How Much Is The Kosher Market Growing?
The U.S. kosher markets have become a recognized boom for food manufacturers. Today, consumers are concerned about more than just the kosher status of their food. Over 12 million American consumers choose Kosher food products for reasons related to health, food safety, taste, vegetarianism, lactose intolerance, and dietary restrictions. Generating over $12 billion in annual sales, the kosher food industry has become a big business. Certifying hundreds of companies around the world, KSA Kosher is one of the leaders in the kosher food industry. As one of the world’s largest, most respected and well-known kosher agency, the KSA certifies a great percentage of the kosher food sold worldwide. Increased industrialization of food production has boosted demand for kosher certification. Foods are increasingly produced using a more convoluted processing techniques and multiple additives, all of which require kosher certification services. The KSA is at the forefront of this worldwide industrialization with Rabbi’s who have specialized expertise in all areas of food production.
There are well over 300,000 packaged food products on U.S. supermarket shelves, the KSA kosher symbol is found on many of those products. KSA certified companies know that having the KSA symbol on their products immediately and universally increases their marketability. That’s why they choose the KSA to certify their products worldwide.
All About Kosher Fish
By Aryeh Citron
The Torah gives two signs that determine if a fish is kosher—fins and scales. In order for a fish to be kosher, it must have both of these signs. According to the Talmud, any fish that has scales also has fins. Thus, if one knows that a particular fish has scales, it is considered a kosher fish. As with the other laws of kosher, the Torah doesn''t give a reason as to why only a fish with these signs is considered kosher. These laws are considered a chok (a decree beyond comprehension).
Definition of Scales
In order to render a fish kosher, the scales must be visible to the naked eye and they must be easy to remove from the skin of the fish, either by hand or with an instrument. If the scales can be only be removed after soaking the fish in scalding water, there are differing views as to whether the fish is considered kosher. Sturgeon is one such fish, and, in practice, it is not considered kosher.
If a fish is not completely covered in scales – it only has several scales – it is still considered kosher.
If a young fish belongs to a species which develops scales when they mature, it is kosher even if it has not yet developed them. Conversely, if a type of fish has scales when it is young but not when it matures, there are differing views as to whether or not it is kosher. A swordfish is one such fish, and the accepted rule is that it is not kosher.
Certain fish have scales while in the water, but they shed their scales when caught and brought to dry land. These fish are considered kosher. (I have heard that the Spanish mackerel is one such fish.)
Partial List of Kosher Fish:
- Many (but not all) tuna
- Many species of sardines
Purchasing Kosher Fish
When purchasing fish from a store that does not have kosher supervision, it is necessary to personally see the scales on the fish, or at least the indentations in the skin where the scales were before they were removed. It is not sufficient that the sign in the store identifies it as a kosher species of fish. If the fish is filleted, and one sees scales on one of the pieces, the entire fish can be considered kosher if the pieces "match."
I have heard that one may eat salmon even if one does not see the scales on the fish because the distinct color is sufficient evidence that it is salmon.
When purchasing fish from a store that also sells non-kosher fish, one should ask the fish monger to thoroughly wash the knife and board that he will use to fillet the fish. Some people prefer to bring their own knife and board for him to use.
If the fish monger filleted a kosher fish with a knife that was not properly washed, one must wash the area that was cut and scrape it off with a knife in order to remove any non-kosher residue.
Any sea creature that does not have fins or scales is not kosher, regardless of whether it is scientifically classified as a fish or whether it actually resembles a fish. This means that whales, prawns, shellfish, crabs, octopus, lobster, and shrimp are all not kosher.
A Fish Inside a Fish
If a kosher fish is found inside the belly of a non-kosher fish, it is kosher. If a non-kosher fish is found in the belly of a kosher fish, it is not kosher.
Caviar / Roe
The eggs of a non-kosher fish are not kosher, while the eggs of a kosher fish are kosher. In order to establish that the roe is kosher, one must know that it came from a kosher fish. Therefore, caviar should not be purchased unless it has a reliable kosher certification.
When Are Fish Considered Dead?
It is not necessary to slaughter fish in a ritual manner, because as soon as a fish is removed from the water it is considered slaughtered. It is, however, forbidden to eat a fish while it''s alive.
If a fish dies in the water, it may be eaten.Fish Blood
Fish blood is kosher. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to drink fish blood if it is removed from the fish, because others may confuse it with animal blood. However, if there are scales in the blood, it is permissible, as it is clearly not animal blood.
Fish and Meat (or Dairy)
According to the Talmud, it is harmful for one''s health to eat fish and meat together. See Fish with Meat or Dairy for more information.
Some argue that, for health reasons, fish should also not be eaten with cheese. See the above link for more information.
The following are excerpts from a recent issue of The New York Times:
|The Brave New World of Kosher foods Exert a Growing Appeal That Isn''t Just for Jews ... The smorgasbord of Kosher foods jockeying for attention at Kosherfest ''96 is dizzying. From Kosher-for-Passover unleavened taco shells to kosher bonbons made in Belgium. Kosher baby food made in France, Kosher Ravioli, Kosher vitamins, Kosher gumbo, Kosher gazpacho and Kosher faux caviar...
...8,100 companies now make 36,100 Kosher products for 7 million Americans who regularly buy Kosher. Those consumers spend roughly $3 billion a year, and the annual growth of the Kosher market in the last five years has been 11 percent, compared with just 1 to 2 percent for the food industry in general...
..."Kosher is attracting more and more attention" says Norma Ghez, a food industry analyst with Goldman, Sachs. Sara Lee and Conagra, two leading vendors of processed meats, acquired Kosher meat companies. "This sure tells us something", Ms. Ghez says...
... Kosher refers to a set of dietary laws, originating in the Old Testament, that govern both the selection and preparation of food... A Kosher kitchen must include separate sets of cookware and dishes for meats and milks products. Kosher goods, whether sold by large companies or corner butchers, must carry the certification of a rabbinical organization that has overseen the production and can vouch for its purity...
...Associated primarily with Judaism, Kosher restrictions, in varying form and by varying names, are also followed by Muslims an Seventh-Day Adventists...Although statistics on the subject are slippery, Jews are thought to account for 29 percent of Kosher consumers today, while Muslims and a few other religious groups account for an additional 19 percent. the remaining consumers buy Kosher for reasons that have nothing to do with religion, market analysts say...
... Many of these people, impressed by the rules and rabbinical supervision involved in the production of kosher goods, assume that Kosher poultry is less likely to suffer micro-biological contamination, that kosher packaged goods contain fewer preservatives and that Kosher products are purer and safer...
..Companies large and small have scurried to take advantage of it. They have learned that in the case of many products that are almost inherently kosher, it requires little if any change in the production process, along with the modest fee for rabbinical oversight, to receive a Kosher certification...
Below are some links to useful Kashrus websites.