May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Gotham Burger Reopens After Crash

A single car accident that took place last Thursday evening resulted in minor injuries for an adult and child. Gotham Burger owner Avi Roth thanked his loyal customers in a Facebook post: “We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and friends for reaching out to us! It is great to be so loved in one’s community! Luckily all that is broken can be fixed and that no one seems to be seriously injured!”

Juicing Is Changing Lives in the Kosher Market

(Kosher Today) Juice is no longer just a simple drink that you buy in your local grocery store; it is no longer just a great drink for on-the-go. Over the past few years, juicing has become a ‘thing’. It’s all about cleansing and detoxing. Juices no longer just come in the basic apple and orange variety—kale, beet and spinach juices line the supermarket shelves, boasting exotic ingredients such as wheatgrass, cayenne pepper and chia seeds.

The kosher market is no exception to this juice craze. JUS by Julie (certified by Orthodox Union) offers one, three, and five day cleanses that are enjoyed by the kosher and non-kosher market alike. Made fresh daily from only pure and raw ingredients, the JUS cleanse promises “a detox diet designed to rid the body of impurities through specially formulated drinks. JUS seeks to keep the dieter nutritionally satiated and energized, assisting in daily productivity, and improving quality of life.” With three storefronts in Brooklyn and Cedarhurst, JUS delivers uniquely blended juices, with names like Morning Glory and Extreme Greens, to your doorstep. JUS founder and mother of five, Julie Maleh, is a qualified nutritionist and developed her juices to help her own hair thinning issues. “I had energy like I never had in my life,” she says, so she began to share her drinks. Within days her phone was ringing off the hook and she now has a warehouse that blends and ships cleanses across the country. “I created a ripple effect from my one little story…and it’s really changing people’s lives,” she said.

Whole Foods Market Moving in the Direction of Kosher

(Kosher Today and Forbes) Anyone who has recently visited a Whole Foods store in a major kosher market has probably noticed the obvious: You can fill a shopping wagon with kosher certified products. It is, according to many kosher shoppers, a great place to find products that are natural and organic. The chain also acknowledges that the kosher world is producing the kind of products that are consistent with its core mission. With its annual Supplier Awards, Whole Foods Market recognizes and celebrates the company’s supplier partners who best embody its mission and core values. It recently named Kedem Foods as winner of its Outstanding Innovation Category (2015 Supplier Awards). “Kedem helped us deliver. They created new, natural versions of traditional products, like the first commercially available Tilapia Gefilte Fish specifically for our stores, and now we carry items shoppers simply can’t find anywhere else,” said a Whole Foods Market rep. According to industry sources, Whole Foods has in recent years seen sales of kosher certified items grow and is betting that relationships like it has with Kedem will further enhance its standing with kosher consumers. Whole Foods has also started expanding on gluten-free and other healthy kosher Passover foods.

Clover, a Boston Area Vegetarian Restaurant Chain, Goes Kosher

(combined sources) Clover, a Cambridge-based restaurant group, is in the process of being certified kosher. A growing vegetarian chain of restaurants, which includes food trucks, prepared foods soon to be sold at Whole Foods and catering, is taking steps to make all its products kosher. The fast-casual eatery already eschews meat products, which takes away concern for one of the largest restrictions of kosher law.

When the commissary kitchen Clover HUB opened in 2011, the company installed vegetable washing equipment that the owner believed would be helpful toward making their food kosher. Owner Ayr Muir, who is not Jewish, has enlisted the help of Rabbi Barry Dolinger, a RIETS musmach and a former intern at the Beth Din of America, during the process of officially certifying Clover products kosher. Clover operations are to be certified kosher under his supervision. Muir notes that all Clover operations, including the forthcoming sales at Whole Foods, will be certified.

Israel Produces World’s Smallest Vegetable Protein

(foodbev.com/foodbusinessnews.net) Sometimes great things are found in small packages. Hinoman Ltd. in Tel Aviv is coming out with Mankai, a branded vegetable protein ingredient sourced from aquaculture. Mankai, known as the world’s “smallest vegetable” protein, is sourced from the less than one fifth of an inch long mankai vegetable. According to Hinoman, the vegetable’s small size allows it to be incorporated more easily into food or beverage applications. While the Mankai vegetable is native to Southeast Asia, Hinoman uses hydroponic technology to grow the product faster and without pesticides. Hinoman vice president of marketing and business development Udi Alroy said that “the Mankai plant boasts the closest protein profile to animal protein. The paradox is that this tiny, single-strain microgreen delivers huge health benefits to a wide range of market targets and addresses not only the race for new protein sources but also offers perfect solutions to trendy diets, such as paleo and vegan.” Mankai will be presented at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition on July 11-14 in Chicago.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Tea

