What Does Eating Kosher Mean?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Food, Jewish, Kosher Diet, News

What Does Eating Kosher Mean?

You may have heard the term “kosher” before when it comes to food. You may have seen kosher option on an airplane or a wedding menu. Most people know that it relates to the Jewish faith and the set of rules that they follow when it comes to eating.

The word kosher is a Hebrew word that essentially means “suitable or “pure” and it is used to describe many things including the foods that Jewish people are allowed to eat within their doctrine. There are specific meats and other food types that Jewish people have to avoid to remain pure and stay within the guidelines of the Jewish faith. What does Kosher mean?


In the Torah it is said that there are certain types of animal’s meat that should not be eaten. These are outlined in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy says that you can eat any animal that chews cud and has cloven hooves. It says that you cannot eat animals that only have one or the other. Some of the most well-known animals that are banned from being eaten under kosher guidelines are rabbit and pig. Almost all fish is allowed under a kosher diet.

There are also guidelines as to how the meat must be slaughtered when it comes to kosher meat. All of the blood, certain kinds of fat and the veins must be removed during the slaughter. The animal is often placed in a bath filled with warm water to help draw out the blood.

The type of cut that is used during the slaughter is very strict as well. It must be a horizontal cut along the jugular at a certain depth. If you eat kosher meat that means that it has been slaughtered exactly to the guidelines set forth by kosher law making it “clean” and “pure”.


The main rule when it comes to dairy is any milk that is deemed kosher must come from an animal that is kosher. Obviously human meat is not kosher but it is not unkosher for a child to drink human breast milk as long as they are under the age of 4 and have been breast feeding consistently without stopping for three days.

It is also important under kosher diet not to let meat and dairy mix during the same meal. If one eats meat then they must wait a certain amount of time before they eat milk. This period of time can vary depending on the specific tradition that individual chooses to follow.

Eggs and Seafood

Kosher eggs can only come from birds that have been deemed kosher. Kosher birds are typically described as non-birds of prey. When it comes to seafood, only fish that have scales and fins are permitted under kosher law. This means that all shellfish are banned under kosher guidelines.

Kosher meals do have a very strict set of guidelines that must be adhered in order to eat kosher. Even those that are not Jewish can benefit from eating kosher because it is typically a very healthy way to eat because of the way the food is prepared and the way that they check for diseased animals before they are slaughtered.

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