With Tu B’Shevat days away, a leading Sephardi posek HaGaon HaRav Bentzion Mutzafi instructs his followers in a letter to distance themselves from dried fruits, explaining he has learned from well-informed experts contain dangerous additives. The rav, who has his own badatz hechsher, is a well-informed kashrus expert.
The rav explains he will detail some of the issues, explaining the dried fruits come from countries including Turkey, Taiwan, Thailand and China, where the food industry lacks strict supervision. There are starches, phosphorus, food colorings, teratine, sulphur, insecticides and more, including solid palm oil, which is known to cause high cholesterol, industrial acids, paraffin oil, dangerous sulphur dioxide and more.
The rav explains this is all used to maintain the product and to stabilize, as well as adding color. He feels they are most dangerous to the public and one should not eat them, and not use them for Tu B’Shevat as such items cause cancers and more health issues, and damage one’s internal organs.
Rav Mutzafi says stay away from dried kiwi and watermelon, as well as the apricot and the others, all containing chemicals that are extremely hazardous to one’s health.
Regarding walnuts, one should only buy with shells, for the shelled ones are processed too. The same holds true for other nuts including pistachios.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)