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Author:  Jack D.
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/18/2004 12:45:00 PM
Subject:  Glycerine, vinegar, whey, etc.
Message:  B'Kavod,

Over the past month, I have been considering your response to my inquiry regarding vinegar (#8663):
Question: If vinegar does require a hechser, please explain how it would differ from glycerine, which would seem more edible (at least by taste, although glycerine may be equally Pogei'ah).
Reply: If people don't eat Jalapeno Peppers straight up, but they eat it in a sandwich, that doesn't make it inedible.
Renee added, "I drink cider vinegar in a cup of hot water as a beverage all the time."

I must admit that I continue to have difficulty reconciling this issue. In fact, I don't see why jalapeno peppers would require a hechsher (putting aside that raw vegetation is always kasher) if, when raw, they can cause physical injury and are clearly inedible by most people, and must be mixed or diluted for human consumption. This seems true of both glycerin and vinegar (even cider vinegar, which Renee must dilute in water before she drinks).

This perspective on vinegar being inedible also seems consistent with your response to Martin regarding whey (#9023). There, you suggest that the evidence that whey is inedible "straight" is that to make it a delicacy, sugar must be added. So, too, vinegar must be diluted or seasoned to be edible by most people.

If you can spare the time, please carefully outline what criteria are used to differentiate foods that are inedible from those that are edible and could require a hechsher. I'm sure that if you do this, it will become clear why vinegar is considered edible and requires a hecsher, while glycerin and whey do not.

Doing so will also help clarify the issue for those of us who are murky on understanding the appropriate and inappropriate roles of the kashrut industry.

Again, I ask these questions sincerely and respectfully, as I try to understand the boundaries of edibility and kashruth.

Thank you very much,
Jack D.

Reply:  In order to respond to you, I need you to explain to me how you use vinegar in a product and how you use glycerin and whey in a product. Once you have that clear, it will all make sense to you.

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