Another reason to use a good Kosher certification hecksher

The_Gate_of_Kashrut

This Is Agribiz Meat:

If you buy meat from a supermarket, fast food or most other restaurants, this is where it comes from. It’s not only horrific for the animals, it’s utterly dehumanizing. [6:02] Even if you don’t care about your health, surely you must care about your fellow humans who surely suffer in these dehumanizing and degrading positions or the incredible suffering of the animals whose entire lives are pure misery? Don’t you?

La surconsommationOver consumption means a consumption level located above the normal requirements or average consumption.Image from the movie Samsara Samsara is a Tibetan word that means wheel of life, a concept both intimate and vast, which defines the soul of everyone.How long before all the world is reduced to this? Processing Plants of gigantic size
Pushing masses of meat through a production system
Processing it with human meat that
Purchases it.Speak out now, before it’s too late. Is this the world you want your children to inherit?

59% of the ‘Tuna’ Americans Eat Is Not Tuna

By Dr. Mercola

When you eat tuna, there’s a good chance you’re not actually eating tuna. Instead, the majority of fish labeled ‘white tuna’ may actually be escolar, a type of fish that can cause serious digestive effects, including oily anal leakage.

Oceana, the non-profit ocean protection group that revealed the findings, further found that nearly 60 percent of ‘tuna’ sold at restaurants and grocery stores is another type of fish entirely – and the results fared worst for sushi restaurants.1

Love Sushi? Skip the So-Called ‘Tuna’ (Ahi)

[wpex Read more]

Oceana conducted DNA testing on more than 1,200 fish samples across the US and found that one-third were mislabeled. While red snapper had the highest mislabeling rates (87 percent of ‘red snapper’ samples were not actually red snapper), tuna was a close second, with 59 percent mislabeled.

At sushi restaurants, however, 74 percent of fish samples were mislabeled. This included every single sushi restaurant from which samples were tested, even in major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Austin, New York and Washington DC.

According to Oceana’s 69-page report,2 in many cases the mislabeled fish had been substituted for cheaper, less desirable and/or more readily available fish varieties. The results showed that:

  • Mislabeling was found in 27 of the 46 fish types tested (59 percent)
  • 87 percent of fish sold as snapper was actually some other type of fish
  • 59 percent of tuna was some other type of fish
  • 84 percent of “white tuna” sold in sushi venues was actually escolar, a fish associated with acute and serious digestive effects if you eat just a couple of ounces
  • Grouper, halibut, and red snapper were sometimes substituted with king mackerel and tile fish, two types of fish the FDA advises pregnant women and other sensitive groups to avoid due to dangerously high mercury content

Only 1 Percent of Imported Seafood Is Tested for Fraud

How are so many seafood retailers getting away with selling mislabeled fish? To put is simply, no one is minding the store…

More than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, yet only 1 percent of imports are inspected for fraud, which may explain this clearly out-of-control situation. Oceana reported:3

“Our findings demonstrate that a comprehensive and transparent traceability system – one that tracks fish from boat to plate – must be established at the national level.

At the same time, increased inspection and testing of our seafood, specifically for mislabeling, and stronger federal and state enforcement of existing laws combatting fraud are needed to reverse these disturbing trends.

Our government has a responsibility to provide more information about the fish sold in the U.S., as seafood fraud harms not only consumers’ wallets, but also every honest vendor and fisherman cheated in the process – to say nothing of the health of our oceans.”

Another Reason to Avoid Tuna: It’s Typically Loaded With Mercury

Fish has always been the best source for the animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, but as levels of pollution have increased, this health treasure of a food has become less and less viable as a primary source of beneficial fats. This is particularly true for tuna, which tends to be a higher mercury fish.

One study from the U.S. Geological Survey found that ALL tuna tested contained fairly high amounts of mercury. The contamination may be even worse in restaurants, again confirming that eating restaurant tuna is a risky proposition.

Further, according to a separate study, toxicological testing revealed that tuna sold in restaurants actually contained HIGHER amounts of mercury than the store-bought variety.4 The reason for this is because restaurants tend to favor certain species of tuna, such as bluefin akami and bigeye tuna, which had significantly higher levels of mercury than bluefin toro and yellowfin tuna.

Unfortunately, mercury tends to accumulate to a greater degree in muscle than in fat, rendering these highly prized, leaner species of tuna more susceptible to high contamination.

Another explanation is that restaurants tend to buy larger sized fish, which in turn contain larger concentrations of mercury due to their size. Remember, the larger the fish the longer it has lived, and the more time it has had to bioaccumulate toxins like mercury from the ocean.

