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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 6.8:
I'm a vegetarian health-food proponent. Is kosher food healthier?


We don't know. Traditional Jews keep kosher because G-d demands it of us. However, we wouldn't be at all surprised if something which G-d demands would also be good for us.

Note that vegetarian food is not always kosher: there are problems with cheese, vinegar, oils, grape jelly, insects, gentile cooking, and lots more. (No, we don't mean vegetarians eat insects. But strict kashrus requires careful inspection for insects.)

Side note for meat eaters: kosher meat is healthier. USDA standards are disgustingly lenient regarding the animal's health. "Sixty Minutes" once did an expose on this--many kosher butchers reported a large increase in gentile customers. Cold-water plucking helps prevent the spread of salmonella bacteria, and meat from diseased animals cannot be considered kosher. Kosher slaughter is more humane than non-kosher slaughter, as it kills the animal in a painless fashion. Although kosher slaughter does not kill the animal instantly, the animal passes out from the sudden drop in cranial blood pressure and dies in a minute or so. There is no pain.

Some Jews boycott particular foods or manufacturers as a political or human rights gesture. However, even if a rabbi declares a food prohibited in his community, although it is equally as forbidden as non-kosher food, this does not affect its kosher status. (For example, utensils coming in contact with morally-forbidden products do not become non-kosher.)

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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