Kosher Food Q&A
What does “kosher” mean?
Kosher means that a food is “fit or proper” according to Jewish dietary laws. These laws specify the types of food and meat that may be eaten, and provide strict guidelines for preparing, processing and inspecting these foods.
Are kosher foods only for persons observing Jewish food laws?
No. In fact, approximately 80 percent of kosher consumers are people who are not observing Jewish dietary laws. And kosher foods are becoming more popular. Kosher food sales jumped 64 percent between 2003 and 2008, to a record $12.5 billion, according to the marketing research firm, Mintel.
How do I know if a food is Kosher?
There are six major kosher certification symbols in the U.S. The word “pareve” or the letter “p” adjacent to a kosher certification symbol further specifies that the product contains no meat or dairy. The “D” means it does have dairy.
What are the benefits of kosher food?
Many consumers purchase kosher foods because they appreciate the strict food preparation and inspection guidelines and the clarity in food ingredients. For example, meat and dairy are never prepared or packaged together in kosher-certified foods. A pareve kosher food has no meat or dairy Kosher products labeled for Passover may contain matzos (baked wheat flour) but no other hidden forms of wheat, oats, rye, spelt, and barley. They generally also do not contain any ingredients derived from corn, soy, rice, peanuts or legumes. These guidelines can be beneficial to consumers with food allergies or intolerances, or those adhering to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Are kosher foods easy to find?
Approximately 40 percent of the packaged goods in the supermarket are certified kosher. Kosher-certified foods are readily available throughout the U.S. and world.
Are kosher foods better and/or safer for you?
Almost all foods can be found as kosher. The key difference is the auditing of kosher foods on a quite regular basis by the religious authorities that requires companies to have better control of their operations.
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