Dear OK,
Is it permissible to bake clay, or other art mediums (crayons, etc.) in a kosher oven?

Rabbi Krinsky responds:
If the clay, or other art medium, is edible (non-toxic), then it must be kosher in order to bake it in a kosher oven. Since the ingredients and manufacturing process for clay, crayons, etc. is proprietary information, the OK is unable to discern whether a particular clay, crayon, etc. is kosher or non-kosher. Since there is no way to be sure about the kosher status, it should not be baked in a kosher oven. If you would like to bake it in your kosher oven, the clay, crayons, etc. should be double-wrapped.


Dear OK,
Can I use Tropicana orange juice for Pesach with no special markings?

Rabbi Steigman responds:
All Tropicana products used for Pesach must have an OKP symbol on the packaging. During the year, the facilities where the orange juice is produced contain non-Passover ingredients.


Dear OK,
What brocha do you make on puffed wheat cereal?

the OK responds:
There is a machlokes about what brocha to make on puffed wheat cereal. The question is whether the cereal has been processed enough to require the brocha mezonos, or whether the brocha is ha’adama. According to HaRav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 4:45), one can make either a mezonos or a ha’adama. According to HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Birur Halacha Siman 27:4), the brocha is ha’adama. Both poskim agree that the brocha achrona is borei nefashos. Since there is a machlokes, this question should be addressed to one’s local Orthodox Rabbi.


Dear OK,
Does pure canola oil need a hechsher?

Rabbi Cohn responds:
Although pure canola oil is a man-made oil, it does need a hechsher, because it might be processed in a facility that also processes animal products.


Dear OK,
I like to cook in cast iron pots because they are healthier, but I recently found that they are being sold ‘seasoned.’ Is it permissible to buy a seasoned cast iron pot?

Rabbi Hanoka responds:
A seasoned cast iron pot is treated with a neutral fat (animal fat, butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.) in order to condition the pot for use. If a person wants to purchase a ‘seasoned’ cast iron pot, the pot would require a reliable hechsher. On the other hand, one could purchase a regular cast iron pot, not seasoned, and season it himself at home, using a kosher certified pareve oil.


Dear OK,
What brocha do you make on granola bars?

the OK responds:
Like the machlokes mentioned regarding puffed wheat cereal, there is a machlokes about what brocha to make on granola bars. Poskim disagree about which brocha – mezonos or ha’adama – to make on granola bars. Since there is a machlokes, this question should be addressed to one’s local Orthodox Rabbi.


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