Is Kosher Gelatin halal?

There exists a different set of opinions by different groups of Orthodox - Unorthodox Jews and Islamic scholars when it comes to Kosher Gelatin. “Kosher” is a word of Hebrew language, which means “fit or proper”. Every religion has its dietary laws. According to those laws, certain things are allowed to eat and some are prohibited in that religion. Kosher refers to these laws of the religion of Judaism. Hebrew is the national language of Israel, a Jewish country in the Middle East.

Kosher

Definition

Kosher not just refers to a particular cooking style. The laws restrict your way of preparing the food, inspecting the food before you make it, and the type of food you select.

People’s beliefs

Before getting into kosher the bigger question is why people keep it and there is no one answer. For some, it’s simply that “I am an observant Jew. God commanded it in the Torah, so I do it”. For others it is, “I grew up using it. It’s what I am used to, it’s what I am comfortable with. Some say “what you consume matters and eating should be a mindful experience makes the spiritual physical”. People also say, “It makes us a part of something bigger, my Jews community”.

When bringing food into someone’s house who keeps kosher, it is important to be respectful towards the food restrictions. It’s better to stick with the fresh vegetable and fruits, or packaged foods that have a kosher symbol on them.

History of kosher foods

Not all Jews use kosher food. Some Jews don’t eat kosher food but still drink some soft drinks which are kosher. All most half of the items in a supermarket would be kosher food. Some supermarkets also have a separate section labeled as kosher food only. Kosher food

Rules of kosher

There are three basic rules of kosher.

Can’t eat certain animals

Let’s break it down. Famously, of course, you cannot eat pork, shellfish, and shrimp, but there is a long list of animals in the Torah, some of them are called “clean” and some “unclean”. Pigs are out, cows are in. Chickens, ducks, salmons, turkeys are all in. In restaurants, meat and chicken always require a kosher certificate.

Animal Slaughtering

The animals you do eat should be slaughtered in a special way.

The way of doing this is called kosher slaughter or “shecht”

As the meets need to be prepared f in a special way there is a special label for kosher ones. Certified agencies famously put the O-U symbol on their items. Some food items do not require hechshers for the label such as vegetables, fruits, etc.

Cant combine milk and meat

Yes, this does include no cheeseburgers but it goes beyond that. Such as you cannot use butter and mashed potatoes that you are serving with turkey. Separating meat and milk is taken so seriously that some people would wait hours for food but won’t eat any dairy product with their steak.

Two categories

In kashrut, food gets lumped into two main categories: meat and milk.

So if you are invited to a kosher meal it would either be a milk meal or a meat meal. A meal that has dairy or one that has meat, not both. This is why kosher restaurants are either dairy restaurants or meat restaurants. Kosher kitchens at home generally have two sets of everything, dishes, pans, and even separate kitchen sinks.

Kosher label on food items

On the food items and packaging, there are a few symbols you might find. These symbols show that the item is kosher and of what type.

If there is a U in a circle it means the food item is pareve. I mean that the item is kosher and is neither meat nor dairy, it is neutral. Sometimes the word “Par eve” is also written on the packaging. If there is a K or K is inside a circle it means the item is kosher and the company has certified it kosher. If you see a D written after K, it means the item is a dairy product, otherwise only meat.

The labels are very helpful for vegan people. Just a look at the food packaging tells us whether they have to buy this or not. They do not need to read the whole list of ingredients.

Kosher food items

Most of the items in a grocery store are not kosher. You might need to hunt around a little bit or go to a separate store to find things like kosher meat or kosher wine.

Neither milk nor meat

Food that is neither milk nor meat is called “Pareve”. You can have that food with everything. These rules for kosher originally came from the “Torah”, which is sparse about the specifics. All the Torah says about milk and meat, for instance, is “you should not boil a kid in the milk of its mother”, which some people believe, was a response to an ancient pagan ritual.

Where they did that, like most Jewish commandments, mitzvoth, the rest of the rules of kosher come from thousands of traditions, where people asked, what’s the deeper meaning of this passage

Importance of kosher

So, the three basic kosher laws got extrapolated and evolved into the ‘consensus’ Jews have today, that by the way is still evolving. For instance, one of the debates right now is whether to include ethical labor practices inside the kosher conversation. Kosher standards vary by community. They look different in a Tie Aviv hotel and your grandma’s kitchen, but the main motivation, making conscious holy choices daily, remains the same. These shared kosher standards help to bring communities closer through everything, from potlucks to Shiva calls to Shabbat dinners.

Kosher meat Halal

The slaughtering of animals and types of meat which is prohibited in Judaism is the same as in Islam. But most Jews are not strict and they don’t follow and they sell the meat “non-zabiha” which is totally wrong. But the Jews who are orthodox, do it in the way the Bible has commanded which is the same as the Islamic law.

In the early 90s, there was no such thing as halal food around the world. If you have traveled in the early 90s or late 80s you might have seen that on airplanes there is no option such as halal foods, but there is kosher food. If halal meat or zabiha meat is available for a Muslim, then it’s best to have it.

Gelatin

Gelatin is an ingredient that is manufactured by boiling the skin and bones of animals with water. Cows and pigs are the animals from which gelatin can be obtained. It is to be noted that not by boiling the skin and bones of any vegan animal gelatin can be obtained. Gelatin is not technically considered vegan

Agar-Agar

For vegans, there are some substitutes for gelatin as they also love to eat marshmallows. There is a jelly-like substance made originally made from seaweed that is red algae, called “Agar-Agar”. It is used as an alternative to gelatin and is considered vegan.

