Kashrut

Artificial Meat: Kosher or Not?

06/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q -  I recently heard reports about the creation of artificial meat, using with animal stem cells.  To this point, it exists only in a Petri dish, but it's time to start asking the tough questions.  As one who keeps kosher and who is a vegetarian, would this kind of meat would be kosher - and would that be true even for pork?  And since no killing would be involved, could a vegetarian eat this meat with a clear conscience?

A- As they say at Citi Field, it’s time to “Meet the Meats.”

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Is it Cruel to Force Dogs to Keep Passover?

03/31/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I've heard that pets are supposed to keep Passover. I'm fairly traditional regarding Passover and just got a dog. Isn't it cruel to force an innocent animal to change its entire diet for a whole week? It's hard enough for humans!

A- As the proud owner of two adorable standard poodles, one of whom is extremely neurotic, I can sympathize with you.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Another Kosher Scandal: What's at Stake

03/24/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Yes, once again kosher is not yosher (just)!

Pickles used to be my favorite snack, but now I can't help but think of the workers in a pickle at Flaum Appetizing before taking a bite.

Just a few years ago, Flaum, which also produces Sonny & Joe's and distributes Tnuva and Bodek products, fired seventeen Latino workers who stood up against over a decade of abusive treatment and unlawfully-withheld benefits and overtime pay.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Single-Malt Shop

Scotch whisky, a good (kosher) wintertime tipple.

02/15/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Over the past few decades single-malt Scotch whisky has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, a fact not lost on whisky producers. According to David Blackmore, the global brand manager for the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg distilleries, “It’s no great secret that the Jewish community in America really loves their single malts.”

The Glenrothes Alba Reserve is a smooth whiskey with hints of heather.

New York State Cutting Last Kosher Inspectors

11/21/2010

(JTA) -- New York is about to lose its last two state kosher inspectors.

The state's Department of Agriculture and Markets will eliminate the jobs as part of a statewide effort to achieve $250 million in work force savings, according to the Times Union in Albany. The department once had 11 kosher inspectors.

Explaining its decision to lay off the final two inspectors, the department told reporters that the jobs have become obsolete since a 2004 change in the state’s kosher law prevented state inspectors from enforcing Orthodox standards of kashrut.

There's a Kosher App for That

As someone who not only keeps kosher, but also works as a mashgiach (kosher supervisor), I often find myself away from the computer and searching for kosher food options. There are two good iPhone apps that help users locate the closest kosher options, whether it's a box of cereal or an Italian restaurant you're looking for .

RustyBrick's kosher app links to the largest kosher database on the web at the Shamash site. With over 2,000 restaurants in the database, the Jewish Kosher App for the iPhone or iPod Touch looks up the nearest kosher place to eat from your current location, using the iPhone's GPS features. (If GPS or localization isn't on or available, a location or name can be typed in.) Additionally, a kosher symbols database is available to quickly look up what kosher symbols are backed by which organizations or rabbi. As a bonus feature, all of the food blessings and prayers in Hebrew are included in this app so one can give proper thanks before and following the meal.

Another new iPhone app to help the kosher eater locate food is called My Grocery Master. It allows users to browse and search a database of over 100,000 Kosher, gluten-free and lactose-free items across the United States, meeting the user’s lifestyle and dietary requirements. Created by Nosh Maven LLC, My Grocery Master enables people following kosher diets to find acceptable food near their location.

 

New Apps Locate Kosher Fare

Text/Context October 2009: Kosher Equals Vegetarian

Special to the Jewish Week
10/02/2009

I grew up as a vegetarian in India. However, after I came to the United States, my eating habits changed. As long as I could make a distinction between the meat, fish and fowl on my plate from the cow with a bolt shot through its head, or the fish gasping for breath on the boat deck or the bird with its head cut off and spurting blood, I was able to eat flesh and fish. Once I lost the ability to do this, though, I was drawn irresistibly back to the vegetarianism of my youth.

Conservatives Seek Kosher Input

03/21/2003
Staff Writer
A local Conservative leader says his movement has been left out of the loop as state legislators and Gov. George Pataki set out to draft new kosher-consumer legislation to replace the law struck down by federal courts because it favored Orthodox standards. "We have reached out to [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver's office and Pataki's office as well as Attorney General [Eliot] Spitzer's office, indicating that we have not been part of this process," said Bruce Greenfield, president of the Metropolitan Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Kosher Law Ensnared In Political Feud

03/07/2003
Staff Writer
While thousands of kosher consumers in New York are left without protection from fraud, top state officials are headed in separate directions in their efforts to craft a new bill. Days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused on Feb. 24 to hear an appeal that might have kept New York's constitutionally shaky statute alive, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced the formation of a broad committee to study the implementation of a new law.

N.Y. Kosher Law KO'd

02/26/2003
Staff Writer
As many as 17 states may have to join New York in reconfiguring kosher consumer enforcement legislation now that the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a death blow to the Empire State's model, but long-troubled, law. The high court on Monday declined to get involved in the case between a Long Island kosher butcher and the state's Department of Agriculture and Markets.
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