Kosher Vinegar…..what is it?

For various belief systems, there are foods that cannot be consumed. Often, this is pork and that is by far the most commonly-known food that is forbidden but there are other foods, including vinegar. As such, kosher vinegar is becoming popular among those who practice kosher beliefs. What exactly is it though, and how does it differ from other forms of vinegar?

First, let’s look at what kosher is exactly. Kosher foods are foods that conform to the Jewish dietary law and foods that may be consumed according to Jewish law are called kosher, which comes from the word kasher. Kasher means fit in Hebrew. There are several reasons for foods not being kosher including ingredients that are derived from animals that are not kosher, or from kosher animals that were not slaughtered in the proper manner. Mixtures of meat, milk, wine and grape not produced without supervision are also deemed as not being kosher. It is in this last point that we see how vinegar cannot be kosher. In order to make kosher vinegar, there are several issues that must be addressed when producing the vinegar. For typical vinegar fermentation, the requirement is that the wine be kosher, pasteurized, or made by Torah-observant workers. If any ingredients are added into the vinegar, they must also be kosher. Casks used to ferment the kosher vinegar cannot have been used to ferment non-kosher vinegars or wines either.

During the acetobactor generator process, several alcohols can be used for the conversion and these alcohols must be taken from certain sources. The alcohol can come from other countries and if the country of origin is a major producer of wine, then there is a good chance that the alcohol comes from grapes as well. If the vinegar company uses an alcohol that comes from grape, all subsequent vinegar products from the grape alcohol would then be non-kosher. This would be very bad and it is why it is so important that the sources of the alcohol are known, and that the company in the other country follows kosher practices. Another problem is that some countries, like New Zealand, are large producers of milk and alcohol there is often produced from fermented whey. When a vinegar company imports alcohol from a country like New Zealand, there is a chance the alcohol comes from dairy and would then be non-kosher.

It is vitally important, that through the entire process, everything in kosher vinegar is, in fact, kosher.


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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

What Is Real Food?

downloadYou may have heard of real food, but what is that exactly? Some may wonder that if they are not eating real food, are they eating fake food? Is real food something that is not imaginary? It may seem odd to call food “real food” but it is actually a revolution in food that many people are starting to jump on.

Real food is described as food that nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the entire plant as a result. It is a system of food, that runs from seed to plate, that is steeped in providing health, human dignity, animal welfare and social justice, as well as environmental-sustainability. It has been called by other names, including green food, slow food and local food.

If you decide to go on a real food diet, there are rules in place. You can eat:

  1. They must be whole foods that are a product of nature, not a product of industry.
  2. Fruits and vegetables.
  3. Dairy products.
  4. Whole-wheat grains.
  5. Seafood
  6. Locally-raised meats
  7. Drinks such as water, natural juices, coffee, tea and milk, as well as wine and beer.
  8. Snacks such as nuts, popcorn, seeds and dried fruit
  9. All natural sweeteners.

Things you cannot eat are:

  1. No refined grains. This includes white rice and white flour.
  2. No refined sweeteners. This includes sugar, cane juice, Splenda and corn syrup.
  3. Nothing out of a box, bag or bottle that has more than five ingredients.
  4. No deep frying of foods.
  5. No foods from fast food joints.

In order to buy foods that are real foods, you should always read the ingredient label to know what you are getting, while increasing your consumption of whole foods. You should buy your bread from a local bakery, and you should always go for a whole-grain option no matter what type of food you are eating, including pastas, crackers and cereals, as well as rice. Stay away from products bought from the store that are high in high-fructose corn syrup, and do not order off a kids menu when you are out for dinner with the family.

A great place to visit is your local farmer’s market, and stay away from eating any sort of junk food that you can.

It may seem like a lot of work, but after you begin eating the food, you will find that you are suddenly much healthier, and feeling much better. It is a great way to live, and a great way to eat. 

