- General Questions
Dear rabbi, I find it very hard to understand why most food products need a "hechsher" : (if I read the labels) Only small amounts of ingredients, such as food coloring and food flavorings might be non kosher. Within all the flavoring etc. only some of them are non kosher. Therefore,firstly, I think that "batel bshishim" should apply ,and moreover, "min bmino batel brov" . Secondly, even if you consider some of the non kosher ingredients as "ma’amid" , still I think the Halacha is that when there are two "ma’amidim" and one is kosher , then it’s fine. (and I believe that most products don’t have only non kosher "ma’amidim". Thirdly, even if there are few products in the market with only non kosher "ma’amidim" , shouldn’t the rule of "batel brov" apply to it, and we shouldn’t be "choshesh" that this exact product that I’m buying has this particular far-fetched problem? And I don’t think it’s considered m’vatel isur lekatchila-firstly since it’s done purely for the product’s benefit and not in order to be m’vatel ,and secondly since it’s made mainly for gentiles. One rabbi replied that these heterim are only for desperate situations, but he didn’t give me any source for that. Can you please tell me if I’m correct or wrong in my opinion, and explain why? Thanks a lot.
In today’s day and age of modern scientific technology, there are many small ingredients that are put into different products for flavoring, coloring, texturing and other reasons. It is important to know that some products are Batel Berov some Beshishim, some need 61 some need 101 some need 201 and some are not Batel all together even if there is 1000 against it, such as: Whole Ba’alei Chaim, Briyah, Chatichah Ha’Reuyah Lehitkabed, Davar Shebeminyan, Davar Chashuv, A taste of an Isur spice, Davar Charif of Isur, Davar Sheyesh Lo Matirin, Ma’amidim, Davar Kavua Hanikar Bimkomo, Yayin Nesech and more. It is not always clear from the list of ingredients what they really are. A product in the market is not a Ta’arovet therefore Dinei Bitulim do not apply to it. If an unidentified product was found you apply to it the Halachah of Kol DeParish MeRuba Parish, but it would not apply in this case because it does not apply by a Safek that can easily be resolved by finding out the facts. Eating manufactured products without a Hechsher is a Chashash of real Isurim, unless it is clear that none of the ingredients are questionable. “My great grandfather used to say - the best is if you get your food from people that are trustworthy, but if you don’t have that, at least get it with a good Hechsher”.