If you fall among the majority of Americans, you might have little knowledge about what kosher foods are all about. Kosher foods are food items that have a kosher certification. Kosher food is supposed to be pure and completely safe to eat. It’s really difficult to differentiate between tampered and clean foods in recent times. Hence, abiding by a kosher diet can be considered good for your health. The food industry has undergone a sea of change if you consider the changing trends over the last five decades. These days, kosher foods are in vogue, and for the right reasons. Know more about them in detail below.
What Is Kosher Food?
Kosher in Hebrew means proper or fit. A kosher food or drink is said to be in strict compliance with dietary law under the Jewish religion. According to the Jews, the Almighty has instructed them to keep kosher, and hence, they are adhering to God’s command. Pure food benefits both the soul and the body.
Having kosher food is nothing but spiritual nutrition for a Jewish soul. The Jewish people believe that consuming kosher food tends to decrease the spiritual sensitivity they have. To categorize food as kosher, the production process must adhere to the kosher requirements and then get the approval of a kosher auditor. Aside from this, each ingredient, the additives used, as well as the processing aid must also be as per the kosher requirements.
Goats, sheep, and cows are categorized as kosher, while pigs, camels, rabbits, and horses are counted as non-kosher foods. Poultry like turkey, chicken, duck, and goose are kosher. Extracting dairy products from only kosher animals is mandatory. American law instructs that milk has to be extracted from kosher animals only.
A Jewish supervisor has to be present right from when milking is being initiated right through to the end. Jewish milk is called Cholov Yisroel and milk can’t be considered Cholov Yisroel if a person from any other religion is present at the milking site. Cheese, another dairy product, can be counted as kosher only under full-time supervision owing to the presence of a complex of enzymes named Rennet. Eggs must be from birds that are counted as kosher.
According to Jewish law, these meats can’t have blood spots, since they are considered unclean. Fish must have scales and fins and as per the law, they must be removed from the body of the fish without tearing the skin. Under the kosher meat categories, you have cattle, goats, sheep, and dear. The kosher bird’s category comprises chicken, turkey, pigeon, and goose. As far as kosher fish is concerned, bluefish, mackerel, haddock, anchovies, sardines, salmon, herring, whitefish, tuna, and a few others are included. Eggs can only be obtained from kosher birds. Fruits and veggies with insects can’t be counted as kosher. Cooking oils that are derived from seeds, grains, nuts, and fruits are kosher.
The benefits of kosher food are many. The processing is done under constant supervision and is considered safer. Meatless foods considered kosher are beneficial for those who are vegetarian or are on a vegan diet. Kosher foods don’t possess allergens, which are harmful to the human body. Foods that have a small trace of dairy fall under the category of a dairy product and that’s helpful for those who are on a diet that’s devoid of dairy. By pushing pigs out of the category of kosher foods, it has been ensured that you stay away from common viruses, toxins, and parasites. Aside from these, animals are slaughtered while abiding by some strict guidelines that are supposed to be more humane. Trucks that carry kosher foods must be disinfected and sanitized every time before kosher is loaded into them.
Meat, pareve, and dairy are the three main kosher food categories. When you are following a kosher diet, you need to separate meat from dairy products. Kashrut is the name of this principle. You can’t cook or eat them together. There are distinct areas for cookware, utensils, and dishes for dairy and meat in a kosher kitchen. These two food groups must never come into contact with each other. The slaughter of animals has to be as per strict guidelines as discussed before. The killing process can’t be cruel if the meat has to be counted under the category of kosher foods.
Any kind of packaged or processed food must have a kosher certification. That’s the first thing you need to look out for if you are on a kosher diet. Kosher foods are healthier and safer and in today’s times, the demand for such foods is on the rise.