Kosher Cheese, Please…

For a while now, my wife and I have been trying to figure out why it was so hard to find kosher certified cheese. There are a lot of food products in normal grocery stores that have been certified kosher by a rabbnic authority. All you have to do is look for the seal of a rabbinc authority on the packaging. Cheese, however, is a different matter.

We had talked to several people to ask why this was the case and received a very wide range of answers, ranging from lard being used as a thickening agent to the rennet coming from swine. I recently came across a website from a rabbinic kosher authority with clear information as to why certain cheeses are not certified kosher, clarifying a lot of the myths behind cheese production. You can find the article on the Star-K website, and information on rennet in general on Wikipedia.

Honoring the Sabbath

This weekend we are staying with relatives since we are back in our hometown. We are here for the weekend, because our family is giving us a baby shower this Sunday. Although they love us and love Hashem, they do not honor the Sabbath. This always presents some difficulty. Today is Shabbat and we just ran into this dilemma. Being in someone else’s home, we are not in control of what takes place. It is always a delicate balance of honoring Torah and being careful to not be a stumbling block to those whom might eventually find validity in Torah. With this situation in mind, I am very proud of my five-year-old son right now. Continue reading “Honoring the Sabbath”

But I Thought It Was Kosher???

Ever wonder why some ice creams (particularly those that are reddish in color), strawberry milk, candied cherries, fruit drinks, candy yogurts (outside of the gelatin issue), IMITATION crab meat (made from kosher fish, such as Pollock/Snow Cod), and other seemingly kosher foods are never given the Kosher stamp of approval? It seems that there has been much concern from both Jewish and vegan groups (and rightly so) over the FDA’s decision to allow manufacturers to hide the fact that these “food” items have a dye added to them which is made with the ground up bodies of dried insects. The Associated Press has recently published an article on this concern and the FDA’s continued debate on the required labeling of such additives (as of now, these ingredients are not required to be listed at all).

All of the aforementioned items are nearly guaranteed to have this concoction added to them in order to enhance their visual appeal. However, this is a serious problem for anyone truly wanted to eat kosher, but has grown weary of trying to find that little circle-K or circle-U (among many other) stamp of approval from a Rabbinic authority on every item they purchase at the grocery store. Issues such as this may cause a return to a reliance upon the Rabbinic authorities, even from those who would not like to be bound to such restrictions. It appears this is definitely a time when the “Rabbis know best.”

Link to the article from the Associated Press