Whole Foods Tamps Down Ramadan Promotion

​An internal Whole Foods memo reveals that the chain asked its stores not to promote Ramadan this year. Via eater.


Porky Kibbutz Draws Ire

Is it Kosher to raise pigs on a kibbutz?


Adapting Communion in the Face of Swine Flu

Fear over swine flu is changing the way some Catholic parishioners take communion.


Controversial Ice Cream Ad May be Excommunicated


A controversial advertising campaign for the ice cream brand Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano brings new meaning to the dessert cliche "sinfully delicious."

The sexy ads, which depict a nun and priest on the verge of kissing (while holding a carton of ice cream), is being investigated by a UK advertising standards agency after a complaint was made on the grounds that they are demeaning to people who have chosen a religious vocation. The ads feature the taglines "submit to temptation" and "kiss temptation." The food magazine Delicious has refused to run the ads.

The ads could be banned by the agency if they are found to violate its advertising code.


Scenes from a White House Seder


The White House has released this photo of the historic White House seder, the first ever attended by a sitting President.

The specifics of the meal are scant. Nevertheless, it is possible to discern a couple of interesting details.

MaxwellhouseA close-up analysis of the official photo reveals that the choice of haggadah was cheap and utilitarian (and, presumably, an unintentional product placement). Eschewing a modern reinterpretation like the contemplative A Passover Haggadah (interspersed with commentary from Elie Wiesel), the White House seder went instead with the ubiquitous Maxwell House Haggadah, a supermarket freebie (complimentary with a can of Maxwell House coffee since 1933).

Also notable is that it looks like each guest got their own personal seder plate to refer to during the ceremony. A great idea, I think, except for all of the egg-roasting involved.

For more information about the event, the Huffington Post has a detailed report on who exactly is sitting around the table, which included President Obama, first Lady Michelle Obama, the first daughters, and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, among other friends and White House staff.


Is Quinoa Kosher for Passover?

IStock_000005832579XSmall One would assume that quinoa would not pass muster for Passover. After all, wheat and other grains (categorized as chametz) are forbidden during the holiday. Moreover, medieval Ashkenazi rabbis also excluded the consumption of kitniyot -- rice, corn, soy beans, and other foods -- might be confused with the forbidden grains or grown near them and possibly comingled.

Though similar to chametz grains, it turns out that quinoa is not technically a grain (it's actually a member of the "goose foot" family, which includes beets and spinach). In addition, as a new world food, quinoa wasn't even on the radar screen of 15th century rabbis who made determinations about kitniyot and Passover.

So, as long as the quinoa is processed in a in a factory with Kosher for Passover certification, it is generally considered to be part of the Passover diet.