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The Shulchan Aruch YD (116:6) writes:

אסור לאכול מאכלים ומשקים שנפשו של אדם קצה בהם כגון משקים ואוכלים שנתערבו בהם קיא או צואה וליחה סרוחה וכיוצא בהם וכן אסור לאכול ולשתות בכלים הצואים שנפשו של אדם קצה בהם כגון כלים של בית הכסא וכלי זכוכית שמקיזים בהם וכיוצא בהם וכן לא יאכל בידים מזוהמות ועל גבי כלים מלוכלכים שכל אלו בכלל אל תשקצו את נפשותיכם -

It is prohibited to eat food and drinks that a persons soul is disgusted by, such as drinks and food that have vomit or feces mixed with them, and rotten moisture and things like this. It is forbidden to eat and drink from dirty vessels that a person's soul is disgusted by them, like bathroom vessels and glass vessels that they let blood into. And he should not eat with dirty hands and on dirty vessels, since all of these fall into the prohibition of "Do not make your souls abominable"

Since many people are disgusted by the taste of rotten eggs, dirty socks, etc. would eating a BeanBoozled jelly bean that tastes like those purposefully designed disgusting flavors be forbidden because of bal tishaktzu?

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  • 3
    Can't be worse than eating the head of a fish
    – shmosel
    Apr 19, 2023 at 3:37
  • To add to the question, might there be an additional issue of בל תשחית (wanton waste) as the food will most often be spit out? Apr 19, 2023 at 14:09
  • @Deuteronomy Those issues would be mutually exclusive.
    – shmosel
    Apr 19, 2023 at 17:27
  • @shmosel that might be in the case where one spat it out instantaneously... often one eats a bit of something and spits out the rest (and thus the potential for violating both, not in exclusion to each other). Apr 20, 2023 at 1:05
  • @Deuteronomy Doesn't matter. If you can't eat it, it's not wasteful to throw it out. Though maybe buying it is a waste of money.
    – shmosel
    Apr 20, 2023 at 1:11

2 Answers 2

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The OU Rabbinical representative responded via email by saying there are two categories of foods in question:

  1. Inherently disgusting foods (e.g., rotten eggs) - One transgresses bal tishaktzu by consuming this food regardless of whether
  2. Healthy, good foods that I personally do not like (e.g., broccoli) - One does not transgress bal tishaktzu by consuming this food unless the dislike is strong enough to evoke nausea.

These jelly beans are in the second category since the disgusting flavors are created with "good," synthetic ingredients. Therefore, one may consume the jelly beans without transgressing bal tishaktzu unless he would be nauseated by the flavor. "Then indeed he should not eat it, and if he does it could be a violation of bal tishaktzu."

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  • I don't understand why it's in the second category. Everything is made of chemicals. Some stuff is gross. Why does synthetic matter?
    – Double AA
    Apr 28, 2023 at 12:17
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According to the OU, this would not be a problem of bal teshaktzu (and I believe that the jelly beans in question are certified kosher by the OU). This was explained to me by the recorder of OU Psak and Policy as follows: bal teshaktzu applies to food that is disgusting because it is spoiled or the like. In this case, however, the ingredients are all fresh and up to the highest quality standards; they are just scientifically engineered to resemble things that are disgusting. Considering this bal teshaktzu would be like saying that a child who finds vegetables gross cannot eat them because of bal teshaktzu. See also here.

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    I don't think your answer accurately reflects the source from the OU, which does not indicate that a food designed to taste disgusting is necessarily the same as a food you personally dislike. To quote your source: The prohibition of bal teshaktzu relates to eating foods that are disgusting, nauseating or repulsive... Not liking a food is a much less intense emotion than being nauseated, [or, presumably as above, disgusted or repulsed —Fred] and if one eats regular food, even though they dislike the taste, they do not violate bal teshaktzu.
    – Fred
    Apr 19, 2023 at 16:31
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    Your wording is somewhat misleading IMHO, you make it sound like the OU made a statement about this specific product (which they did not as far as I am aware). You also state "The reason is that bal teshaktzu applies to food that is disgusting because it is spoiled or the like." Spoiled food is an example of something that would be forbidden (because it evokes revulsion), it is not the defining feature. There are "fresh" items that would be forbidden as well. The prohibition is to eat things that are repulsive and this candy is designed to be repulsive. Apr 19, 2023 at 17:10
  • I don't think your source supports your claim. The OU article says disliking vegetables does not make them disgusting. Most people find vomit disgusting (not just unappetizing) and they may not care if it's real or fake vomit. I would also think that mainstream public sentiment matters more for bal tishkatzu than individual taste.
    – Avraham
    Apr 20, 2023 at 6:54

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