Whether you adhere to it or not, it’s likely that you’ve heard the term “keep kosher” before. While a kosher diet is typically followed by those of Jewish faith, maintaining a kosher diet is done for other reasons, too by people of different backgrounds.
But what does kosher mean? How do you adhere to a kosher diet? What are its benefits? How easy is it to keep kosher at a senior living community? Read on as we answer these questions and discuss how keeping kosher is easy and delicious at Aviva Senior Living.
What Does Kosher Mean?
By definition, kosher means “fit for consumption.” Rather than kosher indicating a style of food, kosher foods simply adhere to a set of rules (known as kashrut). These rules come from traditional Jewish law, which specify how foods should be prepared and consumed. Keeping kosher can be done differently depending on the person. Some choose to follow kosher guidelines strictly, while others may only follow certain rules.
Three Main Kosher Food Categories:
- Meat. This includes broth and bones. Meat is considered kosher when it’s from a mammal with split hooves that chews their cud, such as goats, sheep, and cows. Pork is not kosher.
- Dairy. Dairy products that are sourced from a kosher mammal are approved for consumption, such as cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter.
- Pareve foods. This category includes foods that aren’t meat or dairy, such as fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, bread, pasta, coffee, tea, and more. If these foods have been prepared with the same tools used on meat or dairy products, they would be considered non-kosher or reclassified as dairy or meat. Shellfish is not kosher, and fish must have fins and scales to be considered kosher.
Keeping Kosher Food Requirements:
- Meats cannot be consumed or served at the same time as a dairy product.
- Cross-contamination between meat and dairy products isn’t allowed. The utensils and equipment used to clean and prepare meat and dairy must be kept separate at all times.
- You must wait a certain amount of time between consuming meat before you consume dairy (and vice versa) — typically until the next meal.
- In some cases, pareve foods such as eggs and plant-based foods may be consumed at the same time as dairy or meat.
Pareve foods also have their own set of rules regarding their preparation and processing. For example, bread is only kosher if it’s certified. This guarantees that during the preparation process, no animal products were used, such as animal oils or fats which could be used to grease baking equipment. Additional dietary rules may be enforced during Jewish religious holidays, such as Passover.
The Benefits of Adhering to a Kosher Diet
Many who follow a kosher diet do so out of obedience to religious laws. There are a few benefits and reasons why people keep kosher. For example, in order for a meat or pareve food to be certified kosher, it must maintain strict preparation practices to avoid cross-contamination with meat or dairy — proving beneficial for those who don’t consume dairy due to allergies, food-sensitivities, or a vegan diet.
Jewish law is against animal suffering, which can ensure more ethical slaughter practices. In addition, because kosher food production must adhere to strict regulations and standards, restaurants, facilities, and manufacturers will typically have higher levels of production supervision, which can make for a more regulated food preparation process.
How Keeping Kosher Is Made Easy at Aviva Senior Living
Those who do follow the kosher diet may be wondering how they can keep kosher at their new senior living community, especially since the menu and food preparation processes vary between communities.
At Aviva, we believe that food is more than fuel. It’s an experience that brings people together. When our founders opened our community doors in 1993, they instilled the values and traditions of the Jewish faith throughout the campus — values which help us provide a community that’s nurturing, compassionate, comfortable, respectful, and honoring to our residents. We’re proud to say we’re committed to kosher style dining throughout our campus at Aviva. Our team of culinary experts and head chef work to create a gourmet kosher menu with locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients.
In addition, we offer a range of dining options. From fine to casual dining and room service, we have an experience for every occasion. We also offer a wide range of culinary options, including vegetarian, gluten free, and low-calorie menu items for our residents to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition.
Contact us today to learn more about Aviva and see if it’s the right place for your next adventure.