Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with the Jewish Dietary laws. The most important and well known is that meat may only be obtained from certain types of animals. They must be ruminants and have cloven hooves. This is the reason for the exclusion of pork. In addition the animals must be slaughtered according to specific laws which incidentally are designed to subject the animal to the least suffering possible. There are also specific laws regarding poultry and fish, hence many marine animals such as shellfish are forbidden.
Specific requirements for kosher food supplements
Gelatin capsules are to be avoided. In addition there may be problems with glucosarnine due to its extraction from shellfish. Rabbi’s only certify products as kosher if they are totally free of these ingredients. As well Rabbi’s need to inspect factories to assure that there is no risk of cross contamination from products that are not deemed to be kosher.
What are the health benefits of kosher food and supplements?
The dietary laws are nothing to do with health. However a by-product is that a kosher diet being more restrictive does limit where one eats that follow a Kosher diet and Kosher establishments and food production are so rigorously checked that there is less chance of contamination and food poisoning.