Countless individuals are interested in eating healthy foods, while others want to eat foods that support their moral, social, political, or religious beliefs. Numerous individuals must eat kosher foods to remain in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. Millions of other people choose to eat organic foods to support a healthier lifestyle. Another option is to consume only foods that are both kosher and organic. In order to act on such a choice, it may be wise to first explore some basic information on organic and kosher food products.
Organic Foods Explained
Organic food is the result of organic farming. Organic farmers operate under certain restrictions, such as not using fertilizers made from chemicals or pesticides that are synthetic. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity. When food products are given the label of “organic”, certain methods were used to produce them, and those methods must fall under the guidelines defined by the Organic Foods Production Act. Another restriction associated with organic agriculture is the prohibition of chemical additives, irradiation, and chemical solvents used during processing. Because consumers depend on organic labeling by the USDA to help them determine their buying choices, the organic food production industry is highly regulated.
Kosher Foods Explained
Kosher food is food that is acceptable for consumption based on Jewish dietary law (kashrut). This body of laws determines the types of foods that Jewish people may consume, as well as the ways in which such foods are prepared and then eaten. As described on a Judaism 101 site, Kosher dietary laws are observed all year round. Some of the laws are health-related, but others are not. The reason for following the law is because such compliance is determined by the Torah (the first five books of Hebrew Scripture).
Details of kashrut include the restriction of certain animals, as well as the prohibition of certain parts of animals that are deemed kosher. The consumption of bugs is not permitted; therefore, vegetables and fruits should be examined for the absence of bugs before they may be consumed. Utensils must not touch non-kosher food if they are to be used for kosher food, and this rule extends to cooking utensils, as well. Certain foods cannot be eaten at the same time, and the blood must be removed from poultry and meat (via broiling or draining) before consumption. The term “glatt” is used to describe meat that has been properly inspected for growths or other irregularities.
The Advantage of Combining Kosher and Organic
Kosher and organic foods differ from each other in a variety of ways. Organic agriculture is primarily implemented to ensure that foods are not exposed to chemicals, while kosher foods conform to Jewish dietary laws. However, when the two practices are combined, a person who is Jewish could benefit greatly. Since organic foods are produced without synthetic chemicals, such foods are typically healthier than non-organic foods. According to Wise Organic Pastures, by consuming foods that are both certified organic and kosher, an individual could remain true to the kashrut principles while consuming a healthier grade of food. Ultimately, this strategy may be one that works best for a great number of individuals.