Up to 80 Percent of Salmon May Also Be Mislabeled

It’s not only tuna and red snapper that is commonly mislabeled. In the video above, I interview Randy Hartnell, founder-president of Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics. He explains that as much as 70 to 80 percent of the fish marked “wild” salmon were actually farmed. This includes restaurants, where 90-95 percent of salmon is farmed, yet may be mis-listed on the menu as “wild.” The following tips can help you determine whether the salmon is authentic:

  1. Canned salmon labeled “Alaskan Salmon” is a good bet, as Alaskan salmon is not allowed to be farmed.
  2. In restaurants, mislabeled salmon will typically be described as “wild” but not “wild Alaskan.” This is because authentic “wild Alaskan” is easier to trace. The term “wild” is more nebulous and therefore more often misused. In many ways, it is very similar to the highly abused “natural” designation.
  3. Whether you’re in a grocery store or a restaurant, ask the seafood clerk or waiter where the fish is from. If it’s wild, they will have paid more for it, so they’re likely to understand the value proposition. Since it’s a selling point, they will know where it came from. If they don’t have an answer for you, it’s a red flag that it’s farmed, or worse… The US Food and Drug Administration is moving forward with approving genetically engineered salmon to be sold, and as you know, GE foods still do not need to be labeled in the US.
  4. Avoid Atlantic salmon, as all salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” currently comes from fish farms.
  5. Sockeye salmon cannot be farmed, so if you find sockeye salmon, it’s bound to be wild. You can tell sockeye salmon from other salmon by its color. It’s bright red as opposed to pink. The reason again for this bright red color is its superior astaxanthin content. Sockeye salmon has one of the highest concentrations of astaxanthin of any food.

Three Ways to Help Determine if Seafood Is Mislabeled

For the average diner, it can be difficult, if not nearly impossible, to determine if the tuna or red snapper in your sushi is actually what it’s claimed to be. That said, there are some ways to protect yourself against rampant seafood fraud:5

  1. Ask questions. Consumers should ask more questions, including what kind of fish it is, if it is wild or farm raised, and where, when and how it was caught
  2. Check the price. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is, and you are likely purchasing a completely different species than what is on the label.
  3. Purchase the whole fish. When possible, purchase the whole fish, which makes it more difficult to swap one species for another.

Are You a Seafood Lover? Use These Tips to Stay Healthy

Aside from the fraud issue, which is clearly prevalent, most major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals, and chemicals like dioxins, PCBs, and other agricultural chemicals that wind up in the environment. This is why, as a general rule, I no longer recommend getting your omega-3 requirements from fish, but rather from a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 supplement like krill oil. However, I do make two exceptions.

One is authentic, wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, the nutritional benefits of which I believe still outweigh any potential contamination. The risk of sockeye accumulating high amounts of mercury and other toxins is reduced because of its short life cycle, which is only about three years. Additionally, bioaccumulation of toxins is also reduced by the fact that it doesn’t feed on other, already contaminated, fish.

Whenever I consume fish, I make sure to also take chlorella tablets. The chlorella is a potent mercury binder and if taken with the fish will help bind the mercury before you are able to absorb it, so it can be safely excreted in your stool.

The second exception is smaller fish with short lifecycles, which also tend to be better alternatives in terms of fat content, so it’s a win-win situation — lower contamination risk and higher nutritional value. A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will have accumulated. So if you’re a seafood lover, try to choose most of your fish from this group, which includes:

  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

If you insist on eating typical, store-bought fish and want to know more about the extent of your mercury exposure, I urge you to check out the online mercury calculator6 at GotMercury.org to get an idea of the risks. Additionally, as mentioned above, you may want to consider taking a natural mercury chelator with any fish dinner. In addition to chlorella, this also includes zeolite (green clay) and fermented vegetables. Since larger fish tend to live longer and have the highest contamination levels, they should be avoided entirely. These include (please note this is not an exhaustive listing):

Tuna (tuna steaks, sushi, and canned) Sea bass and largemouth bass Marlin
Halibut Pike Walleye
Shark Sword fish White croaker

 

[-] Sources and References

Why You Can No Longer Trust The USDA Organic Label

September 19, 2013 by NATASHA LONGO
“USDA Organic” is simply a marketing term those who take government ethics at face value. The goal has always been to increase agricultural sales, not promote organic farming. The public seems to confide in this label through sheer ignorance. The National Organic Program (NOP) which governs the “USDA Organic” label has no interest in organic farming, improving soil, quality of the produce, or factors that pollute the environment. In another blow to their organics program that will further downgrade consumer confidence, the USDA announced this week that the agency has changed the process for exempting otherwise prohibited substances (such as synthetics) in food that carries the “organic or “made with organic” label. This decision makes it easier to continue use of artificial ingredients and substances, undermining integrity of the organic label. [wpex Read more]

According to the National Organic Program, the organic label indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used…until now.

