What is the kosher diet?
Food that is deemed kosher is food that complies with Jewish religious dietary law. The word kosher simply means ‘fit’ or ‘proper’ therefore food in the kosher diet must be fit for consumption. Jewish people believe that eating non-kosher food will reduce their ability to absorb their commandments- mitzvoth, and Torah.
Kosher food requires additional checks, therefore being approved by a kosher auditor who will certify every aspect of the food- this includes each ingredient, process, and additive. Kosher foods are also labelled as Kosher, this makes it easier for those who eat the diet to recognise it.
What are the best foods?
Many of the foods in the kosher diet are similar to those in any standard American diet, however, it is the production of those that differs.
- Meat-For the most part meat is considered Kosher, Cows, Chicken, Duck, and sheep are some examples of a standard diet. However, meat such as pigs and rabbits are not- these must be avoided. Fish is also considered Kosher; however, shellfish must not be eaten.
- Eggs and dairy- Similarly to meat, eggs, and dairy can be Kosher. However, any eggs and any dairy products must come from kosher animals, for example, cow’s milk and chicken eggs. The production of kosher dairy is lengthy, and a Jewish supervisor must be present in the entire production of milk to ensure it is produced correctly. This is similar to cheese.
- Fruit and veg- All fruit and veg are considered kosher, however, when growing and producing fruit, it must be examined thoroughly for insects and cleaned to a high standard.
- Processed foods– Many processed foods such as bread or cereal are considered Kosher however they have to provide kosher certification labels that appear on the packaging in shops.
- Passover-Passover is a time of celebration and at Passover food in the kosher diet changes, Jewish people do not eat food that contains any amount of wheat, barley, oats, or rye.
Another tradition of Jewish culture is Purim gift baskets, these are gifted to Jewish people when celebrating the spring festival of Purim on the 14th or 15th day of Adar. These contain a selection of Kosher foods, from baked goods, to candy or fruit.
Benefits of a kosher diet
There are many benefits to a kosher diet, in fact, many Americans that are not Jewish subscribe to this diet as they believe the food is healthier and safer.
- The processing of kosher food is deemed safer as it is supervised to a higher standard.
- Food that is meant to be meatless is checked thoroughly as it cannot contain any traces of meat- this is especially helpful for vegan or vegetarian people on this diet.
- The delivery of Kosher food is at a higher standard than average, the vans and trucks that deliver it are washed and sanitized between every delivery.
- Food with any traces of dairy must highlight that dairy is present- this again is helpful to those that are vegan or lactose intolerant.
- It is said that pigs can carry viruses, toxins, and parasites, this is not an issue for those on a kosher diet as pork is avoided- this stems from the Old Testament in which states pork must not be eaten.
How to Follow a Kosher Diet
If you are looking to follow a kosher diet, there are a few things you need to know. First, it is important to understand that kosher means “clean” in Hebrew. This means that all of the food that is eaten must be clean and free of contaminants. Second, it is important to remember that there are no specific rules when it comes to what can and cannot be eaten on a kosher diet. In other words, if you have a craving for a certain food, it is ok to eat it. However, there are certain rules that must be followed when eating kosher foods. These rules can be found in the kosher laws that govern how and what you can eat.
In conclusion, following a Kosher diet is not as difficult as it may seem at first. There are many resources available to help make the transition easier, and with a little bit of planning, it is possible to create healthy and delicious meals that comply with the dietary laws. So if you are looking for a way to improve your health and adhere to your religious beliefs, consider following a Kosher diet.