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“Walking The Walk,” Letter to the Editor of Baltimore Jewish Times, March 9, 2012

Walking The Walk
Baltimore Jewish Times
March 9, 2012
by Greg Rosenbaum

Mary K. Zajac’s March 2 cover story, “A Matter of Good Taste” on kosher food vs. organic, free range food incompletely conveyed the nature of Empire Kosher’s products and production values. Not only has Empire always been a highly regarded producer of kosher poultry products, but we are today also recognized for our leadership in socially and environmentally conscious, truly natural production.

As the country’s leading kosher poultry manufacturer, our company’s work isn’t just about ensuring that everything we do, every step of the way, conforms to the strictest rituals of kosher slaughter and production. Being kosher, to us, goes much beyond that. Since the company came under new ownership in 2003, Empire has taken our focus a step further to ensure that we are as respectful in our ethical practices as we are in our traditional ritual practices.

Today, we are proud to offer a wide variety of all-natural, free-roaming, antibiotic-free and 100 percent vegetarian-fed poultry, all with no growth hormones added. We use no animal byproducts, but instead feed our chickens and turkeys our own 100-percent vegetarian feed that we mix to an exacting formula.

Empire even has a lab at our plant in Mifflintown, Pa., where we constantly monitor our products to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality.

We take our kosher identity very seriously, and as we adhere to 3,000-year-old Jewish dietary laws that promote cleanliness, wholesomeness and the humane treatment of animals, we are accredited by the OU, KAJ and Baltimore’s own Star-K.

Our sustainable agricultural practices respect and protect our resources, just as we care for the well-being of our workers and animals. We raise poultry in a humane way that is healthy for both consumers and animals, respecting and replenishing the environment in ways that will ensure its continued viability for many generations to come, providing safe working conditions and a fair wage to employees and generous compensation to Empire Kosher’s network of small family farmers, and supporting local communities every day.

Don’t just take my word for it. The most environmentally and socially conscious food monitors agree, such as the company responsible for scrutinizing Whole Foods, which gave Empire a 98.8 percent rating for our chicken and a 98.6 percent rating for our turkey. Yes, there are other socially conscious kosher producers out there, but how much do we know about the realities of their practices? Who is holding them to the exacting standards that our monitors use to inspect us?

We’re not merely “promoting [Empire] on [our] website as ‘Green Kosher,’” as your article contends. Empire is all about being green—in every sense of the word. It’s a shame Ms. Zajac didn’t call us for comment before writing her article. If she had, she’d see that we don’t just talk the talk; we walk the walk.

Come see for yourself and compare our products to organic and social conscious poultry produced by anyone else.

Greg Rosenbaum
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Empire Kosher Poultry