I saw some red peppers in an American grocery store labelled "Product of Israel". I have never seen that before, and my guess is that since it's a shmitta year, there is less of an Israeli domestic market and it makes Israeli produce in the US relatively cheap. Is that a thing?

What is the effect of shmitta on the price of Israeli exports? Does this impact the availability of shmitta-year Israeli produce in American markets such that I should be on the lookout, or was this a fluke occurrence?

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    Feel free to vote to close as off-topic. I think I'd be tempted to do the same. Jan 6, 2015 at 17:38
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    I think this question could be made on topic by having a motivation to find out how Shmitta affects the availability of Israeli products in American grocery stores, as such potential availability has significant Kashrus implications.
    – Yishai
    Jan 6, 2015 at 17:44
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    Charles, are you asking about availability of these fruits (which I would vote to close), or the halakha of what to do about this? Jan 6, 2015 at 19:37
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    @Matt I'm asking something along these lines (I'm not defending it staying open. I think it should be moved to Economics): Normally, as a diaspora Jew, I don't see any Israeli produce in my grocery store. Does shmita increase the availability or reduce the costs of Israeli produce enough to change that to the extent that I should pay even more special attention to whether produce in my grocery store is from Israel? Jan 6, 2015 at 20:55
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    @Matt yes, that's implied. Sorry. It should read: "...to the extent that I, as a Jew who cares about observance of shmita and maaser, should pay even more special attention to whether produce in my grocery store is from Israel" Jan 6, 2015 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


I've seen Israeli peppers in American supermarkets in the wintertime every so often, shmittah or not.

I don't think it's so much a function of shmittah as climate and growing conditions.

In shmittah years, it's probably best to avoid buying them. In non-shmittah years, I heard my rabbi say that the best thing is to learn how to tithe them properly, then buy them and do so; but if you don't know how to properly tithe them, then try to avoid them.

I've also seen frozen carrots, product of Israel, with an OU on the label. I asked the OU, and was told they have been properly tithed.

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    While that may be true of vegetables, you should really avoid buying uncertified Israeli fruits, as much of it is Orlah that can't be sold in Israel.
    – Double AA
    Jan 6, 2015 at 22:19

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