Do You Eat Kosher?

The surprisingly most common Jewish practice. Why?

Click here if you are unable to view this video.
See More

Comments (33)

(30) Mike, March 1, 2015 5:12 PM

definitely something to think about

I saw this article recently:

It is about descendants of hidden Jews/marranos in Italy and how customs like throwing an egg away if it contained blood were passed on through the generations and people didn't even know the meaning of it.
I can say that for me (and also for my mother), not eating eggs with blood has a very strong appeal.
I do eat kosher now, but even before I could never imagine to be able to eat an egg with blood! I could just never eat that.

(29) Anonymous, February 28, 2015 7:31 PM

Keeping Kosher

It was easy to keep Kosher when I lived in the Bronx, Bayside and other parts of New York and south Florida. But now I live in a small town in Texas that has very little Kosher food. Just canned or boxed items, no chicken or meat. So it is harder for me as I am elderly and do not drive to keep Kosher. You ask why I moved to such a be closer to my only family member who is not religious. So I do what I can and I am content.

(28) Lioba Multer, February 27, 2015 10:18 PM

Kosher food

It is cruelty free (or should be).

(27) SusanE, October 17, 2012 8:20 PM

There is a Difference

Eating Kosher food and Keeping Kosher are fundamentally different. Buying Kosher products preparing and eating them is relatively easy. Keeping Kosher at restaurants and keeping a kosher kitchen at home takes real family commitment. Kosher isn't eating better or more healthy or cleaner food. It is a reverence for the life being taken so we can have meat. ~~~~~~~~~~~ A couple years ago I told my Dr. I was beginning to eat kosher, (he is a fine Jewish man) he chuckled and said he might as well prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs right now.

(26) Anonymous, August 10, 2012 12:57 PM

Jew Eating Kosher

Sorry, I have to disagree. When you say most Jews try to eat something kosher, are you referring to the tri-State area, or the Ukraine where it is not too easy to get koshe food? I just returned from there on a 12 visit, a week of it spent with completely secular Jews. All of them were totally comfortable eating the food in Ukraine, which always consists of meat, even for breakfast, as well as meat and cheese together. Some many have eaten pork, which is also very popular in Ukraine. No one was in the least inconvenienced food wise, except for my husband and myself. We brought some vacuum packed stuff from the States and ate a lot ofr fruit and vegetables. Of the twenty on the tour, at least 17 were Jewish.

(25) Antonio Perez, August 8, 2012 6:35 PM

Something to think about.

Right on target again. But isn't it sad that it's food? Shouldn't observing Shabbat or keeping the mitzvot be more important? Torah, not kosher, should be what identifies Jews. Kosher, Halacha, isn't but a part of Torah. Maybe something to think about?

(24) marlene Clayton, August 5, 2012 6:35 PM

The question was worded poorly as most non practicing Jews would say they were eating Kosher if they had a deli corn beef sandwich on rye even if they ate it while sipping a milk shake, the corn beef not from a kosher deli. Sadly, you can not answer that question without more education for our people.

(23) Ann, August 2, 2012 5:45 PM

The Business of Eating Belongs to G-d

Whether or not we eat Kosher, there is the soul-sense that this simple act - eating - is not the frantic, jealously guarded activity of beasts, but of humans thankful to HaShem for His gifts of sustenance, His Laws of how best we should feed ourselves and one another for Him. To eat Kosher is to say to G-d: Thank You, You are always with us even in this eating business."

(22) Anonymous, August 2, 2012 12:55 AM

Kosher is the way to go!

I was raised Kosher, I never developed a taste for pork or other items generally available. I have tried bacon, I got sick, I tried shrimp and had a fast ride to the hospital. "For me it is G-d telling me to stick with what I know.

(21) Hernan, August 1, 2012 9:58 PM

Kosher is good

Although we are not Jewish, my family and I seek to eat kosher foods because they taste better and appear to be healthier. Since God has specified which animals we may eat it makes sense to me to follow those guidelines.

(20) Eric K, August 1, 2012 7:01 PM

It's the laziest way to connect to Judaism

I've read all the comments below, and I have to say, everyone is a bit too politically correct. Eating kosher food is the easiest way to feel you have a connection with Judaism. Would a kosher store ever turn you away? No. Alongside purchasing kosher food, it is an explicit statement to the world that you are taking part in something Jewish. However, it would be interesting to know how many of these people make the blessings on the food when they eat it? Do they keep dairy and meat separate? It is also convenient because purchasing kosher poultry, for example, takes less time than studying Torah, but it is something anyone can do and can show the world, "Here I am. I just went out of my way to eat something kosher and I am Jewish. No one can say otherwise". My argument is strictly for people who go out of their way to purchase kosher; not just realize it after they bought it. The fact of the matter is is that it's easier to buy a Jewish identity than spend time cultivating it. I come from a conservative home, so I can back up my words from experience, but the same people who would go and by kosher food for Shabbat would not keep Shabbat (other than going to morning prayers on Shabbat morning). It's unfortunate the way the world is working, but we try to acclimatize everything around us so we can some way purchase it, instead of taking the time out that it deserves.

