Noshin': Bite-Sized News

If you’re intending to fast for Yom Kippur, you’ve probably already cut back on your caffeine and salt intake and are taking other steps to avoid feeling extra woozy by Saturday morning services. One of my favorite tricks is to eat smaller meals in the few days prior to the fast, so this edition of Noshin’ is bite-sized bits of news:
The Australian Jewish population “want[s] last word on what is kosher.” Ummm, this is even up for debate why? According to a report in The Australian, the Australian government is reviewing food labeling laws and is considering defining terms such as ‘free range,’ ‘organic’ and ‘kosher.’ The Jewish community argues that “any official definition of ‘kosher’ in the Food Standards Code might encourage companies to market food as kosher, without their approval.” Seems reasonable enough – after all, that plain K on the Jell-O box has been confounding Americans for years…
A new iPhone app helps locate kosher items – in case you didn’t want to go hunting for hechshers…The My Grocery Master app helps users following specialty diets including Kosher, gluten-free and lactose-free easily locate products. My Grocery Master locates you with the “Find Me” option (I’m pretty sure I need to install this on my mom’s phone for that feature alone) and then you type in a product name or category. My Grocery Master identifies the nearest store that carries the desired item(s). And the app even spits out directions to the selected store. Now, if it would only walk the filled grocery bags up the stairs…Download the app for $1.99 at the iTune App Store (our sources say that there’s a $4.99 annual fee as well).
The folks at Manischewitz gave a shout-out recently to tell us about a few new items hitting grocers’ shelves in time for the new year. They’ve expanded their line of broths to include a new, pareve vegetable broth and a line of ready to serve soups (they claim they’re so good that you’ll swear your grandma made them, but they clearly haven’t had my grandma’s turkey noodle). And if you’re a Tam Tams fan, you’ll be excited to hear that the packages have gotten 20% bigger but the price hasn’t.
A pre-Yom Kippur Noshin’ post wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include a reminder that not everybody who is hungry this Yom Kippur is hungry by choice. Be inspired by the words found in Isaiah “This is the fast I desire…To let the oppressed go free; to share your bread with the hungry…” and consider contributing to a cause that fights hunger for those who have no choice. Many synagogues are collecting non-perishable items – check with yours to find out the preference for donation collection. Mazon and AJWS also have special holiday appeals.
Wishing you an easy and meaningful fast. And plenty of good foods to break it when it ends (around 8pm in Minneapolis). I’ll be chowing down on some faves like a bagel with lox, you?

(Photo: Joe Bielawa)