What makes a food kosher?
Food is considered kosher when, generally speaking, it is prepared and served in accordance with specific kosher guidelines. For example, meat products and dairy products cannot be mixed during cooking or consumption. All approved animals must be killed in a humane manner, and their blood must be removed via draining or broiling. Raw fruits and vegetables do not always have to be inspected for kosher standards, but they do need to be free of bugs.
Where do kosher guidelines come from?
Kosher guidelines, or Kashrut, are outlined in Jewish dietary law, which has its roots in the Torah. The Kashrut dictates what foods can and cannot be eaten, and it also describes specific preparation and serving methods for approved foods. Despite popular belief, it is not a rabbi’s blessing that makes a food kosher, though rabbis do inspect facilities to ensure they are abiding by Jewish dietary law.
Are there foods that must be avoided?
The meat of certain animals, like pigs, can never be eaten by followers of Kashrut. Additionally, certain parts of approved animals, like the blood and certain fats, are not to be consumed. Fish are allowed, but shellfish are not. Insects are never to be eaten, which means all produce must be carefully inspected for any pests. There are additional rules that apply during Passover, which is a holiday that marks the exodus of the Hebrew people from ancient Egypt. Several kinds of grains and also peanuts and mustard are not to be eaten during Passover.
Who eats kosher products?
Kosher foods are typically associated with Judaism, but many other individuals opt for kosher products because they see them as being of higher quality. Some Christians, Muslims, vegetarians, and vegans choose to follow at least part of Jewish dietary laws.