Under the federal organic law and prior to the announcement, there was a controlled process for allowing the use of substances not normally permitted in organic production because of extenuating circumstances. Under the Organic Foods Production Act 7 USC 6517 (e) Sunset Provision, “No exemption or prohibition contained in the National List shall be valid unless the National Organic Standards Board has reviewed such exemption or prohibition as provided in this section within 5 years of such exemption or prohibition being adopted or reviewed and the Secretary has renewed such exemption or prohibition.”

Under the law, these exemptions are authorized for a five-year period, in order to encourage the development of natural (or organic) alternatives. The exemptions are required by law to expire, known as “sunset,” unless they were reinstated by a two-thirds “decisive” majority vote of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and include a public review. While this is the law, USDA has said it will no longer operate the program in this manner.

USDA organics has been hijacked by big agriculture and their food scientists for some time. Senior food scientist Toby McDonald insists that the only way to protect the population is through current and modified sterilization techniques that will make food safe for all. “Current and modified practices including irradiation and pasteurization are extremely effective in reducing harmful bacteria and pathogens in the food supply,” he proclaimed. MacDonald says that as food demand reaches its climax, proper sterilization will be necessary at all levels.” An increase of 50 percent in food demand by 2030 will require more funding into food monitoring infrastructures so that all food with the potential to produce outbreaks can be properly sterilized to prevent those outbreaks,” he added.

The USDA’s recent decision now puts the burden of identifying exempted materials for removal largely onto environmentalists and consumers. It largely suggests that the alternative media will now have to step up their efforts to identify all genetically modified and toxic sources which the USDA will eventually label as organic.

Under the new policy, an exempt material could be permitted indefinitely unless a two-thirds majority of the NOSB votes to remove an exempted (synthetic) substance from the list. The new policy allows USDA to relist exemptions for synthetic materials without the recommendation of the independent board and outside of public view, as required by current law.

This isn’t the only strike on the USDA’s public record. Just a few years ago, The Cornucopia Institute released an independent report that focused on the widespread abuses in organic egg production, primarily by large industrial agribusinesses. The study profiled the exemplary management practices employed by many family-scale organic farmers engaged in egg production, while spotlighting abuses at so-called factory farms, some confining hundreds of thousands of chickens in industrial facilities, and representing these eggs to consumers as “organic.”

As I have been vocally stating for years now, the public perception that USDA Organic label is “truly organic” is a falsity. The USDA has repeatedly permitted certifications of organizations known to not meet the legal requirement for said certification. Two examples are CCFO and Oregon Tilth.

So What Should Organic Farming Entail?

– Free of synthetic chemicals of any kind
– Free of genetically modified organisms
– Free of irradiation, pasteurization or sterlization
– Produced in soils of enhanced biological activity
– Produced via reputable farming strategies such as on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, mechanical cultivation, approved mineral-bearing rocks and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity, to supply plant nutrients and to control insects, weeds and other pests.

The USDA’s recent decision means there is no guarantee on any of the above. In a joint statement issued by Beyond Pesticides, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, and Food and Water Watch, they stated:

“The USDA’s decision minimizes all incentives for creating organic, natural alternative ingredients and lowers the standard for what consumers can expect behind the organic label. Allowing the USDA to automatically relist materials without the recommendation of the NOSB erodes the Board’s legal authority over materials decisions, a key to consumer trust in the organic label. The fact that the agency made this decision without any public input only adds to the violation felt by watchdog groups and consumers alike,”

“Potentially allowing an indefinite listing of non-natural ingredients and requiring a super-majority vote to retire a substance after five years undermines the spirit of the law for how materials head into “sunset” or retirement. It is unfair to producers trying to produce a truly organic product and it is unfair to consumers trying to make meaningful purchasing decisions. Simply put, this lowers the bar for much of the organic market. We believe USDA must reverse course and we intend to mount a fierce campaign to hold the agency accountable to the millions of Americans who expect more from the government–and the organic label.”

