If you have seen the little kosher “U” on packaging or you have been raised to eat kosher as a member of the Jewish faith you may have a few questions about it. As a rule kosher is a very clean, cruelty free way of eating that adheres to strict religious codes. A food that is certified must contain zero non-kosher ingredients and it must not touch anything that has touched a non-kosher food. That includes utensils and pans that have been washed in the same water as non-kosher items. The fact that cross-contamination is nearly impossible is one thing that makes a kosher lifestyle healthier.
There are a few food groups completely eliminated in a kosher food diet. One of the most widely known is pork. Only meats from animals that both chew cud and have cloven hooves are permitted. Along with pork, rabbit is also banned. Deer, goats and sheep are all allowed since they have cloven hooves and chew cud. Eating the meat from acceptable sources is also strictly regulated. The slaughtering is regulated down to the depth of the cut and must be performed by a kosher butcher. The meat producing animal is then checked carefully for the presence of illness that would make it non-kosher.
All shellfish including lobster, shrimp, clams and crayfish, are also non-kosher. Only water dwelling foods with fins and scales are allowed. Fish such as tuna and cod are considered a candidate to be a kosher food. They only make the cut if prepared by a kosher fish monger and sold with the scales present. If you get your kosher fish, just be careful not to serve it with your kosher meat. Serving the two together will make them non-kosher. They must be eaten approximately 3 hours apart and with a clean palate.
Eating a diet consisting of kosher food can be very healthy because fundamentally the food is prepared in a very clean and cruelty free way. The animals involved must be treated humanely and only fed what they would naturally eat. The method of slaughter is as humane as a slaughter can be and performed with respect to the sacrifice the animal is making to provide food. Infestations of disease and bugs are strictly checked for, as are other contaminates. Even food straight from the earth that is inherently kosher is checked for contaminates. Eating in such a way, regardless of religion is a practice to look in to.
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