A Quick Guide to the 5 Grains
Oats: This is always the first crop to become chodosh, therefore one must stock up on oat items earlier than all other foods. Oats generally start to become chodosh in mid to late July.
Products to Stock Up On: Cereals, granola bars, multi-grain breads or other multigrain items, oat flour, oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, oat milk, gluten-free products, rolled oats.
Items with Possible Added Chodosh Ingredients: Some kosher vitamin supplements can have oat additives, as well as various vegan products such as milk or dairy alternatives, and even some meat alternatives that have multigrain breading.
What Products Are Yoshon?
Some products are inherently yoshon if they contain purely winter wheat, spelt, and rye at least when from the USA and Canada. For items made with other grains, people must stock up on them to be able to keep yoshon.
Wheat flour can be particularly problematic since the “Winter Wheat Crisis of 2016”. This has led to many companies claiming that their products were made with 100% winter wheat, when in reality they could add up to 50% chodosh spring wheat and it is considered completely legal! (Much like fruit juices.) This is why it is so important to check the Guide to Chodosh and Yoshon.com for confirmation that wheat flours supposedly made of winter wheat, really are yoshon.
Nowadays with so many people having gluten allergies, it is easy to see when wheat is used in a product due to the allergen statements.
Read the labels carefully when stocking up after Pesach. Unfortunately, there are some products that one might not think of that could contain chodosh. Even items made with the grains mentioned above, they can also contain other chodosh grains, rendering the whole product chodosh!
For a complete list of generally yoshon items, harmless, yet scary-sounding ingredients, and potentially problematic products, see “Buying Products“.
What Can Be Possible Chodosh?
- “Spring wheat” is the main culprit, and makes all wheat and commercial baked goods problematic from August on.
- Rye in itself is always yoshon, but rye products such as crackers and bread are generally made with other types of flour as well, making them susceptible to being chodosh.
- Malt, made from barley is a very common ingredient that becomes chodosh later in the season. It is often a nearly unnoticed ingredient in wheat flour. This having been said, some Poskim hold that the amount of malt in some products is so insignificant that it is “batul” or nullified in items such as flour. If it is used as a flavoring, it may not be batul in cases such as rice cereals. For those who hold the stricter opinion and do not hold it is batul, we list the malt date.