US Kosher Meat Shortage

Israel National News reports that a shortage of kosher meat is turning US Jews into vegetarians:

The bankruptcy of the kosher meatpacking plant Agriprocessors, the largest American kosher meat operation, has forced many Jews to go vegetarian amid kosher-food shortages and soaring prices.


Agriprocessors, operating under bankruptcy laws, still is producing at a limited rate. This too may cease, however, because hundreds of the plant’s workers are unable to pay their electricity bills and may have to leave their homes soon. The local energy company has agreed to a week’s delay before cutting off power to the workers’ homes but employees will not be able to stay in their houses without power as the winter approaches.

ICE agents raided the meat plant in May and arrested almost 400 workers on charges of being illegal immigrants. The company now faces millions of dollars in fines. Risk management at Agriprocessors was clearly askew.

The detainees included 290 who claimed to be Guatemalans, 93 Mexicans, three Israelis and four Ukrainians. Among the detained were 12 juveniles, six of whom have been released.


Inside the meatpacking plant on Monday morning, workers heard the agents before they saw them. The woman said a call came over the loudspeaker, announcing that ICE was in the plant. Many in the plant tried to hide. Some ran.

“No one had a clue” a raid was coming, she said in Spanish, despite rumors during the weekend that were discussed at an immigration-rights advocates’ meeting in Waterloo. “Everyone scampered, everyone tried to get away.”

ICE agents with pistols called for those hiding to come out. “Once they knew they couldn’t get away, they came down from their hiding places,” she said.

The agents grouped those with identification from those without it, then put the second group in single-file lines. They were frisked, told to remove any sweaters or heavy garments and shackled – handcuffs were placed on their wrists and attached to their waists, and their feet were cuffed as well.

“There was no mistreatment,” she said. “They told us to sit. We sat.”

Interesting to now see the larger/macro-economic impact of these raids. Although it is understandable how some want strict controls like cuffs and immediate deportation, the reality now shows many may find the domestic welfare actually hurting instead of benefiting from harsh tactics.

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