|A KosherEye Conversation with Sue Fishkoff|
Author of Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America's Food Answers to a Higher Authority, Schocken Books
Tell us about yourself:
What target market do you anticipate will read Kosher Nation?
As we read the book we were impressed by your extensive on–site research. Were you welcomed into the kosher factories and slaughterhouses or were they skeptical about your presence?
She visited a slaughter house in Baltimore with Star-K Rabbi Avram Pollack. The experience changed the way she looks at her food. Although she maintains a vegetarian kitchen, she does eat meat. However, she now appreciates meat more and the blessings said with meals. She witnessed the care and seriousness of the Shochet, and saw how hard he works. She feels the shochet does not get the respect he deserves.
We asked about the “politics” of kosher:
The amount of information in Kosher Nation is comprehensive and extraordinary! How many years did it take you to research and write this book?
Were you welcomed into kosher mainstream corporate America?
Two examples: She was inside the Tropicana plant in Bradenton, Florida when the line was kashered for Pesach. She wandered around the Häagen−Dazs plant in Bakersfield, California with the mashgiach. According to Sue, most companies admire and trust their mashgiach!
Sue related a remarkable experience which started in a secret location − in a western Pennsylvania flour mill. One night at this mill, under strict kosher supervision, wheat was ground into flour. After the process was complete at 2 AM in the morning, she observed the kosher supervised flour being poured into a 50,000 gallon tanker and sealed. In the middle of the night, Sue, along with the trucker, then embarked on a road trip to a Manischewitz plant where it would be baked into matzoh. Another machgiach was there, waiting to unseal it. If, upon arrival the seal had been broken (it was not), the entire shipment would NOT have been kosher for Passover.
Would you identify yourself as an investigative reporter?
Do you like to cook?