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Is there really a Jewish Tax on Food?
The answer is NO!

On the internet you will see people claiming that there is a kosher tax on food. So, where does this idea of a "Jewish Tax on Food" come from?

As a surfer and reader of the internet, you need ask these simple questions when coming across sites or videos which make certain claims, such as 'kosher tax.'  Ask the question of the author of the site or video, "How do you know what you are talking about? Then ask the five "W" questions: "Who?" "What?" "Where?" "When?" "Why?" Did the people who shot the video or wrote the website do any research to verify their claims? Did they interview any Rabbis?  Did they question a Kosher Supervising Agency? Have they visited any food plants which produce kosher foods? Did they speak with supermarket managers about why they stock and sell kosher foods? Or are they merely spouting their opinion without any basis in fact. The bottom line is, when you read or view an article or video on the Internet, you cannot just accept it at face value; anybody can publish anything at all on the 'net; that doesn't mean it's true.  You, as a seeker of information, need to question everything you read.

Let's look at the word "tax" and what it means. In the broad sense of the term, any time you spend money it is a tax on your capital, but more importantly, the correct word should be "expense."  Why use the word tax? Just like with the Boston Tea Party, the word tax is being used to incite anger and hatred. People might think, hearing this word, 'why are those Jews putting a tax on my food?'  The point is, the correct word is "expense," and the word 'tax' is a loaded word to incite negative feelings.

If a kosher symbol is a tax -- then you would have to apply this broad definition to everything that is an expense for that business, from the can or bottle used to package the product, to the employees that make the product -- to any donation the company makes to charity. Even the electricity and water they used, would be a 'tax.' These companies are being taxed to death so they only make 2% to 30% profit?

On the other hand, why would a Food Company incur an Expense?

Food companies advertise, and that is an expense for the purpose of finding new and repeat business. That is a good thing! Advertising for new and repeat business is good for the customers, because it can mean more information to the public and lower prices. A kosher label is a form of direct advertising, telling the customer that "this food is kosher and meets biblical standards in how it was prepared, and in what different products were used to prepare it." This too, is a good thing, because food companies wouldn't do this if it didn't make good business sense and mean an increase in sales, which means an increase in profit.

The money food companies pay to the United States government -- that money is really a tax, in which they have no choice...

A 'tax' is something which is forced on you. A kosher label, in contrast, is a business decision made by the free will of the person in charge of making this decision. When the government taxes, you don't have a choice. A food business has to listen to the FDA and other government agencies, or risk fines or even being shut down. However, on the other hand, businesses have a choice of whether or not to use a kosher label, and can terminate this relationship at their pleasure.

Business Decisions

Let us for a moment consider NASC car, sports, and charities; they all have sponsors who pay money to support the particular event. Does that mean the sponsor loves cars, sports or the charity it sponsors? Obviously, the answer is not necessarily. On the sponsor's part, feeling has nothing to do with it -- it has to do with a business decision that best fits their company. So, why would a food company want to put a kosher label on a food product? Because they know it is good for business, because a certain percentage of people do want kosher food. This makes money for the food company and is a good for the customers -- it is a win - win situation.

I guess taxes are a good thing: we have schools and roads that are paved, and we have police and all those civil services that taxes provide. But one thing a kosher label isn't -- it isn't a tax. It is purely a business decision to make money for the food company; to make sure they stay in business and provide for their employees. And maybe, sometimes a kosher label is used by a company because it is the right thing to do.

What is involved with making a product kosher?

Rules, and lots of them! Some are simple and some are complex and some mean you have to be an expert in food chemistry. NO, the Rabbi doesn't 'bless the food' or 'clap his hands' or 'pray over it' so it magically becomes kosher. Rather, it means inspection of every detail of the food plant, from the products to the machinery used. Once a place is certified as kosher, it means even further inspection on a regular basis to make sure it stays that way, day in and day out. In some cases, this may be much more involved than merely an FDA inspection.

Those spouting about a "Jewish tax on food" are consumed by ignorance, hatred, and want to incite others to feel the same way.

If making money is a bad thing, then go to work for a company that isn't making money!

How would you then support your family? How would you plan for your monthly expenses? Pay your mortgages? Buy food for your family, or for that matter electricity, water and all the other things you want to provide for your family?

A Rabbi doing kosher certification has a vested interest in the food company he certifies staying in business, not out of greed, but in order for him to provide for his family, too -- and to also provide kosher food for people to eat. The only way this happens is when it makes good business sense, and thus makes a profit for the food company.

For those out there who think that this is a 'kosher tax,' and that 'all Jews think about is money,'  just remember that it is a lot easier to ask for and get a raise from a company that is making a profit, than from one that is bankrupt.

That, you can bank on!

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods