Why do rabbis allow hechsherim on junk food and other foods which are clearly bad for you health? Many products are clearly not good for you such as soda pop, baked goods with trans fats, food with preservatives, processed meats, etc. yet they are certified kosher.

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    related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16041
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 21:25
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    Pastrami, corned beef, and tongue aren't the best foods for you either, but who can resist 'em? It's not quite genetic, but close...
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


My Rebbe Rav Shmuel Dishon (mashgiach ruchni Karlin Stolin) once asked us how do we think Kashrus organizations are allowed to issue "kosher" status on things that are damaging to the human body (unhealthy foods etc.) ?

We didn't know. So he answered, that all foods can be good in measure. Sugar can be good sprinkled here and there. Even a fattening sugary cheesecake can be a kosher treat at the right time and place. However, overindulgence is a choice. It is overindulgence that makes some foods dangerous. That's the consumer's business, not the Kashrus industry's business to regulate. The individual hechsher is only able to determine if the ingredients fit the rules of Kosher foods permitted by the Torah for a Jew to eat.

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    Rambam Hilchos Deios 4:9 יש מאכלות שהם רעים ביותר עד מאד וראוי לאדם שלא לאוכלן לעולם
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 21:34
  • I'm not saying that Rambam said anything is assur. Just that he seems to disagree with your Rebbe's claim "that all foods can be good in measure".
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 22:04
  • @Alex, "proper", not forbidden. Also, the small list contains items like mushrooms. The Gemara tells us that Shmuel counted mushrooms among his favorite foods. Also, Rambam's list contains stale, rotten, and severely salted and old meats/fish. Kashrus certifies ingredients, not if you left the food out to age or rot. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 22:04
  • @Alex Rambam seems to be speaking exclusively from a health perspective. However, it may be a good idea to allow someone to eat an unhealthy food (that they like very much) to celebrate some important achievement. The spiritual positive reinforcement, may outweigh the temporary health concern. Rambam may agree to this too. So, all foods may be good in proper measure. This excludes a dangerous food which would be forbidden. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 22:10
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    That's the next category ויש מאכלות שהן רעים אבל אינן כמו הראשונים לרוע לפיכך ראוי לאדם שלא לאכול מהן אלא מעט ואחר ימים הרבה ולא ירגיל עצמו להיות מזונו מהם או לאוכלן עם מזונו תמיד
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 22:40

kosher certification can be given for anything that includes only kosher ingredients.

So an item that includes anything like not kosher animals, milk and meat together, or anything else that's not kosher, those products will not receive a hechsher.

But, any product that has all kosher ingredients, why should it not be kosher (as long as you don't mix milk and meat..)? Kashrus does not depend on health. There are many healthy foods that are not kosher, and so too there are many non healthy foods that are kosher.

  • ..."so too there are many non healthy foods that are kosher." You just don't get it. The whole point is that no certification organization in light of the fact that very many "kosher" items are NOT healthy, and people and the producers of the non healthy foods are violating shomer ha goof, the Rabbis shoud NOT accept a payment on foods that are detrimental for your health. It is totally hypocritical. With all the natural food hashem gave us those companies that make garbage foods should be banned.
    – Herman
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 3:47
  • @herman it's not hypocritical. It's just honesty. The food is kosher. Also the food shouldn't be eaten. A rabbi should tell you both true statements. Rabbis shouldn't lie
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 11:51
  • @herman is the food kosher? Yes. Therefore the Rabbi gave the hechsher. If you don't want to eat it, then don't. But those that want to enjoy some junk food, why deprive them. I see you have a strong opinion on healthy foods, but not everyone does, and you can't say that it's against halacha to have it.
    – aBochur
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 13:04

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