(19) Yisroel, August 1, 2012 4:27 PM

A Non Sequitur

It can't be helped. It is readily available. Alternatives are not. It's not a matter of, as you put it, identification. It is a practical matter, rooted in circumstance and convenience. The best, most ubiquitous producers and distributers offer it, as a means of making their brand popular. If people really identified with it, they'd stick to it exclusively. But, as your depiction of the situation makes clear, they are not adhering to it exclusively but sporadically and uncommittedly. This is truly a shame. We need to redouble our efforts to bring more and more of our brethren into the fold and hasten the redemption, the coming of Mashiach.

(18) Samson, August 1, 2012 9:47 AM

I thought it would be a higher %

I live thousands of miles from NY or Israel and many miles from any big city. Not a synagogue within a day drive. In the middle of nowhere for the last 40 years and yet Kosher is how I have been eating in all my adult life (I am 55) And just last month I decided to eat beef bacon just because I have always liked just the smell of it when others cooked it. Sure it isn't pork but still you would think I would be more likely to not be eating kosher than 99% of Jews in NY or Israel.

(17) Anonymous, August 1, 2012 9:16 AM

Kosher Food

My Kosher Food is a magnet for the family. To my great financial detriment (opportunity costs when I could be working the cost of the food) and the fact that I intensely dislike cooking, I spend hours daily preparing delicious meals so that my husband and my adult children do not eat out treif. The sons-in-law and the grandchildren all come, so do the hopeful's who would love to marry my single daughters. The truth is that the alternatives are not kosher. The name of the game is eating out in this society where many of our people have taken on the lifestyle of the host society. Our place could be considered a restaurant, a meeting place. A good idea? As long as I can keep it up!

(16) Anonymous, August 1, 2012 1:38 AM

Kosher usually means healthier. and cleaner.....AND, Our family was kosher. The meat DOES taste better, etc. Thanks

IrisB, August 6, 2012 12:02 AM

You only want to believe it is so.

Kosher food is not inherently healthier or cleaner. And certainly does not taste better - because the animal was ritually slaughtered or the food salted and soaked. The soaking and salting process removes a lot of flavor from the meat. The Askenazi kosher diet is laded with fat. How clean food is depends upon the cleanliness of the handler/preparer. My very frum grandmother (her father was shokhait) was a sloppy housekeeper and a horrible cook. I hated eating anything from her kitchen because nothing ever tasted good and nothing was clean - not even the dishes. My frum aunt (her daughter) was much cleaner, but was also a lousy cook. I don't keep kosher and I am a much better/cleaner housekeeper and cook than either my kosher grandmother or aunt. My husband and children would groan when they would have to eat a meal at MOST of their kosher relatives. My kosher relatives would think that the food they were eating was delicious, only because they never had better.

(15) Ron, July 31, 2012 11:53 PM

We are a gastronomic lot.

We are a gastronomic lot. Passover and Chanuka are celebrated for only 8 days a year, Shabat once a week - eating every day. QED

(14) Anonymous, July 31, 2012 11:08 PM

Judging a person by the clothing he/she wears is wrong. Unfortunately, we are greatly influenced by the way the motion picture and television industries portray characters. I guess stereotyping people in the media is here to stay.

(13) IrisB, July 31, 2012 7:14 PM

Not difficult at all.

Most foods on the market these days are kosher. So if one is to eat a banana or an apple, or any other plant food, they would be eating something kosher. The question that should have been asked, and I am certain the numbers would be surely smaller is, "HOW MANY MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO EAT KOSHER?" That would be a much more significant survey.

(12) Cookie, July 31, 2012 6:58 PM

Kosher is "clean" food.

I am not Kosher BUT I choose some some kosher foods like: hot dogs, chicken, matzo, salami etc. I do eat pork, but I like filler free, antibiotic free food.

(11) Anonymous, July 31, 2012 6:21 PM

kosher food: powerful connection to Judaism and family

for many, kosher food means clean - in several respects: "above" the everyday food chain - connection to the ancient heritage, generates good feelings in the individual

(10) Ellen, July 31, 2012 5:20 PM

what does the claim mean?

It sounds like something I would certainly like to be true. But does it mean they sometimes eat in a restaurant which happens to have a hechsher? Or that sometimes they eat fruit or vegetables which are relatively free of infestations? Do they like a bagel with lox and cream cheese, and is it difficult to buy without a kashrut certificate? Or are they fond of certain kinds of ice cream? It may mean that many people claim they eat kosher, without actually knowing what that means. Once I was stupefied to hear someone claim that everyone whose eating patterns were influenced in any way by the kashrut laws should be considered to eat kosher even if it was someone who davka ate pork on Yom Kippur. For me it was fascinating that there are people who feel the need to claim they eat kosher even (or especially) if they do not care to eat kosher in fact.

(9) JD, July 31, 2012 3:55 PM

Decidedly Jewish?