The manufacturing of Agar Agar involves no haram stuff. As it is derived from plants hence it is certified halal. Muslims can also use Agar Agar as an alternative to gelatin because they won’t have any doubt about it as they would not be sure while using gelatin that whether it’s made of pig’s skin and bones or a halal animal like a cow.

Kosher Gelatin

As we have discussed earlier gelatin and kosher. The term kosher gelatin becomes quite understandable on its own. The type of gelatin that is considered to be kosher is called “kosher gelatin”. As kosher refers to the consumption of certain animals hence kosher gelatin refers to the gelatin obtained from those animals.

Theories regarding Kosher Gelatin

There has been a conflict between orthodox and unorthodox Jews regarding gelatin. Orthodox Jews believe that kosher gelatin can only be derived from the bones and skins of animals which are permitted in the Torah and slaughtered according to the proper Jewish laws described in the Torah.

Some Jews also believe that every gelatin is kosher regardless of the animal and way of slaughtering it. This is because the gelatin is obtained only from the remains of animals including, connective tissues, bones, and skin, almost lost their real entity and hence can no longer be considered as food. Thus, food items like marshmallows, gummies, candy, etc. containing any type of gelatin would be considered just fine and permit table to consume.

Pork is haram in Islam and is not considered kosher in Judaism. Some lenient rabbis allow their food companies to use gelatin from any animal source.

Types of kosher gelatin

It is of three types

Bovine Gelatin

This is a type of gelatin that is considered kosher and as well as halal for Muslims. Bovine is a “clean” animal according to Jews laws of dietary, described in the Torah, and is considered to be a halal animal by Muslims according to the teachings of Islam.

Fish Gelatin

Fish Gelatin is the type of gelatin that comes from the fish which is only considered kosher. The fish without scales and fins are not considered kosher, hence by orthodox Jews gelatin from such fish is also not considered kosher. For Muslims gelatin from fish is halal.

Seaweed Gelatin

The seaweed gelatin is called “Agar Agar”. It is obtained from plants and hence considered halal and kosher.

Kosher Gelatin in Yogurt

The manufacturing of yogurt involves the use of dairy products such as milk, cream, etc. According to the kosher law dairy and meat cannot be combined hence for a long time yogurt was manufactured without the use of gelatin. A few years later using beef gelatin to produce yogurt became practice.

This was not very much favored by the strict orthodox companies hence a request to produce kosher gelatin was made by my yogurt companies. The gelatin should be obtained from kosher animals, which are slaughtered in a kosher way. Kosher gelatin is not considered as meat and hence is used in the production faction of dairy products like yogurt and chocolate etc.

Frequently asked Questions

According to kosher rules which foods are Jews not allowed to eat? Wild Duck

  • Wild Hens

  • Blood

  • Swine Flesh

  • Wild Birds

  • All shellfish

  • Rabbit

What is the kosher way of slaughtering animals?

The kosher slaughtering method for animals involves the rapid extinction of the animal, it should completely bleed out. The slaughtering should be as quick as possible. The slaughtering should be done by a ‘Shecht’. A ‘shecht’ is a man who is officially certified for slaughtering cattle purposes according to the Jewish laws stated in Torah.

Which sea creatures are not kosher

The ones without scales and fins are not kosher. Some of these creatures are lobsters, shellfish, etc.

What food items are pareve in Judaism?

  • Fruits and Vegetables

  • Nuts and almonds

  • Seeds and oil

  • Wine (which has to be prepared under the strict rules defined in Jewish Bible Torah)

Is kosher meat halal?

Yes, kosher meat is halal if it has been obtained under the strict rules commanded by the Jewish Bible, Torah.

What are the 4 things about meat that are mentioned in the Quran which will make meat permissible for Muslims?

  • Muslims can not eat the meat of the animal that was not slaughtered.

  • The flesh of swine is prohibited

  • Blood is prohibited.

  • Any food on which any name before Allah’s is invoked.

Is every fish gelatin considered kosher?

No, every fish gelatin is not considered kosher. For fish gelatin to be kosher it has to be originated from the fish which is kosher. Kosher fish is the one with scales and fins.

Is every fish gelatin considered halal?

Yes, every fish gelatin is considered halal as all the aqua fish is considered to be halal.

What are some powdered Kosher Gelatin brands?

  • Beef Gelatin

  • Beef Gelatin Powder

  • Unflavored Gelatin Powder

  • Agar-Agar

  • Zint Beef

  • Landor

How do I know if Kosher Gelatin is halal?

Look for a halal symbol on the packaging. Most of the gelatin in the market is neither halal nor kosher and sometimes kosher is not halal. To find the halal product we have to look at all of the ingredients very carefully.

Which gelatin would be 100% halal for Muslims?

The gelatin extracted from c bovine, plants such as red algae, and edible fish would be halal. Gelatin from the bones and skins of a pig is haram for Muslims

Which yogurt is not halal?

Cadburys Button Yogurt Deserts is considered to be haram because of the presence of pg. the gelatin in it.

Visalia yogurt also has not been certified as halal yet. Although it contains halal gelatin.

Conclusion

To sum up, everything that has been stated so far, declaring kosher gelatin halal or haram once and for all is a tight spot. According to the Orthodox Union, about 90% of the gelatin present in the market is haram. Some lenient unorthodox rabbis give the justification that gelatin is manufactured from the remains of animals that are not edible at all hence there is no question in them to be kosher or not. Hence they further conclude, “Thus pig bones can be used to produce gelatin which would be pareve”. If the ingredient list has “Kosher Gelatin”, only then it is to be assumed that the gelatin came from a kosher/halal animal, slaughtered in a kosher way.