De La Rosa Real Foods

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

What is so great about grape seed oil?

grapesThe world provides us with many different things to help us be healthy and happy. There are many things you can consume, but few things are better than fruits and vegetables. When we think about eating fruits and vegetables, you think about eating crunchy apples and leafy greens, but what about the oils of various fruits and vegetables?

One such oil is grape seed oil. This oil, created from the pressing of the seeds of grapes, is used in a variety of applications, and is a huge by-product of winemaking.

Grape seed oil is often used in cooking, especially as a salad dressing and mayonnaise, as well as a base for various infusions like garlic and rosemary. It can be sprayed on raisins to help the raisins keep their flavor, and grape seed oil is also put on pancakes, waffles and baked goods.

Cosmetics also use grape seed oil heavily, especially as an ingredient to keep moisture of the skin. Light and thin, grape seed oil is great for creating a glossy film over the skin when used as a carrier oil. Grape seed oil is also used as a lubricant in shaving. It can also help to grow and strengthen hair.

Grape seed oil also has a lot of health benefits attached to it. In a study done in 1993, it was found that grape seed oil helps to increase the good cholesterol levels in the body, while reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. Grape seed oil also contains a lot of antioxidants and biologically-active compounds that are believed to help combat cancer. It is believed that the antioxidants in grape seed oil is 50 times stronger than the antioxidants in vitamin C and E.

The linoleic acid in grape seed oil also helps deal with diabetes. Grape seed oil can also help to strengthen and repair damaged or broken capillaries and blood vessels. For inflammation, grape seed oil has been found to be anti-inflammatory in nature, helping to relieve pain and swelling caused by arthritis. It can also help to increase blood flow in the body, while also helping the immune system.

For wounds, grape seed oil can also help to heal wounds thanks to the linoleic acid levels. If you are looking for Vitamin E, grape seed oil is great because it is extremely high in the vitamin, which is essential to helping to fight cancer.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Organic Wine: What To Know

downloadIf you are thinking about expanding your organic menu at home, there is one thing you should give consideration to and that is organic wine. Organic wine actually dates back to the 1940s, with many growers shying away from using pesticides for fear that it would impact the taste of the wine. In the 1980s, the concept of organic wine gained more and more respect, with the wines being recognized as very good quality at a fair price. Organic wine growers and producers began to realize around this time and into the 1990s, that going organic actually improved the soil of around the vines, thanks to the absence of additives or chemicals being used. Europe latched on to this and began to offer subsidies for wine growers who were organic.

Today, organic wine is increasingly popular and widely found throughout the world.

Organic wine is created from grapes that have not been exposed to any pesticides or chemical fertilizers. In addition, no sulphur dioxide is used in the process of the winemaking itself. There are also several organic standards that now exist in many countries, including the United States, to ensure that quality is met for a wine to be considered organic. In the United States for example, there is a distinction on the label between wine that is made from organically-grown grapes but which uses sulphur dioxide in the winemaking process, and true organic wine that comes from organic grapes, and does not use sulphur dioxide in the process of making the wine.

If you are looking to get organic wine, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Organic wine will not use fertilizers, pesticides or any sort of chemical. As a result, more manual labour is used to harvest the grapes, rather than relying on machines. This means that not only is organic wine better for the soil, but it is better for the air with less emissions being released.

If a company says they are now organic , one year after not being organic, then they are not truly organic. It takes three to five years for a vineyard to be considered truly organic.

Sometimes wineries choose to be organic, but don’t actually go for the certification. There are a lot of papers and regulations they need to go through in order to be considered organic, and it can waste a lot of time and money. As a result, they just choose to use organic practices, but not have the labelling of being organic. Often, it is a good idea to talk to the owners of the vineyard directly to find out if they are organic or not.

Choosing a good group of wineries for organic wine is easy when you are able to do your research. Organic wine is not only better for you, but it is good for the environment and it helps the vineyard stay healthy with soil that is natural and not full of pesticides.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg