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My understanding of the term "Glatt kosher" which I heard from 3 different mashgichim (kashrut supervisors)

The term "glatt" means "smooth" and applies only to beef and lamb. (I would assume that it applies to goat, venison and bison, but those items are less commonly obtainable in the U.S.)

It does not apply to poultry (chicken, turkey, duck). It does not apply to produce, spices, or dairy.

Given the last paragraph, several years ago, I saw a bottle of Pereg Oregano that had both a "glatt kosher" marking as well as saying "parve" - a contradiction, obviously. A produce store in my neighborhood is called "Glatt Farm", when they sell only produce.

One of the mashgichim explained that the term "glatt kosher" somehow came to mean "strictly kosher". In other words, it has been used as a marketing tool.

Glatt kosher products tend to cost more than regular kosher products. I am also aware of many people who don't understand the correct vs. "marketing" usage of this term, who go out of their way to find a store that sells only glatt kosher chickens and glatt kosher produce. This seems like a waste of money and time.

My question, isn't usage of this term a rather clear case of "Genivat Da'at" - taking advantage of someone's ignorance and misleading them.

I esp. question the usage of "glatt" on produce that's whole and uncut and it was farmed outside Israel, and does not need to be inspected for insects. What on earth (pun intended, here) could possibly make such produce more "strictly kosher" than "non-glatt" produce, and, again, why mislead someone into buying glatt kosher produce?

  • How exactly is someone being misled? Is a fresh apple (not grown in Israel) not kosher? I would think it is indeed kosher to the highest degree. – Double AA May 26 '16 at 15:38
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    "that the term 'glatt kosher' somehow came to mean 'strictly kosher'" If that's what the term has come to mean then how can someone be misleading people by using it in the accepted manner?? This whole post just sounds like a forum for you to get annoyed at how a word is now used differently than it's original meaning. There's no real question here. – Double AA May 26 '16 at 15:47
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    @SAH Thanks for your suggestion. At the moment, I'm not sure if that will do it for me. I have to mull it over. Your idea would be a completely different set of answersm and I think that given what I've already stated in my question, I know what the answer already is. It means "strictly" kosher. Perhaps, I may ask when or why did this defnition occur, and I think, here, too, the answer is that it was to make money. – DanF May 27 '16 at 1:44
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    @SAH I know that this site IS a "popularity contest", though, that's not what I'm seeking, here. Menachem's answer is pretty good. – DanF May 27 '16 at 14:08
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    @SAH Took part of your suggestion. See judaism.stackexchange.com/q/71689/5275. Thanks, again, for the idea. For now, I'm leaving this one, open, as well. – DanF May 27 '16 at 16:10
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Not Lifnei Iver, as no one is being mislead into committing a sin. One could argue that it perhaps borders on false (or ignorant) marketing, when applied to products besides meat.

However, as the mashgiach you asked pointed out, the term has become synonymous with "strictly kosher, without question" (which is what is intended by saying that meat is glatt). In this context, it is more of a "term of art" or a common borrowed expression rather than purely a marketing tool.

I do remember seeing ice cream advertised as glatt kosher... (Oy!)

  • I think this is a good answer. It's not just a meaningless marketing word. Otherwise, everybody would advertise their food as glatt. Instead, the Israeli rabbanut has 3 levels of kashrut, just one of which is called glatt (at least in the English writing) – Daniel May 30 '18 at 2:15
  • I think I've seen Glatt kosher internet service and smart phones, too. I also saw someone advertise a Glatt Kosher black hat. Of the above, the only one that the term "Glatt" makes sense is the hat, because some people do eat that :-) – DanF May 30 '18 at 14:01
  • Although it's not the original meaning as applied to kashrus, where it specifically referred to an animal's lungs, glatt kosher could also mean plainly (i.e. unquestionably) kosher, from the general definition of the Yiddish word glatt. Under this meaning, though, I'm afraid quite abit of glatt kosher meat is not actually glatt kosher - the balei machshir don't tell you how many questions arose during the shechita and kashering process, only that the lungs were okay. – Menachem May 31 '18 at 23:09

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