(combined sources) The next time you’re thinking about pouring yourself another cup of coffee, consider making yourself a nice cup of green tea. Packed with antioxidants, green tea is a great dieting tool since it builds exercise endurance and speeds up your metabolism. It reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a whole bunch of different kinds of cancers. Despite the caffeine, tea is even hydrating your body! Another great thing is that tea can even be used as a “backup sunscreen” since it protects your body from UV rays. While tea certainly does not act as a replacement to healthy eating, exercise, and sunscreen, it couldn’t hurt to change up your Starbucks order every once in a while.

Concern Mounts Over BDS Moves Against Kosher Food Products in Miami

(Kosher Today) It was an innocent looking box of Kedem Whole Wheat Crackers that was part of a kosher shelf of a Publix store in Miami. But upon closer look it included an awkwardly pasted look-alike nutritional label under the heading “Occupational Facts.” In the spaces where nutritional facts would normally appear, hate messages with statistics of alleged Israeli atrocities against Palestinians were present. In the wine section, Israeli wines were seen with the sticker “Boycott Apartheid Israel: Free Palestine.” Kosher Today was not able to ascertain whether the police had been called in or what action Publix took once the tampering was discovered. But it did send shudders down the spines of kosher food officials who were hoping that the BDS (Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions) movement would not make its way to the kosher food industry in the US. In Paris, for example, a French anti-Semitism watchdog group called for a police probe against a former lawmaker who warned Muslim shoppers about locally produced kosher products. “Ramadan soon: Watch out with your shopping,” Jean-Claude Lefort, a former lawmaker for France’s communist party and current president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS), wrote in a social media posting. While there have been attempts to boycott Israeli products in many European countries, Israeli officials say that Israeli exports to Europe in the past 6 months have actually increased by as much as 10%.

Kosher officials in the US are urging stores like Publix and law enforcement to take a strong stand against the efforts of the BDS movement. Several attorneys reached by Kosher Today said that any tampering with food labels is punishable with heavy fines and up to 10 years in prison under the Federal Anti-Tampering Act which specifically includes food labels. One kosher official said: “Law enforcement and Publix should easily be able to identify the perpetrators thanks to their elaborate surveillance system.”

Kosher Food Labels Cooking Up a Coalition Crisis

(Arutz Sheva) Kosher food labeling could turn into the first major coalition crisis for Binyamin Netanyahu’s relatively new government, as Kulanu and Shas spar over a bill that would make the Chief Rabbinate the sole source of authority on what can be marketed as kosher.

Shas MK Yoav Ben Tzur’s bill would require restaurants and catering halls to either display their kashruth credentials from the Rabbinate – or explicitly state that they are not kosher. It was supposed to come up for a vote Sunday in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation but the vote was postponed due to bickering over the bill’s wording.

The bill goes beyond the current system of “positive affirmation” of kashrut, in which an eatery displays a certificate that it has been inspected by the Rabbinate. According to sources in the Knesset, the objective of the bill is to foil attempts by non-Rabbinate organizations to provide supervision of food, without relating to whether or not an establishment operates on Shabbat. Several supervision organizations have of late distributed certificates attesting to the kashrut of restaurants that operate on Shabbat, while the Rabbinate denies such establishment certificates. The bill promises stiff penalties for violators of the law.

Kulanu MKs oppose the bill, which they say will interfere with freedom of commerce. Speaking with Israeli media, several MKs said that they would fight the bill’s adoption. MK Rachel Azaria of Kulanu called the bill “problematic, because it will damage many businesses. In addition, it is a gross violation of the status quo on religion.”

Kulanu MKs were also bitter over the failure of a bill proposed by MK Ro’i Falkman to be considered by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, and pointed to this fact as a factor in their opposition to the Shas bill. Falkman’s bill would require the state to pay its bills to independent contractors within 30 days, as opposed to the 60-90 days that the law allows.

The Kulanu MKs said that they suspected that the Committee, which includes several Shas MKs, decided not to discuss Falkman’s bill because of Kulanu’s opposition to the Shas bill. Kulanu MKs said that they hoped that the dispute would not turn into a coalition crisis – but that anything was possible.

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