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Mar 14, 2021

bacon or facon? Or, should the hashgacha care about the name or the actual kashrut?

I have seen this question raised numerous times, yet I have never seen a conclusive or definitive decision by the kashrut agencies. I have also never seen a clear answer, but there has been some interesting debate on the matter.

The question at times raised is if a kashrut agency can, or should, certify as kosher a restaurant that serves products that are imitations of "treif" foods, such as kosher bacon, such as kosher cheeseburgers, and the like. The question is also if it is ok to serve such products, but many, from what I can tell, are of the opinion that it is common enough today and would not be considered maris ayin. Some, especially among the more Haredi hechshers, won't give kashrut certification on such products, but plenty do.

Crave, a popular restaurant in Jerusalem that serves kosher cheeseburgers and kosher bacon among other things, writes about a new policy by the Rabbanut on the matter. Because of the Rabbanut they need to stop calling it bacon but to now call it facon (from the conjunction of the two words fake and bacon)... English in the Crave post is after the Hebrew...

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  1. Well shouldn't there be truth in advertising? Here in the USA, you can't even call many dietetic mayonnaise "mayonnaise" because it's make up is altered. Even soy/coconut/almond milk etc is a big legal issue if and when you're allowed to call it milk. So why should bacon be any different?

  2. as the writer of the FB post explains, bacon is not pork. bacon is a process of curing the meat with certain spices, etc. bacon can be made form numerous sources, as long as it is prepared a specific way. it happens to be that bacon around the world is most commonly made from pork, but it is not part of the definition of what bacon is.

    1. That is not how these things work. You don't look only at the official dictionary definition of a word, but how it is commonly used. "Bacon" for most people means a cut of pork (which, as you say, is prepared in a particular way, by curing with salt.)

      Same thing with the "milk." Standing alone, most people think it means milk from a cow. True, you can make almond milk and soy milk, but at minimum you have to label them as such. (The milk industry in the U.S. has claimed that even those labels are misleading, which IMO is bogus. "Soy milk" is understood by most people as some kind of preparation from soy beans that is made to imitate cow milk.)

      I supposed someone could try calling it "beef bacon" or "lamb bacon." Or "facon." But plain "bacon" means something that comes from pig.

  3. BTW, watching the video, my reaction is,"Good thing we have this now! It's not like we Jews have many fat-rich, high-cholestrol foods to eat."


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