General Question

syz's avatar

When a food is labeled "kosher", do it's contents differ?

Asked by syz (32735 points ) April 8th, 2009

Is it the same food that has been handled differently, or is it inherently a different product? (There’s an argument going on at work, and I am not well enough informed to be able to answer.)

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14 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Depends on the food. Obviously lard has been replaced with a different fat, but sometimes the difference is simply how it has been slaughtered, or that a rabbi said the appropriate things.

qualitycontrol's avatar

No, Kosher refers to the methods in which it was prepared or produced. The actual ingredients aren’t different but if the finished product is Kosher, then the ingredients must also be Kosher. In production, a Kosher Rabbi must be present to oversee the process and to ensure everything is clean enough to meet Kosher standards.

EmpressPixie's avatar

It also depends on the product and what it is Kosher FOR. For example, Kosher for Passover Coke has sugar instead of corn syrup. But for other things, where the ingredients themselves are already up to standards, it may be as simple as the rabbi coming by, checking things out, and saying whatever needs said.

janbb's avatar

Some foods are by definition “trayf” or non-kosher such as pigs, shellfish, etc. so they would never be part of a kosher product. Similarly, you cannot mix milk and meat together so any food that combines dairy and meat would not be kosher in any form. Then, as has been said above, there are foods that have to be prepared according to the rules of kashrut, such as humane slaughtering practices, and have their preparation overseen by a “mashgiach” or rabbi. Foods that are from supervised kosher facilities will usually have an “OU” symbol on the package or say “kosher.” They also should say if they are meat, dairy or “parve” (can be used with eithermeat or dairy.)

Kosher for Passover is a whole ‘nother lecture which can be saved for another day.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@janbb: I just brought it up because it is the only instance I know of where you have a specifically Kosher item alongside a non-Kosher item. Most companies either bother with Kosher or don’t. Also, because, you know, it’s that time of year.

janbb's avatar

@EmpressPixie Oh sure. I just didn’t want to include it because I’m ostensibly supposed to be working and it’s alot to write about. (But interesting, too.)

casheroo's avatar

I know Tali explained the meat part recently, but I saw on my gallon of milk, that it was kosher for passover. What do they do to a cow, to make the milk kosher??

Likeradar's avatar

deleted by me…

Likeradar's avatar

@Casheroo I found this article that explains kosher for Passover issues. I grew up in a house that was fairly strict about it, and I still don’t get all the little details. Kosher I get, but kosher for Passover is a whole different ball of matzo.http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/docs/Passover%20for%20RA%20web%20site%20.pdf

edit: wow, that didn’t link well at all. http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/docs/Passover%20for%20RA%20web%20site%20.pdf
Much better. :)

srmorgan's avatar

@casheroo During Passover, you may not eat, among other things, anything leavened, which I guess means something that is allowed to rise. There is a ritual in very observant households called “searching for Chometz” (that is pronounced with a guttural ch as in the German word “Ich”) wherein the residents will clean out every crumb from the pantry, clean the kitchen, the oven, solely to make sure that there is no chance of consuming leavening.
Observant households will ordinarily have one set of dishes and cutlery for milk and one for meat. At Passover, there are two completely different sets of dishes used for Passover. That is four sets of dishes in all.

When you see Kosher for Passover on a commercial product it usually means one of three things: that the equipment used in production of say, milk, or Pepsi, has been thoroughly cleaned before the start of production of KP products and the cleaning is done under Rabbinical supervision or they are using a completely different equipment for production and it has been certified under Rabbinical supervision or the product contains nothing that could possibly render it unfit for Passover and I have a hard time citing something like that.

I am not an expert on this but I believe that wines shown as Kosher for Passover (known to us as Pesadiche) must be pasteurized in order to kill bacteria or perhaps yeast leftover from fermentation but don’t quote me on that.

Chag Sameach Pesach = Happy holiday Passover ( in Hebrew)
or as we learned it growing up in the Bronx, in Yiddish

Good Yontiff.

SRM

casheroo's avatar

interesting to know! thanks :)

VzzBzz's avatar

Food labeled Kosher are first ingredients allowed under “kosher law” then they are processed with equipment and in facilities that follow kosher standards and the facility has been inspected and blessed.

Lupin's avatar

Yes. At least for wine there is a difference between kosher and non kosher wine. I toured the Widmer winery in Naples NY where they make kosher Manischewitz wine and asked the same question. The wine master said they use finer filtration in the kosher wine so it always has no or minimal sediment. They also add sugars to maintain the specified residual sugar level in each batch. You can rest assured that every bottle of Concorde or Extra Heavy Malaga you drink tastes as good as it did when you were younger- be that one week ago or a couple of decades.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

@casheroo, @srmorgan is completely correct.

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