An apple a day is "some kind of kosher food on a fairly regular basis." I think it is impossible to find a person whose diet wouldn't fit that description.

(8) rick geiger, July 31, 2012 3:49 PM

Eating Kosher Once in a While is Not Keeping Kosher

While it is good and should be praised when a Jew does even one single mitzvah, like eating kosher even if only once in while, the fact is that the vast majority of Jews, unfortunately, do not keep even mostly kosher, so the polling that was done, if it implies otherwise, would be misleading.

(7) Beverly Margolis-Kurtin, July 31, 2012 3:46 PM


Eating Kosher is important but virtually impossible to do so when one lives in a state called Texas. Although I DO buy kosher whenever possible, it is neigh unto impossible to AFFORD to drive 80 to 100 miles round-trip to Dallas to buy outrageously highly priced beef/chicken. PLUS I refuse to eat any beef or chickens who have been fed GMO poisoned food. The ONLY difference between kosher and not kosher is the way the animals are dispatched. They come from the same feed lots that other cattle come from and the chickens are tortured by being kept in cages too small for them to even stretch their wings. Their eggs taste like chicken because they are FED ground up chickens. My family and I purchase ONLY organically raised beef and buffalo that have been fed what they SHOULD eat: grass. NOT GMO corn and wheat. When we cannot find grass fed animals, we go organic vegetarian. A book, "Wheat Belly" has spilled the beans about the American food industry. Obesity and autism can be tracked down to the kind of genetically modified poison that are fed to animals. CATTLE EAT GRASS! So why are they fed GMO CORN? Why are chickens fed genetically modified corn and wheat? Why are we always hungry? Because the food that the animals in this country are fed have had their DNA messed with. Girls are beginning to develop earlier than ever before because of the estrogen in the food. An increase in male breast cancer is on the rise and obese women give birth to an increasing number of autistic babies. WHY? Because NONE of the non-organic foods are NOT KOSHER! Kosher means fit to eat, NOTHING that has been GMO'd is fit for humans to eat. My final comment is FEH!

(6) Reuven Frank, July 31, 2012 3:08 PM

Well, it's not just, "because"

It's a shame the study didn’t ask why; but, IMHO, there are a few reasons. 1) Lots of people think Kosher means “clean,” and who doesn’t want cleaner food? 2) “We always did it at my mother’s house.” Which is not quite the same as: 3) Force of habit. I remember once, my mother was showing us kids how to light Shabbos candles. So, she took a flame from under the skillet in which she was cooking that bacon for our BLT sandwiches (this really WAS on Friday night), and lit the candles. That gives you some idea of the level of Yiddishkeit prevalent in my house when we were growing up. BUT! ! ! When I was watching TV, and the commercial came on, showing kids eating meat sandwiches with a glass of MILK…I would al most “toss my cookies.

(5) Joel, July 31, 2012 1:46 PM

In NYC hard NOT to eat Kosher

As is acknowledged in the video, the survey involved NYC area Jewish people. I don't know how the question was worded but it is difficult NOT to eat Kosher food in the NY area as it , like the "O U " symbol, is pervasive on supermarket shelved products and in many fancy and small plain eateries. An interesting question could be to what extent do Jewish people make a conscience effort to buy Kosher or eat Kosher where it is NOT so readily available.

(4) Anonymous, July 31, 2012 1:34 PM

kosher as a link to the familiar

It's not surprising that so manyJews identify with kosher food. It isn't so much a religious statement as a link to memories--the sounds, the tastes, the visual images of a happy childhood are a very potent force in human nature. That matzo ball soup, that pastrami sandwich, or whatever, evoke pleasant associations. Now the challenge for us observant Jews is to parlay those associations into something more than "gut reactions," so to speak, to encourage folks to connect with the positive spiritual associations that go beyond good food.

(3) Anonymous, July 31, 2012 8:01 AM

Circumcision is most practiced mitzva:) Thay just did not ask this one

Anonymous, July 31, 2012 6:46 PM

Circumcision pretty much by definition can't be practised by more than 50% of the population :-)

(2) rebeca, July 31, 2012 3:23 AM

lots of ppl eat kosher because it is cleaner more organic...

lots of ppl eat kosher since it more cleaner and organic,,,

IrisB, July 31, 2012 7:21 PM

You are mistaken

Kosher food is not necessarily cleaner. You would like to think that, but that is not necessarily the case. How clean food is depends on the handler/preparer of the food. Kosher food is not inherently organic. You might think that kosher food equates with healthier food. That is not true either. The Ashkenazi kosher diet is rift with fat laden dishes, heavy in cholesterol. (Think of matzoh balls - my favorite, but the eggs! or kugel.) The Sephardi diet relies more on grains and vegetables and are healthier.

(1) Sharon, July 30, 2012 6:24 PM

Everyone eats kosher food but...

how many refrain from eating non-kosher foods. I don't know how the UJA phrased their question, but it sounds like everyone who occasionally eats a bagel or a matzah might have answered in the affirmative on this question.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy