Why was the oil blend denied kosher certification?


#1

A post on blog.soylent.me from 1/21/2014 reads:

“This week we received confirmation from RFI that all of our ingredients and manufacturing processes meet or exceed Kosher standards, and that Soylent 1.0 will be certified Kosher.”

Now, 3/31, I read…

“Unfortunately the custom oil blend (canola+fish oil) will not be Kosher certified, but we hope to remedy that in future orders.”

So…a few questions for @JulioMiles or whomever else would know the authoritative answers:

1)Why was the statement made in January that Soylent (I’m assuming this means both powder and oil) was kosher? Maybe this was RFI misleading you guys - not trying to point any fingers or spread blame, just trying to figure out what the deal is. What changed?

2)What is the proposed remedy that is mentioned in the 3/31 post, and is there a timeline on it?

3)Most importantly for my order, what type of fish are you guys using in your oil that makes the mixture treyf? Is this an ingredient issue or a certification issue? That is, are the ingredients in the mix kosher, but the mix simply isn’t certified, or is there swordfish or catfish or crab or something in the mix?

4)Is there, or could there be, a suggested “semi-DIY” alternate oil mix that provides identical or similar nutrition? I’d still like to use Soylent to its full potential. If there’s a somewhat easy way for me to provide my own oil and get the full benefit of Soylent, I don’t mind doing that as a stopgap measure in the interim as I wait for the official oil blend to become kosher.

I hate to be one of the naysayers warning about cancelled orders - and I don’t want to cancel - but having to skip the oil is a significant drawback to Soylent’s nutritional profile. I’m trying to figure whether the oil blend might be up to my personal kashrut standards, or, if it’s not, whether I can find a way around using it.


#2

I am going to take a stab at this.He said they are using “Icelandic Fish oil”. I could not seem to find “Kosher Icelandic Fish oil”. I looked and looked. I think their fish oil failed.

The three Icelandic fish oil suppliers that i found first also sell shark liver oil. If these cross paths at any point = BIG FAIL.
Found : Iceland Health, Lysi, and Iceland Direct. I found BlueBonnet sells some Kosher stuff but not their fish oil.

It sounds like it may be tricky and expensive to make Kosher fish oil. Though they definitely need to pursue Kos her certification for ALL ingredients.

In order to be certified kosher, a fish oil must not include any
non-kosher animals. Kosher fish must have fins and scales, and by
tradition, it should be possible to remove the scales without killing or
seriously harming the fish. The fish used in the production of kosher
fish oil must be carefully inspected to confirm that they are kosher
species, and the production facility should also be certified as kosher,
confirming that non-kosher materials are not handled there, or that
they are carefully isolated to prevent cross-contamination.

Perhaps you could use a kosher fish oil supplement yourself such as capsules and just add your own canola oil? Since your not sick soylent doesn’t really count as medicine.


#3

I’m sorry, but isn’t kosher just a “religious” thing for jewish people? As an atheist I am offended that my soylent is going to be kosher haha


#4

Wait, we can claim objection to foods that do not contain things objected to by various religions? I shall now object to any food that lacks bacon. Viva la bacon!


#5

@vwbugg Thank you for the information!

As for the others, yes, the standards of kashrut are part of Judaism.  My questions about the kosher status of Soylent aren’t about being offended (I don’t get offended every time I pass by treyf in the grocery store), but about whether I’ll choose to purchase the product.  If you’re seriously offended that Soylent (powder) is kosher, then don’t buy it.  And don’t buy any of the millions of other foods that are likewise certified (and millions more that are kosher even though they lack certification).  If you seriously won’t buy any product that doesn’t contain bacon, that’s your prerogative.  If you’re not serious, then you’re taking time out of your day to mock people on the Internet because they avoid eating certain things. Awkward.

Don’t get me wrong - you’re obviously not of my religion.  You have the will to choose to do whatever you think is acceptable.  But on 1/21 it was stated that Soylent was kosher, now on 3/31, suddenly it’s not.  So, I either find a workaround, or don’t eat the oil.  I’m not offended about the kashrut of the product, though I am a bit bummed about how it was represented as kosher beforehand.

Other than that, the issue is one of economics and business.  If the makers of Soylent don’t want people who observe some level of kashrut to buy their product, that’s their prerogative. No problem here. Plenty of other companies don’t care, either. They only need to accommodate our standards if they want our business. Personally, I’ll still buy it, just skip the oil, but I know people for whom this would be a dealbreaker. Kosher certificaion on all ingredients opens up the product to a larger market.


#6

I was mocking tordenskjold, not things being kosher.


#7

Apologies, that 1/21 post wasn’t worded clearly enough. RFI manufactures the Soylent 1.0 powder, which is Kosher. The oil blend is sourced from different manufacturers (one for canola, one for fish oil), and is not kosher at the time.

The fish oil is made from Icelandic sardine, herring, mackerel, and anchovy. We use one of the suppliers that @vwbugg listed, this is their response when asked about possible kosher-certified fish oil:

Unfortunately the fish oil we are currently using is not Kosher certified. It is a very difficult and costly thing to do because of the oversight involved from the catch thru the refining process. There are also restrictions on the species of fish you can use in the omega3 blend.

We’re hoping to sidestep this issue in the future by using an alternate source of DHA/EPA, but for the time being it looks like the custom oil blend will not carry a kosher certification. We don’t have a timeline for switching over to a different omega 3 source, but any progress made will definitely be shared with the community.

You can opt out of the oil blend and substitute with kosher canola oil for fat and kosher fish oil capsules for the omega 3s.


Exporting from the US - Fish Oil Export Restrictions
Soylent Update 3/31
#8

I see where this is going…

Julio, if you delay Soylent to switch to a Kosher oil blend… I will… I… I will track you down and shave off your manly man-beard! I swear!
^^^^^^^
JOKE

Is it clear this was a joke?
This is a joke.


#9

Thanks for the information!


#10

:stuck_out_tongue: I don’t have an issue with it being kosher, but I am not from the states, and where I live very few things are kosher. For me it is simply a strange concept. I did add the “haha” to indicate that I wasn’t actually offended


#11

You could burn down … oh wait someone already has dibs on that one.


#12

For those looking to keep kosher you can certainly find Kosher fish oil to use instead, and a bottle of canola is quite affordable. Lots of results if you google Kosher Fish Oil.


#13

I wonder if the reason they are working towards being kosher is to make it easier to produce mass quantities of Soylent without causing harm to the environment.


#14

Kosher doesn’t have anything to do with causing less harm to the environment. It’s all about what types of food can be eaten, and how those foods must be prepaired. Soyent is about sustainable production, and using pure sources when possible. By removing the involvement of animal sources they completely side-step the whole issue and can get kosher certification as a side effect.