Thursday, May 29, 2008

Non-Agriprocessors Kosher Meat

Today's Jewish Week suggests that there is growing pressure for a boycott of Kosher meat coming from the now infamous Agriproccesors' plant in Postville, Iowa (http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c37_a11941/News/National.html). The plant allegedly employed hundreds of illegals, allegedly had a meth lab operating on the premises (http://jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/108541.html), has been accused of allegedly violating numerous labor laws (http://www.jewishlaborcommittee.org/2008/05/agriprocessors_jlc_policy_stat.html), and probably some other allegedly-type things.

So, The Notorious R.A.V. reached out to a number of Kashrut organizations and synagogue orgainzations with the following question: If a person wanted to steer [pardon the pun] clear of the Agriprocessors operation entirely, what vendors of meat or meat products are available to them. A number of organizations either ignored the email (that would be the Orthodox Union -- allegedly, of course) , or responded that they don't make such recommendations (that would be United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, also allegedly).

But a few organizations actually "got it" and understood that consumers need choices that will allow them to feel that they are following ritual as well as ethical imperatives. So, with thanks to Union for Traditional Judaism, O-K Laboratories, Kaf-K, and Star-K -- all of whom responded to me as a private citizen, here is a partial listing of some options open to us:
  • Quality Glatt Meats in California - a distributor of Kosher meat processed in Uruguay
  • Tuv Taam (which had its own labor case several years ago)
  • Sabra - Some products imported from Israel
  • Tirat Tzvi - Imported from Israel
  • Naknik Naharia Soglowek - Imported from Israel
  • Some Aaron's products - You need to ascertain which have emanated from Agriprocessors
  • Abeles & Heymann
  • Empire Kosher
  • Alle Processing
  • Meal Mart
  • Hod Lavan - from Israel
  • Hebrew National - For those who have not adopted the custom of "glatt" kosher

And, several of these emailers suggested to me that consumers' best options with fresh meat is to ask their resident Kosher butcher whether the meat they are selling is from Agriprocessors or not.

I am pleased to present this as a public service...feel free to distribute.