Surprising Story of the Week: Kosher China

Though just about everything seems to be manufactured in China these days, few people would think they'd see a "Made in China" label on their jars of gefilte fish or their boxes of matzoh.

Think again. Marketplace reports: "China is one of the fastest growing producers of certified kosher food. And that's keeping the handful of rabbis there very, very busy."

A few thoughts. First, this proves what Harold Meyerson was saying in his most recent op-ed: Almost anything can be outsourced. I also find it a bit quirky that a country that refuses to sanction the practice of religion would nonetheless jump wholeheartedly into the religious dietary industry.

And lastly, writing this post has me given me a wicked craving for matzoh and gefilte fish. Mmmm ... gefilte fish ....

(What the heck -- how about a quick, light-hearted poll in the middle of all this seriousness? Gefilte fish: Thumbs up or thumbs down?)

By Emily Messner |  March 24, 2006; 4:13 PM ET  | Category:  Debate Extras
Previous: What Mexico Would Do for Guest Workers | Next: Immigration: Wedge Issue, Not a Wage Issue


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Though I'm not jewish I have a lot of jewish friends and guess what type of restaurtant we all go to those those who keep kosher and those who do not can all enjoy the food? Chinese of course! It was a natural match.

Posted by: Sully | March 24, 2006 04:40 PM

Too bad it's China and not Japan. Imagine gefilte sushi...


Posted by: Derek | March 24, 2006 04:47 PM

Supposedly in 2007, America is supposed to cross the line where we even import more food than we produce. Funny how we once managed to feed ourselves with 100% local stuff and export half of that local stuff - all without illegal aliens! This year, we imported more "high tech good paying job stuff" Clinton said was the American response to free trade - than we made.

Oh, and all the food and high tech eventually translates into foreigners buying US assets. The French are very smart about this - buying things America literally cannot do without - like water treatment distribution networks, and intellectual property to best transfer cutting edge US technology. Bell Labs was once our pemiere R&D facility...mucho Mobel prizes, college scholarships, and world-leading technology. It became Lucent after the Ma Bell breakup. Now French giant Alcatel wants to buy it and own its patents and new emerging technology. The Chinese are miffed. They knew they couldn't bid on the auction of America's crown jewels that the Richest 1% of Americans have started on things like Lucent...but that the French could...The Chinese would have loved to own the Labs and 80 years of America's best mind's working to create intellectual property. Now they have to buy it or steal it from the French it the deal goes through and help make a few thousand very rich Americans richer once the auctioneer's gavel comes down.

Piece by piece, America's future is being sold off by it's plutocrats to enrich them further in the here and now.


Gelfite fish is like lutefisk, raw Chinese snakeblood soup, fried chitlins, balut, haggis. A foul-tasting ethnic dish that others quite logically reject so ethnics can have one "dish all to themselves" and lie that it is somehow in their nature they summon up the willpower to eat it and to pretend to enjoy it.

Now a good matzoh ball chicken soup, on the other hand.....

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 24, 2006 05:39 PM

I boycott their imported food from the oriental stores in town. Don't trust their sanitation, and since they like to eat dogs (which says the same with imported Korean food as well), even more so.

Have another matzoh ball with dog broth.



Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 05:39 AM

Go ahead and support Chinese food imports and exports...

I guess fondue roasted kosher dog meat is funny, right Emily?

How quickly folks forget.......


Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 06:04 AM

You are fool! It is depend on Quality and not Whereever the kosher food was made. The consumers' interest is most important!

Posted by: Truthtellingman | March 25, 2006 08:29 AM

Perhaps profitingfrom one expression of religion could lead to more religious liberties than the Chinese currently enjoy. Tasation on the printing and selling of Bibles, the Koran, other religious books for domestic consumption would send a steady flood of cash into the tax man's coffers. Whether this will happen or not is debatable but possible.

Posted by: Myke | March 25, 2006 05:39 PM

Truthtellingman wrote:
You are fool! It is depend on Quality and not Whereever the kosher food was made. The consumers' interest is most important!

So how can folks be sure that the sanitation in a country that eats diseased animals? Do you think the dogs are raised healthly with all their shots before softening up their meat with sticks before killing the dogs (how can folks justify such cruelty is beyond reason)?

No, wait, you're talking about kosher foods. So how can those Rabbis can inspect every animal coming in their slaughter houses if they're diseased or not? Not like China has a veterinary system that can keep up with billions of animals that get into the human food chain. Remember China is a prime vector of most avarian virii.

But I guess a kitten head in a can of matzo ball soup; or some new strain of avarian flu served warm around Passover will be the deciding factor of eating food made in the USA or Israel, huh?


Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 10:53 PM

To Emily Messner

I also find it a bit quirky that a country that refuses to sanction the practice of religion would nonetheless jump wholeheartedly into the religious dietary industry

For your information, China does allow the practice of many different religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity. What China doesn't allow is the independent religious groups such as Falung which really scared the heck of the Chinese government when thousands of the Falung worshippers came together for a protest in Beijing in 1998/9(?). By the way Christianity has been booming in China. Of course the China's Christian groups are not really independent, but their teaching is truly Christian

As a writer, you should present the accurate information to your readers or you wouldn't be able to address the complicated issues.

Posted by: Downs | March 27, 2006 05:06 PM

In life, there are Ups and Downs!! Religion is a topic for disagreements. Even within a homogeneous religious group, with time, there will be disagreements and schism. Why? Beliefs based only on subjectivity make peoples intolerant. Our modern world is based on objectivity and common sense, and that permits to embrace all aspects of reality together. Any references to religion divide us. Today's world needs unification of Humans in front of very, very serious and majors challenges to protect and care for life on Earth. Please, try to avoid reinforcing division. Keep religion a personnel matter and avoid imposing on others your faith by showoff's. Please, I pray you(). Be a human being before being a believer. Chinese's are humans and kosher meat is only a specific product among many to choose from. It is not worth discussing about it. WishRobby!

Posted by: wishrobby | March 31, 2006 02:53 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.