In the Jewish religion, how is food preparation regulated?

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Jewish food preparation, called Kashrut, is regulated according to principles and rules laid out in the Mishna, which codified Jewish law. Since food is no longer grown and prepared at home in much of the world, regulatory groups were formed to ensure that mass-produced food items are prepared within these laws and boundaries. These groups are privately-owned and operated, and are not connected with the FDA or other government institutions; their major work is to observe food preparation procedures and authorize the use of a trademarked symbol to differentiate kosher food from non-kosher food. A common misconception is that these symbols represent a "kosher tax" which is charged to both producers and consumers to support Zionist agendas; organizations do charge for their service, but it is entirely for the endorsement of the food product according to kosher standards.

The largest of these groups is the Orthodox Union, which oversees almost half-a-million products worldwide. Workers who visit factories and plants to examine procedures are called Mashgiachs, and are both ordained and non-ordained. There is no interference with the food production itself, just observation; if kosher standards are not met, the food is not endorsed. Kashrut organizations have no power to change or enforce their standards; following those standards is entirely up to the food producers themselves. If a food producer stops employing a kashrut organization, the kosher symbol is removed and production continues. Some organizations are more "acceptable" than others, depending on the consumer's level of orthodoxy.


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In the Jewish religion, what sort of religious rituals are associated with the preparation of food?


Food laws in the Jewish religion are called Kashrut, and determine a set of standards for food content and preparation; acceptable food is "Kosher." A common misconception is that a Jewish Rabbi may "bless" any food item and make it kosher; in reality, the food must be prepared properly and a non-kosher item, such as pork, can never become kosher under any circumstances.

The most important of all kashrut laws is the prohibition against eating meat and milk together. This extends back to Biblical times, and is the foundation of almost all other kashrut laws. To keep this law, most Jewish households have separate dishes for meat and milk products, and some have two sinks or two stoves. This custom is seen in all Kosher food products, which are labeled meat, dairy, or parve (neutral), and is second-nature to practicing Jewish people.

Any plant-based food is automatically kosher from its growth; plants in their raw state need no special preparation to be kosher, although contact with non-kosher food may cause their status to change. The only ritual associated with plants is the blessing said before and after eating, which is a general thanks to God for providing sustenance.

Meat-based foods need more preparation and care to remain in their kosher state. First, all kosher animals must be slaughtered according to exact standards as set out in various works of Jewish law and custom; this process is called shechita, and is usually performed by trained Rabbis, although non-ordained individuals can learn it as well. Judaism prohibits the consumption of any blood, so the meat is salted, sometimes several times, to draw out as much blood as possible. These same procedures are performed for poultry, but not for fish, which are not classified as meat. The prohibition against consuming blood also applies to eggs, which must be checked to avoid blood-spots.

Jewish food preparation is not overly ritualized; some foods, like bread, have customary prayers associated with their preparation because of their highly-spiritual significance. Preparation practices are done more to ensure that the food remains in a kosher state than for spiritual reasons; food that becomes non-kosher is discarded.


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In what way is preparation and taking of food regulated in Judaism?

There are elaborate rules concerning preparation and consumption of food in Judaism. They form a significant body of the ritual component of everyday life for orthodox Jewish families and represent part of the Jewish covenant with God, i.e. the things that Jews do to prove their faith and obedience to God and are required to perform to retain divine favour.

The Jewish dietary and ritual laws are set out in the Book of Leviticus, one of the five books of the Old Testament that sets out Mosaic laws. Many of the rules concern preparation and eating of meat, prohibition of mixing meat with dairy, and the labelling of certain foods "unclean" (pork, shellfish).

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