Over the last four years, my family has taken great pains to eat a diet aligned with the standards set forth in the Bible. Diet is not something people are typically very quick to change, unless they have a major health problem arise, or they have a “coming to Jesus meeting” over the validity of Torah. Even then, it can be very difficult for individuals and families to have true conviction about what they consume. The two most obvious “no-no’s” are pork and shellfish. But few think about the fact that pork and shellfish byproducts are “hidden” in so many foods. Did you know that most conventional marshmallows, Frosted Shredded Wheats, and Kraft American cheese all contain pork byproducts? It can certainly feel you’re trying to navigate through a minefield at the super market! But thankfully, there are people out there looking out for others, and they’ve made their information available and relatively easy to find.
In the spirit of making things easier for you, dear reader, I have come across quite a few resources that have been very helpful to my family. Whether you are just beginning your journey toward a biblically kosher diet or you are wanting to learn more about it, one or more of these sources should prove helpful to you! If you want to eat clean, God has made a way for you to do it, and do it successfully.
Clean and Unclean Foods List — These people have done a great job of contacting companies and verifying whether there is pork, shellfish, or any other unclean products in their foods. This source is primarily for those who do not necessarily want to buy all “OU” or other rabbinical kosher certified products.
Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook — These ladies have compiled a whole cookbook without a single pork or shellfish recipe. It is truly a wonderful resource as well for implementing not only a biblical diet, but a healthy diet.
OU Kosher — Rabbinical kosher certified products
Kosher Quest — Various kosher certified symbols, kosher alerts, “ask a kashrus question”
Kashrus Magazine — Rabbinical kosher certified products, kosher alerts, magazine subscription with helpful articles on kashrut.
Favorite Kosher Recipe Sites
You can also view my recipes HERE
Considerations for Eating Out
When going to a restaurant, consider choosing one that does not serve anything unclean. If the restaurant does have pork and/or shellfish on their menu, ask them to please use clean pans and not handle pork or shellfish before they handle your food. The goal is to not have your food become cross-contaminated during the preparation.
In all honesty, my family did the above for three years, and even went to the extent to say we had “allergies” to avoid cross contamination, but within the last year have decided we just don’t want to have to go through the hassle of explaining to the wait staff how our food should be prepared, so if it isn’t a kosher restaurant, a salad bar, or a vegetarian restaurant, we simply will not go. Some people may see this as extreme, and a few years ago, I would have felt the same way, but the more I continue on my Torah journey, the more I see that what we put in our mouth has a great influence over our spiritual state. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to be a clean vessel for Hashem to speak with and work through.
Is My Wine Biblically Clean?
“The majority of people are unaware that wine, although made from grapes, may have been made using animal-derived products. During the winemaking process, the liquid is filtered through substances called “fining agents.” This process is used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness, “off” flavors and colorings, and other organic particles. Popular animal-derived fining agents used in the production of wine include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).” (Read more: http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/is-wine-vegan/#ixzz3JtzpZl6M)
Though, I am not vegan, I do want to make sure that the wine I drink is not being processed with anything unclean like chitin or gelatin–especially white wine varieties. We can get kosher wine in our local grocery store, but it is typically too sweet for everyday, so we typically go with wines that are listed as vegan. Barnivore has an extensive list of wines that are listed as vegan friendly, unknown, or not vegan friendly to help you find one that is right for you.
If you are wanting to go strictly with rabbinically kosher wine, you might like to start with this list here: http://www.wine-searcher.com/kosher-wine.lml
Wherever you are on in your personal journey of faith, know that you are right where you should be at this moment in time, but ultimately not where Hashem desires to take you. We must always have in mind the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in order that we continue to walk in holiness and purify our souls.
Shalom and Blessings,