The Great Kosher Seal Comparison: Is it Just Chutzpah?

It’s 1986, and J. Robert Thomas is excited as he awaits the approval from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America to kosher certify Bickel’s Potato Chips. Thomas is Bickel’s General Manager, and in a small newspaper from Lancaster, PA, he tells the reporter “We feel there are a lot of people who look for that stamp of approval. It is a rather strict inspection and people know that the product is kosher.”[1] In perusing the article, it is amusing to read “Most chips fried in lard cannot be approved as kosher, because lard is usually a pork by-product and pork is forbidden to Jews.” Having reported on kosher certification for four years now, we have heard many tales of removing lard from the traditional recipes in American cooking, only to be replaced with vegetable oils to accommodate Kashrus law. This, alone, is a fascinating subject, probing how an entire food industry can transform its tastes and production for the demands of a religious diet and whether the added vegetable oils affect our health. But lard removal is not the topic of our piece today. Thomas continues “It lets people know we have a kind of Good Housekeeping seal.” And so 1986 was one of the earliest mentions we could find in our research comparing the kosher seal to that of Good Housekeeping.

This 1986 example is far from the only one. In fact, for over 30 years the kosher-certifying industry has been telling us  that their seal is like a Good Housekeeping seal—basically certifying that the product meets high standards. If that’s true, one would think that  companies would want to display their kosher seals prominently and clearly label them. First, here’s some more examples.

  • Ann Wainright, Manager of Public Relations for Pepperidge Farms, Inc. tells New York Times journalist Joan Nathan that “The decision to kosher-certify our products was a logical one. Kosher consumers appreciate the quality that goes into our products. We don’t think it offends anyone, and the kosher symbol is like a Good Housekeeping endorsement.”[2] [emphasis added] That was 1989.
  • Sheila Lebovitz, owner of the kosher restaurant Sheila’s Café in San Diego, was interviewed in 2001 for The Californian[3], a Temecula, CA newspaper, and in it she proclaimed that “Having a kosher mark is like giving it the Good Housekeeping Seal.”
  • Four years later in 2005: Elizabeth LeSure of the Associated Press wrote an article titled Medications start getting kosher certification[4]. She quotes Rabbi Eliyahu Safran as saying “Consumers are more sophisticated today,” and  she went on to say that “[Safran] likened the symbol of kosher certification to a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”
  • In the same year the Orthodox Union got into the act and began marketing its kosher certification online by comparing it to that famous seal found in America since 1909: “The OU kosher symbol has come to be as universally recognized and respected as the Good Housekeeping Seal.”[5] Then in 2006 the OU claimed it was “the world’s largest kosher certification agency, certifying over 275,000 products produced in nearly 6,000 plants located in 68 countries around the world (now it’s up to 8000 plants in 104 countries).  This vast array includes consumer items, industrial ingredients, and food services. Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the logo, one of the world’s best-known trademarks, instills confidence in the purchaser that the product has passed inspection and meets high quality standards.”[6]  

They have continued to make such claims ever since, including a 2008 OU Kosher article article  in which Jeremy Fingerman, the CEO of of the R.A.B. Food Group (which owns Manischewitz and several other leading kosher brands), claims “Our research says that kosher certification is perceived like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” Was he sincere in this statement, praising OU Kosher repute, or was this interview more or less arranged as a continuation of a four-year marketing ploy to hang their eminence on the coat tails of Good Housekeeping?


In Essays in Economic and Business History (2003) we find a great deal presented on the Good Housekeeping Seal: “The full extent of consumer awareness of the Seal in its mature years can be seen in the findings of Parkinson’s 1975 study. Working with a sample in Delaware, he found that the Good Housekeeping Seal had a consumer recognition rate of 98 percent, higher than any other seal or certification mark, including “U.S.D.A. Choice” and “Underwriters’ Laboratory.”[9] It adds regarding younger consumers: “Another study from the same time period (1980) found 60.4 percent of high school graduates and 48.2 percent of college graduates reported looking for seals before buying a product.” A 1997 reference from this history indicates that “a recent study showed 92 percent of [American Women] were familiar with the Good Housekeeping seal of Approval.”

These are certainly percentages that a worldwide kosher agency like New York City-based OU Kosher would strive for, especially after being in the food certification business since 1923.[10] And so it is understandable that they attempt to make this claim for similarity of brand recognition, as it probably helps this religious, tax-exempt, financial-disclosure-exempt non-profit grow its supremacy[11] over the secular marketplace. But the team behind Koschertfied found quite a different story after several surveys and a research study on the industry. In fact, in a survey[12] screening in particular for big-box retail members of Costco, we found that only 10% of these savvy consumers recognized the OU Kosher Seal (shown below). And this comes from a store where it is challenging to find any food products free from kosher certification.

Another survey of ours gauged the general familiarity of various symbols found on package labels, and here we discovered only 14% recognizing the OU kosher seal, while 88% recognized the recyclable symbol, 69% recognized the Gluten-Free seal (only in existence since 2005), and 73% recognized the Registered Trademark symbol properly.

Keep in mind that this Gluten-Free certification seal is always accompanied by descriptive text “Gluten-Free Certified”, although we didn’t include that in our survey. But it should provoke the reader to ask why “Kosher Certified” or “Kosher” text does not accompany the OU symbol in most cases[13].

And so the largest kosher agency in the world, in existence for 97 years now, has been for decades building its reputation and selling its religious intervention services by comparing its trademarked symbol with the iconic Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, while realistically only getting 10-14% recognition at best from the general consumer. 

There’s only 14 years separating the age of the two certification seals, but the differences are astounding, and they should alert the reader to ulterior motives on the side of the kosher agency. We summed it up in our Quantitative Study On Kosher Certification, and it’s all about transparency: No text descriptors; small seal areas averaging just 10% the size of other same package seals; segregation of seals from others on label; mono-colored as the norm, sometimes even camouflaged. In fact, we couldn’t help but conclude from that study that there was a systemic deceptive trade practice in play — highly secretive within the food and kitchen product industry, and purposely driven to keep consumers from becoming aware of the ubiquitous nature of kosher certification. In fact, in the process of researching for this article we discovered that even the Gluten-Free Certification is performed by Jewish OU inspectors through GFCO. But while the non-religious Gluten-Free non-profit[14] is a separate 501(c)3, they apparently care to have their trademarked symbol be easily noticed, no matter what package it falls on.

There are few products found in the supermarket that bare both seals, OU Kosher and Good Housekeeping. But allow us to use the most popular dishwashing detergent on the market as our prime example: Cascade.

The kosher seal here measures just 3.33mmin area while the Good Housekeeping comes in at 317.94 mm2 – for an area ratio of 95.5 times as large in favor of Good Housekeeping! The kosher seal is the same size as the registered trademark symbol found below and to the right of the “e” in “Cascade”, and many consumers likely confuse the kosher seal for that, and it literally is so small that many adults might require a magnifying glass to identify it.

Every word and number on the Good Housekeeping seal is legible, and the distinctive oval shape is large enough to be easily noticed, drawing the consumer to appreciating the quality and dependability that the seal represents. While the kosher seal is located on the front label, the Good Housekeeping seal (found on the side) still appears more like a true marketing feature for this product. The two seals are dissimilar in shape, size and legibility. And despite all the stipulations that probably are written into the contract arranging the kosher seal display, the low transparency must not bother either party. Indeed, the Cascade Team replied to our inquiry on the small size of their kosher seal by stating “The way it’s currently displayed is in-line with the guidance for use of the symbol.” When challenging them for specific details in the cost for this religious certification, they responded “[W]e pay a standard annual fee for each of our manufacturing plants”. Well, that explains it all!

