The author is Sue Fishkoff and the subtitle is Why More and More of America's Food Answers to a Higher Authority. This late arrival is one of my favorite non-fiction books of the year, superb both on its topic and on the history and economics of certification more generally. Here is one excerpt:
"If they want to sell their product in the United States and they are not kosher, no one will buy it," points out Menachem Lubinsky. "Coca-Cola won't buy it, Kellogg's won't buy it. They'll be cut out of the market. If you're in China or Thailand and you want to export, you have absolutely no choice but to seek out kosher certification." Some companies get certification to fill one order from a U.S.-based manufacturer and then drop it when the order is complete, only to reapply when the next order comes in.