Can You Always Trust So-Called "Kosher" Products?
by Ken Swiger
Many believers are very careful in what they put into their
bodies. They realize that as the temple of the God, they have
a responsibility to take the best possible care of this earthly
tabernacle. If you are one who obeys God’s dietary laws,
it may interest you to know that some things which you may
have been eating are actually made from unclean animals!
A church member told me he had learned on the Internet that
Jello brand gelatin was made from pork products. I assured
him it that this was not so. After all they have a little "K" on
the label to indicate that their product is "kosher".
Also others had told me they had phoned the toll free telephone
number at Kraft Foods and had been assured that their gelatin
was in fact, kosher. He responded that he believed the warning
he had seen on the Internet and was not persuaded by a "K" on
I called Kraft and asked them if the "K" on the
label meant that the product was certified as Kosher. The lady
answered "yes it does". I then asked if they meant
by kosher that there were no pork or equine (horse) products
in the gelatin. Again she said yes. I asked her to send me
written documentation of the kosher certification of Jello;
now satisfied that I had proved that Jello was OK for us to
When the documentation arrived I was dismayed to find that
it listed all Kraft Foods products which are certified as kosher
except for Jello! Their cover letter mentioned my contact regarding
the gelatin products, yet they did not send me the documentation
for it. I called again to ask for the written proof of Jello.
This time I was told that Jello was actually certified through
a different rabbinical source. Instead of sending the documents
on Jello certification, they gave the name, address and phone
number of the rabbi in New York City. I called and left messages
requesting the information.
When I received the letter from the rabbi, I found a hand-written,
single paragraph letter with a startling admission. It reads
December 23, 1996
Dear Mr. Swagger, (sic)
Gelatin is made from skin and bones of animals - not the
meat: as per information that I have enclosed it can be considered
Kosher even if it starts with pork skins/bones.
Rabbi Sheldon Goldsmith
The information he enclosed was a two-sided photo copied sheet.
One side was a multi-paragraph explanation, quoting many Orthodox
rabbis and their writings, for the certification of gelatin
derived from any source as meeting "the specifications
of Orthodox Dietary Laws and therefore Kosher and Pareve."
Side two of this document was a brief summary of the production
of animal-based gelatin. It explained that contrary to popular
belief, gelatin is not manufactured from horns or hooves of
animals but rather from collagen bearing tissues in the trimmings
of the hides.
These materials are soaked in chemicals, washed and cooked
to extract the gelatin which is then filtered and evaporated.
In order to make it clear that the gelatin could be made from
any animal, he underlined the word "any". They conclude
that the chemical process changes the composition of the product
and that the identity of the original material is completely
eliminated! Amazing conclusion is it not? By this deceitful
line of reasoning, one could conceivably start.