The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is an honest marketing symbol recognized by a majority of consumers, even 111 years after its inception. It is in a category completely separate from the equally aged OU Kosher seal. And to see a large company like Procter & Gamble display the diminutive kosher seal as if hoping that nobody would notice it, it should give cause to infer suspicious motives underlying the entire kosher certification affair. In fact, Cascade’s OU kosher seal is one of the smallest we have found in four years of research, while their Good Housekeeping seal is the largest certification we’ve come across.

In conclusion, we find a religious organization, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, successfully parlaying its Kashrus dietary laws on an unsuspecting consumer populace in the secular marketplace – and reaping millions of dollars of disclosure-free revenue in the process. About one tenth of the public may recognize their symbol on products, but that does not automatically convey that all of them seek to purchase items because of its kosher representation. The Cascade example and their vague response to our inquiries suggests that they do not want consumers to discover their religious intervention complicity, and maybe they are even embarrassed for kosherizing an inedible product, especially as there is much pilpul[15] required in justifying this[16]. This is obviously much different as to how they proudly display the Good Housekeeping seal. And so is there a realistic comparison? Our opinion: Not a chance!

[1] “Bickel’s Potato Chips Will Get New Kosher Stamp of Approval”, Intelligencer Journal, p.39, 4/30/86, by Michael J. Olimpi

[2] “Kosher Foods are Gaining a Much Broader Audience”, The Sheboygan Press, p.9, 1/17/89, by Joan Nathan

[3] “Kosher seen as healthier choice”, The Californian, p.25, 4/27/2001 by Jeri Westerson,

[4] “Medications start getting kosher certification”, The Ithaca Journal, p.8,  2/23/2005 by Elizabeth LeSure





[9] “The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval From Innovative Consumer Protection to Popular Badge of Quality”, Essays in Economic and Business History (2003) by Lauren Strach and Malcolm Russell of Andrews University, file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/118-Article%20Text-237-1-10-20200329.pdf

[10] Heinz Vegetarian Beans were first mass kosher certified in 1923

[11] “Consider the following scenario. A large pastry manufacturer, using hundreds of ingredients, applies for kosher certification. Ten of its regular suppliers lack adequate kosher supervision. The pastry company informs them that they either go kosher or it can no longer use their services. Each time another manufacturer attains kosher status, this domino effect accelerates and the kosher food market rapidly expands further.”

“Once, the OU had to inform an ice cream manufacturer that due to a lack of cooperation, supervision would be discontinued. The OU distributed notices to that effect. The owner of the company wasted no time phoning the OU’s main office (in an obvious state of panic). “Rabbi, I just purchased this company for $30 million,” he said. “Without the OU, it won’t be worth two cents. Almost all our business is private label supermarket brands, and if we lose your symbol, we will lose most of these accounts.”


[13] It often does in products produced strictly for the Kosher marketplace

[14] Gluten Intolerance Group of North America featuring “Certified Gluten-Free” seal

[15] Hebrew for Talmudic rationalizing


11 replies
    • Luke
      Luke says:

      I’ve noticed a fairly peculiar thing about the FTN gang’s website as of late. After these Judas Goat rats spent the last 2 plus years, shoveling mountains of manure on Trump and running their transparently obvious demoralization psyop, which was directed at the 62 million, mostly White voters who put Trump in the White House in 2016 – now that the DemonRats have pulled off the biggest fraudulent election theft in the entire history of this nation – for some bizarre reason, the FTN gang seems to have gone into silent mode.

      No updates on their website for the last few weeks. No ‘free’ podcasts where they might do one of their ‘deep dives’ into the massive amount of fraud that has been uncovered since the November 3 election. For the last 2 years, these guys could not shut up about how Trump has not kept the promises he made to his base in 2016. But, now that the Deep State and the jewish media have engineered the blatant and mathematically impossible theft of the presidential election – all of a sudden, the FTN gang seems to have adopted the same model as have the jewish controlled mainstream media and that model is to ‘refuse to discuss the evidence of corruption and pretend that the left did not cheat’.

