What is strictly forbidden in Kosher foods?

We all know that Kosher foods are the foods consumed by the Jewish people, which meet the requirements of their religion, but how much do we actually know about Kosher foods? What are the foods that Jewish individuals cannot eat? Why is that the case? Here is a brief rundown of the foods that are forbidden to be consumed under Kosher law.

First we will look at meat. Kosher meat must comply with a number of rules under Jewish dietary law. The only types of meat that can be consumed are cattle and game that has cloven hooves and, in the word of the Torah, “chew the cud”. If for example the animal only qualifies for one of these, like the pig for example, then its meat cannot be consumed. Animals that are Kosher are bulls, sheep, lambs, goats, veal, springbok and cows. When the animal is slaughtered, it must be done under the supervision of a Kosher Supervisor. The carcass must be have the blood removed, as well as the veins and the skin. To do this the meat is trebered, then soaked in a bath, then put on special salting tables for an hour on each side.

For birds, the only birds that can be consumed are goose, duck, chick and turkey.

All dairy products must come from Kosher animals and it must not contain any additives that are not Kosher.

One interesting Kosher rule is that it is against dietary law to combine meat and milk. According to the Torah, you cannot cook a young animal in the milk of its mother. As such, milk and meat products can never be mixed together, whether it is cooking them together, or serving them together at the table.

Eggs are allowed, but not if they contain eggs, so all eggs must be examined individually.

Only fish with fins and scales can be consumed, which includes tuna, herring and salmon. Lobster, crab, mussels and shrimp cannot be consumed.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

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New To Organics? What Should You Enjoy First?

usda-organic-sealIf you have spent your life eating processed foods, you are making a good choice by moving towards organics. Organic food is good for you and it is good for the environment. If you are new to organic food though, you may be wondering what exactly you should begin with eating organic. One thing you are going to discover is that there are a lot of products out there that advertise themselves as being organic, but that is far from the case. For example, if you buy a container of juice and it says it is organic, it may have been organic early on in the process when it was grown but by the time the juice has made its way to you at the grocery store, it is no longer organic because of the various products put into the juice over the course of that time.

As well, “all-natural” does not mean that it is organic. It really means nothing, so it is best to just ignore things that say “all-natural” as that is an example of greenwashing.

The first thing you should get that is organic are fruits and vegetables. this is where you see the biggest advantages to organics, and it is really what you should be focusing on when you are going organic. Ensure that the organics that you buy are certified organic by a government agency. This is the only way to know for certain that the products you are buying are actually organic. You can get organics at a farmer’s market, but this is not always guaranteed to be organic, but it is more likely than if you buy organic food at the grocery store.

When you go organic, nothing will taste the same again. Everything will taste better, you will feel healthier and you will be helping the planet in the process.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Is Grain Fed and Free Roam, Organic?

HerefordWhen you hear about organic, you think of it as being related to no pesticides, herbicides or hormones. What about grass fed and free roam? For many people, it is important that the food that they eat is coming from animals that were treated properly and in a natural manner. This means no cages, no harsh hormones, etc being put into the bodies of the chickens, pigs and cows.

Is this organic though? In many ways it is because it is more natural, and it is treating animals in a more natural manner. There are also rules in place related to grain fed and free roam, so that companies are not just stating that their products are free-roam and grass-fed. That being said, the rules related to free range and grass-fed are much more liberal than those related to organics.

In the United States, free-range regulations only apply to poultry, and it requires that the animals be allowed access to the outdoors. There is no requirement on the size or quality of the outside environment. The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Inspection Service requires that chickens raised for their meat have acess to the outside to receive the free-range certification. It doesn’t have to be pasture, and can be dirt or gravel.

For grass-fed animals, this is often labeled as organic, or natural. Pasture or grass-fed animals are often termed as free-range animals because they are in a pasture, eating grass. There are also corn-fed animals, but these animals are not considered to be organic because the animals are not eating the diet that is natural for them. You should always make sure that the meat you are buying is pasture-fed or grass-fed, as these are the best for the animals and the environment.

Organic doesn’t always mean grass-fed or free-range, but it is a step in the right direction.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Organic on a budget

downloadGoing organic is a good way to stay healthy, but it is not always cheap. That being said, organics are getting cheaper by the day, but there are still ways that you can order organic food online, and keep things cheap at the grocery store. Just follow these tips to being cheap on an organic budget.

The first thing to do is to buy organic is to buy the food in its raw form. When food is processed, it becomes more expensive. That is where organic prices go up. Try to buy food that is raw and unprocessed, to give you the most control over your food and your wallet.

Next, cook everything from scratch. This not only makes you a better cook, but it also helps prevent additives and preservatives from being mixed into what you eat, because you know everything you are eating is organic.

Instead of buying things you need that day, buy in bulk. When you purchase items in bulk, you are making it cheaper for yourself in the long-run. Buying in bulk can seem more expensive at first, but if you are really into organic cooking, and you use a lot of ingredients, then it is really the best option for you, and it will be the cheapest option for you in the long-run.

Another good option is to ensure that you buy your produce in season. In season organic produce is going to be cheaper than if it is out of season. This also helps you have more variety over the course of your year, since you will be buying different foods for each season.

Choose foods that are better for you organic. What we mean by that is that some foods are so coated in chemicals during the growing process, that if you buy them organic, you are getting the most benefit. If you can’t afford to buy all food organically, buy the ones that are the most chemically-laden, and choose to have them organic.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Tahini Tips

imagesWhen you are looking to cook a good Tahini meal, you want to get the most out of the tahini. For one, it is a fantastic product that can do a lot of good for your body, thanks to the high protein and many other beneficial minerals and vitamins found inside.

If you want to get the most out of the tahini though, try these smart tips.

  1. Tahini is often used as part of a sauce, so why not use it as a salad dressing. Of everything tahini is used for, this is probably the most common. Take a few spoonfuls of tahini and mix it with the salad to create a taste that is creamy and rich, without being overpowering to what you are eating.
  2. Tahini also makes a great dip. Tahini, after all, is a big ingredient in hummus, but you can certainly make it a dip of its own. If you want, mix it with some sour cream and use pita chips to dip into it. This is a great way to really enjoy tahini.
  3. A lot of people like to mix yogurt into their smoothie or into their granola. You can do them one better by mixing in tahini. Tahini works great in granola, especially because it is already a nut butter, so you are really complimenting things. In smoothies, you can add it in and get a great shot of protein, and a healthy dose of several other vitamins, in an already healthy smoothie.
  4. Lastly, you can put tahini into brownies and cookies. Tahini can take the taste of a desert and bump it up to the next level. Tahini offers a sweet, earthy flavour to deserts, so it is really something you should try.

Tahini is a very healthy, natural product that has been used in the Middle East for centuries as a dressing and paste. Now you can discover how good it is too.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg