Can You Have Your Fake Pork and Eat It Too?
Should we be disgusted by the idea of eating imitation pork?
by Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith, Aish
Nov 17, 2021
So can you have your fake pork and eat it too?
Impossible Foods Inc., whose imitation, plant-based meat and sausage had received a kosher stamp of approval from the Orthodox Union (OU), paving the way for kosher faux cheeseburgers, was seeking a seal of approval for its new product – fake pork. The OU, for the time being, said no.
As reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, Rabbi Menachem Genack, chief executive of OU Kosher, the world’s largest kosher certification group, said the word “pork” was too much to stomach, and its board voted against the company’s kosher-certification request for Impossible Pork.
I can understand the visceral reaction to bringing home the ersatz bacon with the OU’s insignia emblazoned on the package, and frying it up with your eggs and cheese. Some people find the thought of eating anything the looks like pork, smells like pork and tastes like pork utterly revolting.
I say bring it on.
And I’m not the only one. The Talmud (Chulin 109b) tells the story of Yalta, the wife of Rabbi Nachman, who was craving for the delicious taste of meat and milk cooked together.
Yalta said to Rav Nachman: “Everything God has forbidden us has a permitted equivalent. It has forbidden us blood but it has permitted us liver… it has forbidden us pork but it has permitted us the brain of the shibbuta…
“I want to eat meat and milk. Where's its equivalent?”
To satisfy her request, Rav Nachman asked the butchers to prepare roasted udders for her.
Rabbi Nachman didn’t tell Yalta, “That’s revolting! What’s gotten into you?” The great sage accepted his wife’s craving and came up with a viable way to satisfy it. If Impossible Pork would have existed in his day is there any question what he'd have done? One Big Mac with bacon coming right up!
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