Kosher: Albany Law School Professor's Book Tackles Private Regulation In Industrialized Food Age

Mar 21, 2013, 09:00 ET from Albany Law School

Published by Harvard University Press, book has far-reaching implications for contemporary debate on food safety, labeling, and regulation

ALBANY, N.Y., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The $12-billion-a-year kosher food industry is the subject of Albany Law School Professor Timothy Lytton's latest book, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrialized Food (Harvard University Press). Professor Lytton examines the kosher industry as a model of private sector regulation in the midst of growing public concern over the government's ability to regulate the food industry.

In Kosher, Professor Lytton argues that the expanding popularity of kosher food is a reaction to anxiety about the industrialization of the nation's food supply, similar to the surge in enthusiasm for organic and local food. More than 12 million American consumers purchase kosher food each year (only eight percent of whom are religious Jews). More food is labeled kosher than is labeled natural, organic or premium.

Book webpage:

According to Marion Nestle, author of the bestselling books Food Politics and Safe Food, as well as a professor at New York University:

"Kosher is one terrific book. It's a wonderfully entertaining account of the squabbles, finger-pointing, and cutthroat competition that turned kosher certification from scandalous corruption to a respectable—and highly profitable—business. Today, if a food is labeled kosher, it is kosher, which is more than can be said of most claims on food labels. You don't have to be Jewish to appreciate the fun in Timothy Lytton's presentation of an unusually successful case study."

Professor Lytton is the Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School and teaches courses in regulatory policy, administrative law, and torts.

Nick Crounse, Albany Law School: (518) 445-3208 or

SOURCE Albany Law School