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Passover Kosher Food Alerts


Information on Quinoa (3/2/12)
The following Passover alert is from the Chicago Rabbinical Council dated February 23, 2012.

Chicago Rabbinical Council Quinoa Policy: In 2007 HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlit''a, the Av Beis Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, issued a p'sak that quinoa is not considered kitniyos and therefore may be used on Pesach. Most of the quinoa comes from Peru and Bolivia and has been grown in areas where other (problematic for Pesach) grains were generally not grown. However, as the popularity of quinoa has risen, this is no longer the absolute case. This was confirmed this year by a Star-K mashgiach who visited Bolivia and found that barley does indeed grow in those areas. It was also recently discovered that some farmers cover their quinoa with barley and/or oats to keep the birds from eating the quinoa while it dries. Finally, there is a concern that the sacks used to transfer the quinoa may have been previously used to hold barley or oats.
We have, therefore, determined that the only way to allow quinoa for use on Pesach is to track the quinoa from certain farms that are free from the above concern. The Star-K spearheaded this endeavor and sent a mashgiach to find such a farm. While they were successful in their search, it proved to be challenging from a practical point of view, as the company visited generally sells their products in large quantities. The Star-K has now worked with other companies to pack the usable quinoa into smaller packages, and the following three options have been approved for Pesach quinoa consumption:

  1. Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold only in 1,000 lb increments. The contact information is:
    Sergio Nunez de Arco; Andean Naturals; Organic Quinoa and Quinoa-based Ingredients
    Brought to you by Specialty Commodities, Inc.
    Toll Free (888) 547-9777 x 711
    www.andeannaturals.com
  2. Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold in wholesale 25 lb bags. The contact information is: Tania Petricevic; tpetricevic@layapaorganic.com 194 Orange St. Oakland, CA 94610 Sales Support: (914)220-2974; Customer Service: (954)336-1743 Hours of Operation M-F (PST) 10:00am-4:00pm http://www.layapaorganic.com/Contact_Us.html
  3. Quinoa Corp, Ancient Harvest brand, lot code 3.01.14 k, sold in small retail 12 oz boxes. When ordering directly from them, mention that you want the Passover run. (310) 217-8125 http://www.quinoa.net/
It is important to note that even the quinoa from the above approved sources should be carefully checked before Pesach for any foreign matter before use. This can be done by spreading the quinoa out on a plate and carefully checking there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in.
The cRc would like to thank Rabbi Zvi Goldberg of the Star-K and Rabbi Reuven Nathanson of the OU for their help on researching this issue.

The following Passover alert is from the Star-K on March 2, 2012.

Star-K Quinoa Policy: Quinoa is Kosher L'Pesach and is not related to the five types of chometz grains, millet or rice. However, because there is a possibility that quinoa grows in proximity of chometz grains and processed in facilities that compromise its Kosher for Passover status, quinoa should only be accepted with a reliable Kosher for Passover supervision. This year, Star-K sent a mashgiach to Bolivia to visit farms that do not have the above concerns. Based on that visit, Star-K is approving certain brands of quinoa for this Passover. However, the company we visited generally sells in large quantities. We have therefore worked with other companies to pack the usable quinoa into smaller packages. Star-K advises that even the quinoa from these approved sources should be carefully checked before Pesach for any foreign matter(e.g. barley) before use. Place the quinoa on a plate and look through the grains.
Certified Ancient Harvest product will be available in Baltimore at Seven Mile Market.
Other information is the same as in the Chicago Rabbinical Council notice above.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/PAlerts/?alert=P0293

The information posted is from secondary sources. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

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