|Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) has witnessed a rapid increase in the sales of kosher products throughout the United States. According to KSA, kosher products are now holding more shelf space in the nation’s supermarkets, restaurants and hotel chains. KSA Kosher summarizes this increase in popularity and explains the basics of being kosher.|
Oceans2003: What’s the current state of kosher; is it growing or declining?
KSA Kosher: Kosher is clearly more popular than ever before.
Oceans2003: Why is that?
KSA Kosher: Aside from spiritual reasons, eating kosher food has numerous health advantages. Since meat and dairy are not to be served together, eating kosher means avoiding foods that contain excessive fat, including cheeseburgers or pepperoni pizzas.
Oceans2003: What else?
KSA Kosher: Eating kosher serves as protection from certain food based disorders and microbes. One example is pork, which is a non-kosher meat. Pork is often associated with trichinosis.
KSA Kosher: Studies have shown that kosher has now surpassed other designations such as “organic,” “fair trade” and “natural.”
Oceans2003: Do kosher products outsell regular options?
KSA Kosher: A Kosher certified food item will generally outsell its competition by about 20%.
Oceans2003: For those unfamiliar with the term “kosher,” what does it mean?
KSA Kosher: Kosher foods are those in line with the Kashrut, laws outlined in the Torah and adhered to for over 3,000 years.
Oceans2003: What is Kashrut?
KSA Kosher: Kashrut is a set of Jewish laws focused on “proper diet.”
Oceans2003: Where are those laws found?
KSA Kosher: These laws are outlined in the Torah.
Oceans2003: What are some of the basic rules?
KSA Kosher: Again, dairy and meat must remain separated from each other, both in consumption and production. Following this rule can benefit health.
Oceans2003: What about the killing of animals for kosher purposes?
KSA Kosher: There are certain standards in place for the killing of animals as well. For food to be considered kosher, the animal must be killed instantaneously with minimal pain caused.
Oceans2003: How is kosher food prepared?
KSA Kosher: Animals have to be defined as belonging to a certain classification outlined in the Torah. The animal blood must be drained out of the meat before it is consumed.
Oceans2003: What animals are considered kosher?
KSA Kosher: Cattle or bovine are considered to be kosher animals because they possess cloven hooves and chew cud.
Oceans2003: And non-kosher?
KSA Kosher: Animals and seafood that do not fall within this definition, including pork and shellfish, are strictly forbidden.
Oceans2003: What major food manufacturers sell kosher products?
KSA Kosher: Food manufacturers with kosher food products include Kraft, General Mills, Frito-Lay and Coca-Cola.
Oceans2003: How many kosher consumers are there worldwide?
KSA Kosher: At last count, there were about 25 million kosher consumers. The Jewish population makes up a majority of this niche market.
Oceans2003: How many Jewish individuals are in the United States?
KSA Kosher: In 2011, the Jewish population totaled more than 6.5 million.
Oceans2003: What are the current sales of kosher products?
KSA Kosher: Kosher product sales run about $12 billion annually.
Kosher Supervision of America, based in the Western United States, has overseen kosher certification for hundreds of businesses and organizations. KSA Kosher exists as a not-for-profit agency with the support of rabbis and synagogues all across the United States. To learn more, visit Kosher Supervision of America online at ksakosher.com.