Posts Tagged ‘Kosher Supervision of America’

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon on the Definition of Kosher

In Business on August 5, 2013 at 3:27 am

Rabbi-Binyomin-Lisbon-Kosher-Food5According to Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon of KSA Kosher, several misconceptions exist about the term “kosher.” Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon explains that kosher most often describes food permitted for consumption by people who observe Jewish dietary law.

Q: Why are certain food products considered non-kosher?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Foods may be rendered non-kosher for a variety of reasons, including the species of animal and improper slaughtering or processing procedures.

Q: What else?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The mixing of meat and dairy ingredients is forbidden. Plus, the usage of ingredients drawn from non-kosher sources is not allowed under Kashrus law.

Q: Define Kashrus.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Kashrus, the term used to explain the concept of dietary laws, relates to the kinds of food permissible for preparation and consumption.

Q: What animals are considered kosher?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Cattle or bovine are deemed kosher because they have cloven hooves and chew cud. If an animal does not possess both of these distinctions, it is strictly forbidden.

Q: What other characteristics should kosher consumers examine?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The animal being slaughtered must have no flaw or disease. Further, the origin of the animal is a major concern to kosher production.

Q: What are some examples of kosher animals?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Examples of kosher animals are sheep, goats, lambs, cows, bulls, springbok and veal.

Q: What about the animal’s milk?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The milk from non-kosher animals is strictly prohibited.

Q: Are there any other restrictions?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Dairy products may not contain any non-kosher additives, and they may not include meat derivatives or products.

Q: What’s an example of these products?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Many kinds of cheese have been manufactured using rennet. Therefore, they would need kosher certification.

Q: Can kosher consumers ever trust preprocessed foods?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Only the kosher certification symbol verifies a product’s viability. Many preprocessed foods contain small portions of milk products. One example of a popular milk product is whey.

Q: Have these been deemed non-kosher?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: According to food regulations, such small additives in these products do not have to be labeled on packaging. Nonetheless, these products would still be rendered dairy.

Q: How are kosher animals slaughtered?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: To be eaten by the kosher consumer, a species must be slaughtered in a ritual known as “Schochet.”

Q: What does Schochet mean?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Jewish law prohibits causing any pain to animals during the slaughter, so death must occur almost instantaneously for the animal to be deemed kosher. The Schochet is the rabbi performing the ritual.

Q: How is the animal prepared for cooking after the slaughter?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: After the animal is slaughtered, the kosher supervisor treats the carcass by removing certain forbidden veins and fats.

Q: How are the animals cleaned?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: All blood from the animal should be drained or cooked out of meat before the consumer eats it.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon is the chief administrator of KSA Kosher, the largest kosher certification agency in the Western United States.

Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) on Benefits of Keeping Kosher in Today’s Market

In General on June 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

KSA KosherKosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher), a kosher certification not-for-profit agency in the western United States, has seen a rapid increase in the popularity of kosher food products in recent years. According to KSA, kosher certification has turned into a real coup for many food providers.

Presentation Solutions: Is the popularity of kosher foods increasing gradually – or is it a marked improvement?

KSA Kosher: There is a much higher demand these days for kosher products. Although the practice of keeping kosher is attached to Judaism, people of various denominations and cultures continue to follow these dietary standards.

Presentation Solutions: Has the kosher foods trend been adopted by grocers?

KSA Kosher: Our experience is that supermarkets and health food stores are continually seeking out opportunities to put kosher food products on their shelves.

Presentation Solutions: How many kosher food items are there?

KSA Kosher: Consumers have a choice of over 75,000 kosher food items on the market.

Presentation Solutions: Are these mainly from one company?

KSA Kosher: More than 10,000 companies are involved in kosher food production.

Presentation Solutions: So do consumers see a lot of variety?

KSA Kosher: Absolutely. An additional 3,000 products are introduced to the marketplace annually for the first time.

Presentation Solutions: This must translate into huge sales.

KSA Kosher: Consumers now spend about $165 billion on products certified as kosher, compared with an average of $250 million in the late 1970s.

Presentation Solutions: Do consumers truly believe kosher is better?

KSA Kosher: Yes. Surveys regularly note that consumers hold kosher products in higher regard, at a rate of 25% on average.

Presentation Solutions: Why do you think that is?

KSA Kosher: Food with the kosher certification is consistently viewed as being a higher quality product.

Presentation Solutions: What should be attributed to the rise in popularity of kosher-certified foods?

KSA Kosher: As health becomes a growing concern, consumers are paying more attention than ever to the ingredients listing on their food products – along with the nutritional information display.

Presentation Solutions: Are kosher diets vegetarian?

KSA Kosher: This is a common misconception. Poultry, beef and fish are often considered kosher.

Presentation Solutions: Is preparation important?

KSA Kosher: Kosher birds and mammals have to be slaughtered in a manner that falls within a firm set of standards.

Presentation Solutions: Is kosher food just for Jewish consumers?

KSA Kosher: Jewish consumers comprise about 45% of the kosher food market, but many others are seeking out kosher food as well.

Presentation Solutions: Who are other prominent kosher consumers?

KSA Kosher: Millions of Muslims follow a similar routine called halal, and they make up about 20% of the market.

Presentation Solutions: What other religions might practice being kosher?

KSA Kosher: Christian sects such as Seventh Day Adventists hold specific dietary standards that are similar to Judaism.  For example, pork is not allowed for Seventh Day Adventists.

Presentation Solutions: What about those individuals who are not Jewish but find they have specific dietary needs?

KSA Kosher: The lactose intolerant, or those who have a milk allergy, often prefer following a kosher diet as well.

Presentation Solutions: How can those consumers determine which ones are dairy products?

KSA Kosher: These individuals must be diligent about checking labels before consumption. A bold letter “D” generally indicates a dairy product.

Presentation Solutions: How are non-dairy products separated from their counterparts?

KSA Kosher: Products which contain any dairy ingredient will carry the traditional kosher symbol with the letter “D.”

About KSA Kosher: At KSA, kosher certification is the top priority. As the leading kosher certification agency in the western United States, KSA has received commendations from numerous synagogues and rabbis throughout the world for its dedication to kosher practices.