killing the cat.

curiosity killed the cat. therefore i am blessed to not be a cat. i would be dead. i am too curious by far. about what you ask? everything. the latest was brought about by my previous post about kosher soda. out of deference to keri (who prefers pepsi, for reasons i am not taking the liberties to disclose) we will hereby refer to pepsi. she mentioned that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup for those of us who are not in the know) is not included in the kosher production of pepsi. which caused emory to ponder why HFCS is not  kosher. which caused me to go and figure it out. and i solved the riddle!! yay me.
a picture of our grape jelly, because it seemed inappropriate to include a picture of "that which is not pepsi"

are you ready? okay. let's start with the fact that as it turns out, high fructose corn syrup IS kosher. at least according to the OU kosher organization, who call themselves "the world's most recognized and trusted kosher trademark." okay. apparently they are also interested in world domination. and it is working, because they are the trademark from my earlier kosher post. so, why is HFCS kosher? well OU kosher starts with a commentary about the production of HFCS explaining that it is made by changing the molecular structure of corn syrup. uh huh. sure. and then somewhere near the end of the following snippet, we can deduce that it is kosher, because they admit to the fact that they cannot find any reason why HFCS is not kosher.
"The agent responsible for this dramatic change is called glucose isomerase. Although the production of glucose isomerase could theoretically involve kosher concerns (the raw materials may be derived from non-kosher material) the only producers of this sophisticated ingredient are, to the best of our knowledge, kosher-certified. It is thus unlikely that any nonkosher high-fructose corn syrup is on the market" (http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/common/article/good_sweet_year/).
so if HFCS is kosher then why the big hullabaloo creating kosher pepsi for passover? because folks who observe passover traditions are forbidden from ingesting fermented grains or grains which have been in contact with water for longer than 18 minutes. corn is a grain. high fructose corn syrup is derived from corn. pepsi is a liquid, so at some level it contains water. clearly the corn derivative is in contact with water for much longer than 18 minutes. put all or some (i am NOT a scientist people...bear with me) of that argument together and obviously HFCS cannot be consumed during passover.
"Any food or food product containing fermented grain products (Chametz) may not be used or remain in a Jew's possession on Passover. Even foods with minute amounts of Chametz ingredients, or foods processed on utensils which are used for other Chametz-containing foods, are not permissible for Passover use" (http://www.ou.org/chagim/pesach/pesachguide/maze/basic3.htm).
not surprisingly, pepsi is eager to play nice with customers, so they found a way for folks to observe passover AND still gulp down their beverages. long story short...the hubbub is entirely related to passover NOT to the consumption of HFCS the rest of the year. interestingly the throwback varieties of pepsi, which are made with real sugar instead of HFCS are kosher, but not kosher for passover. i have not yet found anything that answers why these are not kosher for passover. i have a feeling it has something to do with a non-kosher preservative.
"During Passover, Jewish law forbids the consumption or possession by Jews of all edible fermented grain products (Chametz) or related foods. Therefore, even foods and household products which meet the strict, year-round dietary regulations, and are considered Kosher, are nevertheless, often unacceptable, or require special preparation for Passover use in the Jewish home in order to be Kosher for Passover"  (http://www.ou.org/chagim/pesach/pesachguide/maze/basic7.htm).
i feel better now. i hope you do too. and i would like to thank the folks at OU kosher for providing such a wealth of information.


  1. You Rock! I'm guessing Throwback isn't Kosher because it costs extra money for that rabbi. But I'm not for certain...I know I asked why we wouldn't want it to be, and I was just told it wouldn't be branded K.

  2. good point. one doesnt always think of global corporations as pinching pennies, but i suspect that you are right..pepsi is being frugal. :) and rightly so, because thanks to my research i discovered that soda snobs and HFCS haters seem to be more excited about the "sugar" sodas than the jews...so throwback doesnt really need to market itself to passover.