Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Kosher meat is higher quality

This all-too-common belief seems to make sense. Wouldn’t a company that is preparing products to meet religious restrictions also use more care and attention in the entire process, and meet more stringent standards when it comes to humane animal treatment, cleanliness, and so on? Nice idea, but not true. “Kosher” means nothing more than “kosher,” which means pretty much only that there are no forbidden creatures (for example, your kosher hot dog is just beef, no pork), the animals were slaughtered a certain way, and that meat and dairy products are kept strictly separate (there’s a whole lot more to Jewish dietary laws, but these are the basics). Being kosher does not mean the animals were raised humanely or sustainably, that health safety standards were rigorously followed, that the meat is fresher, or than the workers were treated fairly. All these things may be true of kosher meat, but there’s no guarantee. There are, of course, many kosher meat products that are very high quality, but the same is true of non-kosher products.

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2 responses to “Kosher meat is higher quality

  1. Andy February 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    I think the writer of this post doesn’t know Jewish Dietary Law very well. While everything said may be accurate there are some subtleties which affect flavor and quality that are missed.
    For one, what farmers are allowed to feed the animal is controled, specifically there are no animal byproducts used (so Kosher meat never has Mad Cow Disease), as well as the use of antibiotics is restricted, so is not given prophylactic-ally to all animals to prevent disease. Those restrictions mean that in many ways the meat is treated more humanely, and is of higher quality.
    Similarly, and animal that is injured or diseased does not qualify as kosher (cannot use any part of the animal if it suffers from certain illnesses, or if it has a fracture at the time of slaughter etc), and thus a higher quality of meat can be achieved because of the chemicals released in the body due to Injury or disease will not be present.
    Finally, the final part of Kosherisation meat involves brining it in Salt and water for hours to remove all of the blood from the animal. That brine often brings out flavor (and at the very least increases the salt content to make the meat taste better), and makes for a delicious piece of meat.
    I have found specifically chicken tastes much better kosher. Kosher steak is good quality, but it is easy to find excellent quality non-kosher steak as well. But I do find the original posting to not the whole picture in account when discussing kosher meat.

    • Mazen May 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Kosher and Hilal meats are very similar. I think in truth the only thing that separates the two is Kosher meat is soaked in salt water for a prolonged time to eliminate the blood, and thus cures the meat from any existing illnesses. However I have had horrible tasting Kosher and Hilal meats both. That tells you that depending on the procedures and guidelines that are followed will determine the actual taste of the meat.

      Thus red meat causes cancer, but not of old. The reason is meat back then was more Kosher and Hilal, and tasted much better, no comparison.

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