19.03.2011 13.Adar ll, 5771
Producing strictly kosher food products for an increasingly fastidious religious public is becoming complicated and costly. But with an eye to big profits, the food industry is happy to comply.
R., the manager of a large dairy, is a kibbutznik who sells milk to a big dairy conglomerate. Like her, the heads of the conglomerate are not Orthodox – but when Passover approaches, R.'s cows enjoy a kosher-for-Passover menu, following the special strictures of the holiday.
"We install filters on the milk pumps to make sure no leavened food gets into the milk. The kashrut supervisors [who ensure that dietary laws are observed] sometimes, even at 4 A.M., come to check whether we are using the filters. Two weeks before Passover, we change the cows' entire nutrition program – from fodder with seeds to fodder without; this too they check. The special feed costs me NIS 24 per serving, NIS 2 more than regular food, and it also causes metabolic problems, constipation, diarrhea and hoof problems. In practice, we start getting them used to it well before the holiday, and this screws us – both because of the price and the cows' output."…