Is it an additional expense? Yes. Is it considerable when you look at the cost of overall production? No. Does it expand their market to include both Jews (a small population) and religious Muslims (a considerably larger one)? Absolutely.

The first run of soylent, by definition, is targeted toward the comparatively wealthy backers in first world countries with disposable income who are interested in the project. Not poor people in less developed countries that, at present, are completely out of the reach of a company like Rosa Labs, who aren’t even shipping to Europe yet, let alone Africa.

This is a sound business decision, because it maximizes their audience while minimizing their costs. Just because you have an antisemitic ax to grind against the concept doesn’t make it a bad or costly decision.


#6

Untrue, except in US this certificate is almost non-existent.

Untrue, it doesn’t minimize the cost, because you are limiting the providers and the competition to get the products at a cheaper cost. Having different versions doesn’t help either because it will increase the production cost. On top of this you have 2 additional problems the cost of the cert (insignificant) and the inefficiencies of the process to produce the certified product which leads to additional cost to the final user. For any K certified product in USA, there are tons of products in the same category without the cert and cheaper.

This is not about anisemitic ideas, this is about common sense. This is simply another example on how the religions are a burden for any progress.


#7

Doing some research
4%, of adults in the US have food allergies
6% of Americans are Vegan
7% are vegetarian
1% are Jewish

So, efforts to be vegan would get you 13% of people. Once you are vegan, being kosher is trivial, as I am pretty sure anything truly vegan will be Kosher. This will also cut out a portion of the food allergies that are to non-vegan items. Lets ballpark this to 1/2 of the allergies. this leaves 2% of potential allergies to cope with. Lets say that we miss half of those by never needing them in the first place. that is 1% of people with misc food allergies that are still a concern. They still say they want to make an effort to reduce allergic issues with their product, so this 1% is considered worth making allowances for. Why would the jewish 1% be less desirable, esp. since meeting their standards would be a single contiguous block of requirements, which already overlap with the desired vegan restrictions?


#8

Seems like such an odd thing to get bunched up about. Rosa Labs made a product that happens to be certifiable as Kosher. How is this a big deal?

Racist or troll? Cannot determine which; I suspect one of these to be true.


#9

Sorry you are wrong they didn’t make a product and then happens to be certifiable, the made a product to be certified, from the very beginning the product was develop following the kosher restrictions.

The question is simple no matter how much you tried to avoid it.
How much does the cost increased because of these restrictions? can a cheaper product be done if we don’t follow a superstition?


#10

@graiden: You really don’t get it. Their goal has been to produce a VEGAN soylent. The co-packer that they chose happens to already have the Kosher certification, so it ISN’T ANY EXTRA WORK to make it kosher. It’s an added, cost-free benefit. I’d recommend you actually learn what Kosher food is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_foods


#11

Yes I get it, you can only include in the recipe products K certified, the co-packer doesn’t matter because they don’t produce the raw products that are part of the recipe, or they produce a few of them

The kosher products are always more expensive because the restrictions to produce them produces inefficiencies, is not only the tax, you have to include the hidden cost to produce according to the kosher restrictions.


#12

I don’t think you read the Wikipedia page. It talks about animal products, not vegetable-based products, which is what Soylent is. Since the products are vegan, it’s not any more work (or less efficient) to have them Kosher, because they already are. Yes, the certification may cost some, but there is no less efficiency in production.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t very happy about the whole vegan delay. I’d have been fine with whey protein. However, I don’t see any delays or costs on top of the vegan-induced ones. Kosher is simply a benefit of being vegan.


#13

@graiden

Please provide some examples of explicitly non-Kosher vegan options which are significantly cheaper than Kosher counterparts. If you can in fact come up with this data, it will greatly strengthen your argument that K-cert is increasing cost.

Be forewarned however - as a few people have mentioned, most (if not all) vegan sources are also going to be certified Kosher, simply as a matter of the two concepts sharing some requirements. It may be difficult for you to find a non-Kosher vegan supplier in the first place, let alone a cheaper one.


#14

Where did you get these numbers?

The 6%/7% numbers you cite are probably from the 2013 public policy polling results[1] cited by Wikipedia. Note that this poll was done for 500 registered voters and had a +/- 4.4% margin of error. The same wiki article mentioned a gallup poll at 2%/5% in 2012 [2]. I believe those latter percentages is more reasonable; vegans do not currently (and did not in 2013) make up 6% of the US population, not in the vegan society’s wildest dreams.

Also the number for percentage of jews is wrong. There are 5-8 million jews [3,4] in the US against ~320 million total people [5]. So more like approaching or exceeding 2%.

I have no problem with this product being vegan- (although it’s not) or kosher-friendly, but I also don’t think it’s helpful to cherry-pick statistics to make it seem like an obvious choice.

  1. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_NationalFOOD_022613.pdf
  2. http://www.gallup.com/poll/156215/consider-themselves-vegetarians.aspx
  3. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/02/how-many-jews-are-there-in-the-united-states/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#cite_note-Jewish_American_Population-1
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_population

(edited several times for formatting and references)


#15

the 6%/7% were from wikipedia, as you said.
the jewish population was taken from here


which had it at 1.7%;

I didn’t cherrypick anything; I just grabbed the most apparant stats. The modified stats you give actually reinforce my point; the vegan population and jewish population are very close in size, and they consider the vegan population significant enough to aim for. Since one set of requirements can get us all three, that is 5+2+2, or 9% of the population. Less, since there is likely some overlap between jewish and vegetarians, but still a significant amount in total. Under the numbers given, if vegan is worth doing, then kosher is worth doing, and it shouldn’t be hard to push it into this sweet spot.


#16

You only need a single certifying body. You don’t have a separate certification for each country you sell in, so once it’s certified by a company in the US, any Jew, Muslim, or vegan around the world can purchase it without a problem.

And on that front - if a product is kosher and contains dairy ingredients, it will be marked as such clearly to avoid the prohibition of mixing meat and dairy. Thus any product certified kosher that does NOT have a signifier (usually an added “D” next to the kosher symbol) must by definition be lacking in ANY dairy products. In fact, they even go so far as to label products as “dairy” if they are co-produced on equipment that manufactures dairy.

As for meats, there are very few certified kosher products that contain meat and animal products (fish gelatin being the exception) that aren’t clearly meat. I have seen (but only rarely) products that are marked as containing meat. I have also seen, on rare occasion, items marked as “kosher - fish,” such as worchester sauce, which is often made from anchovies.

Regardless, any reliable kosher symbol (such as the OU, Star K, etc.) that does not have an additional “modifier” with the symbol and does not contain fish gelatin (few kosher products aside from actual gelatin packs do) can be considered to be reliably vegan.


#17

A big exception to the kosher = vegan thing is eggs and fish. Eggs and fish are kosher and non “meat” or “dairy”.