It may be “chewable, washable and harder to fake,” but Britain’s new 5-pound note may not be kosher.
Unveiled with a fanfare in September, Britain was excited to follow a number of other Commonwealth countries in using a more durable polymer instead of a traditional cotton base.
But it was revealed today — to the anger of vegans and Hindus especially — that the new notes include beef tallow. Tallow is rendered cooking fat making it abhorrent to vegans, unclean to Hindus and, depending on the process and amounts used, unkosher for Jews.
Sadly, though its relative longevity means it’s better for the environment, cows were definitely hurt in the making of this money.
Where’s the Beef? In Their Money, as British Pounds Become Unclean
Dan Friedman is the director of content and communications at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Formerly the executive editor and whisky correspondent of the Forward, he is the author of an illuminating (and excellent value) book about Tears for Fears, the 80s emo rock band.