      • Coll Doll
        Coll Doll says:

        Luke, FTN has not been silent about the election fraud. In the same Episode #361 (or the previous one) I believe I heard a remark by one or both guys something to the effect that the election fraud claims are just a desperate move by Trump, and that there ain’t no fraud. I was kind of shocked to hear that because for anyone who takes even a peak at the evidence (affidavits, lawsuits, videos), it is shocking how massive, brazen and sloppy it is. You don’t have to be a lawyer (like I am) to see it if you open that door.

  1. Barkingmad
    Barkingmad says:

    “Rabbi, I just purchased this company for $30 million,” he said. “Without the OU, it won’t be worth two cents. Almost all our business is private label supermarket brands, and if we lose your symbol, we will lose most of these accounts.”

    If their products don’t have The Symbol, they will lose accounts? What on earth for – when hardly anyone who goes shopping for food (or anything else) gives a hoot whether a product is kosherized or not? Surely everyone down the line – suppliers of ingredients; mfr of added value product, distributor, store – knows this. They KNOW that 95% of the population doesn’t care one little bit. What were the jews eating prior to this mass certification of what seems to be 99% of packaged food?

    I can see how once it got started, everyone else was hornswoggled into going kosher, too, but why this started on a mass scale doesn’t seem to be well known. Was someone with an agenda actually going to food mfrs’ doors and selling them a bill of goods prior to everyone else “getting the message”?

    I buy some basic stuff (flour, beans, raisins, etc.) in a bulk store which has notices here and there saying, “Our store is not under kosher supervision.” They also state that the food might have been kosher at some previous point, but the opening of the bag and the pouring of it into the bins neutralizes the certification. Heh heh.

  2. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    And so now we know why this was written!

    “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

    what came before this sentence is surely the really juicy part yes?

    “Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written…”

  3. 9593
    9593 says:

    We should inquire into Jewish law to determine the standards for “Kashrut” food. The Jewish Kosher rules are religious rituals based on Jewish religious belief. One would think that it would be offensive for Goy unbelievers to imitate Jewish practices, mimicry. If a producer finds it profitable to pay the dues to attract the kosher trade, that is a business decision. But it is a question of truth in advertising to pretend that kosher food is more healthful for the Goyim, without a clear demonstration of physical healthfulness for unbelievers. Where are the laboratory tests? Does corned beef have less sodium than ham?

    The scene at the Temple courtyard, with Christ the Jew, established that it is sinful to charge money for spiritual services. Seemingly the kosher rabbis are defiling their religion. Free will offerings, not pay for service, should suffice to support the priesthood. Laying the support of the rabbis onto the Goy food shoppers is a disgrace.

  4. John
    John says:

    Conservative Christian organizations should offer a symbol that indicates that the product’s producer is against immoral LGBT programs.

  5. Carolyn Yeager
    Carolyn Yeager says:

    This is a good and useful article, except that the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is just another scam. It was created by “Good Housekeeping” magazine as an advertising gimmick. There is/was no inspection board or panel to pass judgement these products. You get the seal because you advertise in GH. That’s all it means! Boy, are we humans gullible. I grew up believing that it had some reason to be, as my mother was a long-time subscriber to the magazine. These magazines were cheap because what they were really selling was the advertised products and the editorial indoctrination potential.

  6. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    Good article.

    Anyone who takes a serious look into the history of the kosher racket will come to see that major-league Jewish influence did not suddenly start to loom large on the domestic scene after World War II, in whole or part because of the Jews’ sufferings during that war. As happened with another Jewish racket, universal male circumcision—a far more abominable racket, needless to add—what was stressed about kashrut in the (((mainstream media))) as far back as the 1920s was the important contribution of this Jewish sanitary practice to the health and safety of the entire Gentile population of the United States. In other words, to use a term that is familiar now but little heard a century ago, kashrut was a mitzvah, and the goyim should be grateful.

    The far-reaching extent to which Christian Americans were duped into accepting the utility and virtue of both degrading Jewish practices is, unfortunately, well established. But with the New York Times, the Hearst newspapers, and Life and Look magazine all agreed on the matter, what was there for a reasonable man or woman to doubt?

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