Spiritual benefits

In The Torah

In Hebrew, the word kosher means “fit”. Although there are many benefits to a kosher diet, the primary reason for eating kosher is that G‑d instructed us to eat specific foods and prepare them so that they are deemed “fit” according to the guidelines stated in the Torah.

Some of the sources for the kosher injunction include:

And G‑d spoke to Moses . . . speak to the children of Israel, saying: These are the creatures that you may eat among all the animals on earth. Any animal that has a cloven hoof that is completely split into double hooves, and which brings up its cud. Among all [creatures] that are in the water, you may eat these . . . that have fins and scales. And among birds” etc. (Leviticus, 11).

You shall slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep . . . as I have commanded you.” (Deuteronomy, 12:21)And flesh that is torn (unhealthy) . . . you shall not eat. (Exodus 22:30) “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood . . . you shall not eat blood” (Leviticus 17:11, 12)  

Emotional health

You are what you eat. Think for a minute about a shark, a falcon and an owl. These are all animals of prey. As well, many of the four legged animals that are prohibited are animals that prey on and eat other animals. When eating meat of a predatory animal, the energy of the predator becomes infused in the person. Keeping a Kosher diet helps avoid attachment to negative energy and establishes a positive energy within oneself. (Nachmanides, 12th century sage and Kabbalist)


Health benefits & quality of meat

As health scares raise fears about the food supply, more consumers are turning to strictly prepared kosher meats as a safer alternative.

A Healthy Animal

Jewish law forbids consumption of an unhealthy animal. If an animal looks sick or has a severe break in the bone it is deemed non-kosher. Furthermore, the animal is thoroughly inspected after slaughter by a trained Rabbi in kosher law and veterinary science. Often, out of every 100 cattle slaughtered, only a few are found to be kosher upon inspection of the innards of the cattle. This ritual health inspection eliminates most of the cattle due to having tumors, diseases or flaws of different kinds on the internal organs. These make the animal non-kosher. Most of these non-kosher animals are approved by the FDA for consumption in the US market. As a general rule, to decrease the likelihood of disease, younger animals are used to produce kosher meat. Younger, disease-free animals translate to healthier, tastier and safer meat.

Humane treatment

Kosher slaughter, Shechitah, requires a quick and painless slaughter of the animal, thus preventing it from having pain and fear. Although meat is permitted for consumption, Jewish law prohibits any cruelty to animals. Animals, like humans, release chemicals in the body when they fear for their lives or are in pain. These hormones remain in the meat after the animal is killed. This can be harmful to the person who ingests these hormones. With the kosher procedure, though, the animals do not have a chance to release this hormone because they do not feel a sense of fear or pain. Not only is this beneficial to your health, you might also feel better about eating kosher meats because of the humane treatment the animals receive.


Hygiene and ingredients

The kosher process involves a great deal of care for each detail. Kosher laws preclude using a stun gun, which could scatter contaminated tissue. No stunning, combined with only processing younger animals, means it is nearly impossible to transmit Mad Cow disease. As Rabbi Menachem Genack, OU certification, tells us, “To this date, no kosher slaughtered cattle anywhere in the world have ever been found to have had mad cow disease.”

In order for the meat to be deemed kosher it is put through a thorough salt purification process to remove all of its blood. Blood is a known carrier of bacteria. Additionally, experts in the koshering process say that the extensive use of salt helps kill bacteria as well.

Because kosher dietary laws prohibit mixing meat and milk products, kosher food companies are particularly rigorous in their labeling. Foods are categorized as meat, dairy or Pareve —a neutral category containing neither meat nor dairy. As a result, kosher has become particularly popular with vegetarians as well as people with lactose intolerance who must avoid hidden milk or meat products.



Taos Kosher Co-Op


a project of

Chabad of Taos

Center for Jewish Life


221 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Taos, NM 87571


[email protected]