Organic agriculture embodies an ecological approach to farming that focuses on feeding the soil and growing naturally healthy crops, whereas chemical-intensive agriculture depends on toxic chemicals and inputs which poison the soil, as well as air, water, farmworkers and consumers. In conventional chemical agriculture there are tens of thousands of synthetic materials, including over 200 registered pesticide active ingredients used regularly

Expanding organics is literally a matter of life or death for public health, climate, and the environment. None of the largest food suppliers of our world are leading the charge to double or triple organic food and farming sales by exposing the myth of organic foods because it is not in their best interest. The industry giants will never get serious about making a societal transition to organic food and farming. The reason for this is simple: it is far easier and profitable for these conglomerates to sell conventional or even so-called natural foods at a premium price, than it is to pay a premium price for organics and educate consumers as to why “cheap” conventional and deceptive “natural food” is really more expensive than organic, given the astronomical hidden costs (health, pollution, climate destabilization) of conventional agriculture and food processing.

Sources:
organicconsumers.org
beyondpesticides.org
ams.usda.gov

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

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The alternative is the Buy Kosher Fish and Meat

Look for these Kosher Certification Agencies official identification symbol, or hecksher when shopping.

 kashruscard-cRc
Kosher-Symbols-Israel

Look for these Kosher Certification Agencies official identification symbol, or hecksher in Israel

For those that think that you can use any Kosher Certification Agencies symbol, or hecksher when shopping please read the following article. And no this is not Politics!
Memories of a Shochet – Horror Stories from Various Slaughterhouses Across America

Thursday, July 5, 2012

If you really want to get an idea of what is going on in the field of Kashrut, specifically of what really happens in the slaughterhouses, then you need to give this article a read.
Email hazakweematz@gmail.com for the full free book “Memories of a Shochet”.
In it, the Holminer Rebbe who was a practicing Shochet in America for 10 years and involved in Kashrut for many more years writes a list of firsthand accounts of some of the horror stories he personally witnessed in many many slaughter houses all across America. You can only imagine if it was like that then, how much worse things are now…[wpex Read more]

Here are a few excerps to help you get a better understanding of what shechita is all about. Also available is a book the Rebbe wrote entitled “The Gate of Kashrut” with tons of valuable information on the subject of how to truly keep kosher and avoid the many pitfalls out there and thereby save your and your families souls from the blemish of eating treifot and nevelot, chelev and dam.

(From “Memories of a Shochet”) In this book I bring forth incidents pertaining to the status of Schita in New York and other locations that I myself have seen and experienced personally, being a Schochet for over 10 years, witnessing first hand the situation in beef and chicken slaughter houses under the finest and strictest supervision.
In the course of 35 years (5727-5762) I have visited the many notable slaughter houses and unfortunately, have witnessed all that is written in this book.

GENTILES SLAUGHTERING TURKEYS AND TAGGING THEM KOSHER, THE OWNER IS AN ISRAELI MURDERER. SHOCHTIM CROSSING BOUNDARIES OF OTHER SCHOCHTIM With the Schochtim R’…… and R’…….. (two well~ known Schochtim I used to work with near Vineland. There also the Schita was veryquick. But there I only served as a helper to the Schochet, so that the Schochtim were able to rest. I do not remember the exact quantity of the Schita but it was very quick. The knives were defective because they had to slaughter up to the back of the neck, and they used to cry aloud “cut deeper, deeper”. I used to yell back that I can’t slaughter any deeper because I am afraid the back of the neck will defect the knife. After touching the back of the neck you must check the knife over 6 different ways. The experienced Schochet told me, “Don’t worry about the knife. The back of the neck causes no defect. look at my own knife.” I never understood how they weren’t ashamed to show me such defective knives!
The son in law of Rabbi…… Was a Mashgiach and told me that one day the owner told him that because there was a big snow and the truck of turkeys did not arrive, there will be no Schita, and there is no need for him to come to work. The Mashgiach was then in a hotel only a few miles away and being a heavy person, he was immune to the cold and never wore more than a sweater. Although the owner thought he had to arrive by car, the Mashgiach out of boredom, decided to take a walk and he walked towards the Plant. When he arrived, he was shocked to see how turkeys were being butchered and kosher tags put onto them, without a Schochet! The owner threatened him that if he reveals what he saw, someone will
shoot him. The owner himself carried a gun on him. He was a former Israeli soldier and was suspected of being an underworld criminal. The Schochet kept quiet and did not tell anyone the story; however he did tell it to me…

This was a long time after I stopped being a Schochet and where I once worked as a Schochers helper for 6-8 weeks. One time I didn.t feel well, and I sent the Schochet R’……. to substitute for me. The supervising Schochet R’……. saw the Schochet slaughtering in back of the neck and asked him to stay on and work there instead of me. He would receive $60 a day and only have to work two days a week. This particular Schochet stayed on and a week later told me that he had my job. I asked him how he could do this and showed him the Halacha regarding crossing boundaries’. Then he presented this to the Supervisor, the Supervisor in return said, ‘With me there is no such thing as crossing boundaries. I hire and fire who I please, and I prefer those that accomplish the most’ (slaughter the most animals per hour). And with that I resigned from this Schita.

