What does an entomologist, agriculturist, and a rabbi have in common?


What does an entomologist, agriculturist, and a rabbi have in common?

On the surface, not much, but when you dig deeper you can appreciate the merger
of the worlds of science and halacha that has created a phenomenon in the arena of vegetable production.

Bodek has never been content to just scratch the surface (of the vegetables), because that would leave us - the Torah-observant public - completely misinformed about the vegetable products that we consume daily, many of which are subject to rampant infestation. By committing themselves first to public education, they have devised a methodology that revolutionized the inspection of vegetables, and defined industry standards.

Bodek has expanded on this revolutionary relationship by providing us with the full spectrum of vegetable flavors and nutrients, many of which are essential to our dietary prerogatives, and were previously restricted in their use because of considerable pest infestation. By harnessing the talents of the foremost luminaries in their respective fields (quite literally), entomologists - scientists dedicated to the study of insects and their biology, agriculturists - specialists in agriculture and farming, and Rabbi Gissinger - the world renowned infestation specialist, who for 25 years has investigated and analyzed every aspect of vegetable production from planting to harvesting to inspection, and finally to packaging, every legitimate halachic concern is addressed to make the vegetables Naki Mich'shash Tola'im.

Scientific studies indicate that fruits and vegetables with the deepest colors contain the highest levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other biochemicals that prevent cellular damage by pollutants, artery-clogging foods and other toxic substances, called free radicals. Additionally, antioxidant-rich spinach has been shown to improve brain functions that control memory, motor coordination, and nerve cell growth, indicating that these foods may help inhibit the decline of mental functions in aging brains.

Once the amazing nutritional values were established, Bodek felt they had a mandate to make these vegetables available to the Torah-observant community. Since the imposed ban on the pesticide DDT, because of its carcinogenic properties, was implemented infestation in produce has increased exponentially. It's no longer a matter of periodic infestation, because insects have developed resistances to many of the milder pesticides. Now, vegetables that are not properly cultivated and inspected can be subject to gross and severe infestation.

That is why Bodek has implemented labor-intensive procedures to deliver Grade A produce, with the absolute certification of Naki Mich'shash Tola'im. In collaboration with scientists and Rabbi Gissinger, Bodek discovered particular fields in California and New Jersey specifically cultivated to prevent infestation. But even those values weren't stringent enough for Bodek's standards. Bodek supervises their produce from seedling to harvest to production. To insure that your exemplary standards are not breached, Bodek assigns on-site mashgichim to supervise the harvest and discard any batches that are deemed inferior to Bodek's specific infestation guidelines.

At this point the Bodek process is well under way, and yet it has hardly begun. Outer leaves are routinely removed because they are more predisposed to infestation, and if the batch subscribes to Bodek's rigorous quality controls, then the vegetables are washed in industrial strength agitators to release any insect matter. The produce is then spun at astronomical speed in a centrifuge to force any moisture from the vegetables in order to maintain shelf-life. Occasionally if there is concern about a specific batch, specimens are express mailed overnight to Rabbi Gissinger for his inspection and psak. The quality control and halachic control exercised surpass even our own standards because Bodek appreciates the intricacies of the produce market. Currently, USDA regulations permit as much as 60 or more aphids, thrips or mites per 3.6 oz. in frozen broccoli. And, routinely, frozen spinach is certified USDA with as much as 50 or more aphids, thrips, or mites per 3.6 oz. Obviously, neither one is acceptable or certifiable kosher by halachic standards.

Bodek's comprehensive supervision of their produce exceeds government standards, but perfectly addresses our own. Your guarantee of meticulous standards is included on every Bodek certification of their frozen broccoli cuts and florets, chopped broccoli, cauliflower florets, chopped spinach, California Mix, Italian Mix, Mexican Blend, Fiesta Blend, 5-Way Blend, Stir Fry, and corn on the cob. Additionally, Bodek has tirelessly worked on integrating asparagus into their line, because of its reported significance to a healthy diet. Asparagus has a very short harvest season, therefore, Bodek went the extra mile (or acre, if you prefer) to assign special mashgichim to supervise the shorter stages of growth. Their fresh array of lettuce, salad mix, cole slaw, green cabbage, and red cabbage have passed several scrupulous supervisory inspections from original soil analysis to the specifications of packaging.

Bodek's charter has never improvised to address marketing issues. For Bodek, the primary focus has always remained on halachic status; it has never been a commercial endeavor, but a spiritual endeavor, evident at every stage of the production. Therefore, the most profound impact Bodek makes is not in the production process, but in the halachic process which ultimately certifies our standards in both worlds - Olam Haba and Olam Hazeh.


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