Shochet-knife
SLAUGHTERING OF ANIMALS AT 60 PER HOUR-SLAUGHTERING WITHOUT
FEELING-USING A DEFECTIVE KNIFE-IN OUTSIDE EXAMINATIONS THE ADHESIONS
ARE CUT- THE SCHOCHTIM ARE VERY LENIENT AND PERMIT EVERYTHING
I was at a relative who was a Schochet and although I was already experienced in Schita I said that I still knew nothing and am learning the trade. This way I was able to see and observe all that was going
on without being suspected of having too much knowledge. I had very nice knives, and my friend R’…… had also R’…… were impressed with the knives, which are actually the basis for a good Schochet. They told me that if I saw knives with defects I was not to say anything about it. There were two Schochtim – one a Hassid of Rebbe M…..and the other a Lithuanian. The Schochet who was a Hassid showed me his knife that was very smooth but in the middle had a terrible defect, but I said nothing. In short, my relative the Schochet slaughtered only 60 per hour and examined his knife after every animal. He then gave me the knife to examine and I told him I still have to learn what is called fat, in the middle of slaughtering the animals from Schita to Schita you feel fat if it is not a defect. He examined the knife and then showed it to me. Once I found a defect and I said that I felt some- thing and maybe it is just fat. He examined the knife quickly and said it was good. He continued to slaughter another 5-6 animals and gave me the knife again to examine. I told him again that I feel something, and when he examined it again he agreed that there was a defect on the knife and accordingly declared the animal treif. I told him that the first time he gave me the knife to check, I also felt the same defect and he asked me why I didn’t tell him. I said I did but that I didn’t quite know the difference between fat and a defect and I only said I feel something.
To tell the truth, I felt the defect very well because I was in many slaughterhouses, but I wanted to see how I would feel slaughtering 60 animals an hour alone. Is there feeling and how?

The Schochet continued to Shecht without another Schochet standing by his side examining the knives.
Internal examinations are made while the animals are hung. Each examiner makes notes for himself as to what he has found and passes it on to an outside examiner that has nothing to do with the Schita. It is all done in a carefully planned manner. The examiner R’…… permitted everything that had an origin with Rabbinic authority, even when it tended towards the lenient. He removed the most difficult adhesions that even had a blood clot that every Posek would prohibit. I asked him why he is trying so hard to remove it when the animal is treif anyway. and he said that it is absolutely not so and then told me there is a technique called Bais David. that determines that in such a case it is also considered kosher. He showed me the Sefer and told me it was his job to find permits even if the majority rules against. This he declared Glatt Kasher Lemehadrin.. The work on the lung took 15 minutes. I learned from him how to remove adhesions,( He put all the pious Schochtim in his little pocket). Most of our Schochtim don’t even know how to remove adhesions, they just tear them and they don’t even have nails to do that. Well. that plant already burnt down and thank G-d there is one less place to cause Jews to eat Treif and vile meat.

SCHITA ON THE FEATHERS – THE SCHOCHET ADMITS THAT HE CONTINUES TO
SCHECHT EVEN AFTER FINDING A GREAT DEFECT
Unfortunately, I taught schita to a student, following the instructions of the Satmer Rebbe ZTL. The student was a difficult one and it was harder for himto learn than the knife used to schecht. Then, to my good fortune he was ordained and he started to schecht.
At……. a Schochet was absent and the manager in charge, the old Schochet R’……, took my student to shecht for him. He did not know how to schecht like the others. One time I saw how he slaughters on
top of the feathers, like that other Schochet who gives others treifus to eat….. This caused me great anguish, since he was my student and no less according to the Satmer Rebbe…. On the fourth or fifth day
that he worked there he showed the knife to the old Schochet. He found a great defect. He asked him when it happened, and the student said it happened about an hour and a half ago. Then the old Schochet yelled at
him why he waited so long if he thought something was wrong – why didn’t he show it to the more experienced there…… However, inspite of all this, that entire Schita still remained kosher! [/wpex]

 

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