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Old November 25th, 2015 #1
Karl Radl
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Default Why the Paleo Diet keeps you Non-Kosher

Why the Paleo Diet keeps you Non-Kosher


I don't usually write about dietary preferences outside of the issue of Kashruth certification and the fallacious nature of the arguments that are made, almost exclusively by jews, that there is a large kosher food market (when jews are a tiny minority) in the United States and Europe. Incidentally I also plan to touch on the nonsense that Kosher/Halal food is somehow healthier than Treif/Haram food in the near future.

For the present however I wanted to discuss something I have noticed in my own life. I don't mention it much, but I am a fan of the Paleo Diet derived from the research of Professor Lorain Cordain. (1) Relax I am not proselytizing here, as adherents to Paleo sometimes get accused of doing, (2) but rather I wanted to comment on something related to my own experiences as both a Nationalist and a fan of Paleo.

That something is very simple: Paleo keeps your diet Non-Kosher.

This isn't something that is often talked about and indeed Paleo certainly wasn't created with that intention in mind, but because of the nature of the diet itself it forces you, as an individual and/or family, away from commercially manufactured foodstuffs/ready meals and towards home-cooked, locally-sourced meals.

The criteria for your diet being Paleo, and I am not the strictest given that I still drink milky coffee on a daily basis, is that you eat like a Hunter-Gather. You consume a lot of vegetables, variable quantities of fruit, significant amounts of protein, avoid starchy hypoglycemic index foods and so on. (3)

Basically if you can't immediately recognize what an ingredient is then it is isn't likely to be a Paleo. This means that when eating and living Paleo you will tend to avoid mass produced commercial food and look to source and prepare your food yourself where possible.

Relating this to Kashruth (i.e. whether something is 'Kosher' [= permitted] or 'Treif' [= not permitted]) is relatively easy when we note that in 2010, according to Sue Fishkoff, one third to one half of all food sold in supermarkets in the United States is certified as kosher by jewish religious organizations. (4)

This prognosis has been confirmed by Timothy Lytton who tells us that in 2012 the Orthodox Union, the largest Kashruth certification agency in the world, certified circa 500,000 products for approximately 4,300 corporate clients as kosher. (5) This incidentally includes many products, such as bottled water (look out for the 'U' symbol on your bottle of San Pellegrino), for which there is no basis or need for kashruth certification (and the agencies naturally still charge a pretty penny for the use of their trademarked symbol). (6)

It is therefore easy to see that there is a concordance between what Paleo tells you to avoid and what food is subject to Kashruth certification. It isn't deliberate of course, but it just goes to show that food being 'kosher' has absolutely nothing to do with food being healthy.

To paraphrase Abraham Bloch: 'Santification is the goal of Kashruth; there is no hygienic reason for it!' (7)

This is especially absurd given that, as Lytton observes, the cost of producing kosher meat is significantly higher than non-kosher meat (8) (which is then passed onto customers by the way). (9)

Now I am sure some of my readers are thinking at this point that, given the Paleo focus on protein consumption and discourages drinking milk from animals (although not that derived from almonds and coconuts) that there is some kind of significant compatibility between being Paleo and keeping kosher.

While it is true that Kashruth is generally strict about the mixing of meat ('fleishig') and milk ('milchig') dishes and as such it does mirror Paleo slightly. This ignores that this prohibition is of a religious and not a health based nature according to both rabbinical authorities (10) and modern scholars. (11)

It also ignores the fact that milk isn't forbidden according to Kashruth, but rather only the mixing of dishes ritually classified as having a meat or milk nature must not occur in order for the food to be eaten by the pious jew (and, amusingly, their pets). (12) This is easily demonstrated in so far as observant jews are also forbidden from deriving profit from the sale of a meat/milk mixture. (13)

As it happens the drinking of animal milk, as long as it is kosher certified (14) and comes from a kosher animal, (15) is encouraged and as such is widely available in both Israel and the United States. (16) This therefore suggests that Paleo and Kashruth aren't exactly very compatible, but to demonstrate this yet further we need but look at the sort of foods you can eat on Paleo versus their status in Kashruth.

The food you can and cannot eat is summarized at Paleo Leap as follows:

'Toxic foods include:

Grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, brown rice)
Legumes (soy beans, peanuts, chickpeas, kidney beans)
Vegetable seed oils (soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, canola oil)
Added sugar (sodas, candies, cakes, fruit juices). Some sugar from natural sources like fruits is perfectly fine.
Sources of dairy high in protein (casein) and sugar (lactose) and low in healthy butter-fat.

You can eat a vast array of vegetables, (including root and starchy vegetables), meat, poultry, fish, seafood, healthy fats, eggs and fruits. Nuts and seeds are good too, but too many can be problematic. Focus on eating a variety of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. These include:

Organ meats (liver, kidney, bone marrow, heart, brain)
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula)
Meat from grass-fed ruminants (beef, bison, lamb)
Mollusks and other seafood (oysters, mussels, wild salmon, sardines)
Egg yolks
Bone broth
Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi)' (17)

Lets begin at the top of this list of foods Paleo regards as toxic with grains.

In Kashruth food products derived from, or utilizing, grains (i.e. wheat, rye, barley and oats [not rice]), bread, cakes, biscuits and porridge, there is no prohibition against eating them as long they are kosher-certified. (18) That said some jewish authorities on Kashruth maintain that jews should only eat grain-based products made by jews, because non-jews are regarded as generally either feckless or evil. Therefore being liable to make kosher grain-based products non-kosher through ignorance or malice. (19)

At certain times of the year the observant jew is also subject to a religious mandate to eat grain products (as well as, I might add, this being a common element in jewish cuisine), such as unleavened Matzvoh bread on Passover, (20) which is hardly conducive to keeping Paleo.

In regards to rice, which is a staple food at certain times of the year for Sephardi and Mizrahi (although not Ashkenazi) jews, Kashruth law has no objection to jews eating it, but does require that jews check it at least three times before consumption for leaven, insects and so forth. (21)

So in regards to grains we can see that Paleo keeps you away from a food type where the kosher certification industry has significant sway and attempts to enforce that only kosher ingredients are used in regards to the shortening and gelatin element of the recipe. (22) While only utensils that have been appropriately kashered (i.e. made kosher [usually by heat or bathing them in a jewish ritual bath [Mikvah]) can be used. (23)

The next category of toxic foods in the Paleo diet, legumes, are also subject to a similar requirement to grains in terms of approval, because they are often grown with, or mixed with, grains and are often subject to fermentation (thus are subject to Kashruth certification in food production if a product is to be considered 'kosher'). However there is no prohibition in Kashruth from eating legumes except around the Passover festival when they are forbidden to jews according to Minhag (jewish religious custom) as opposed to an explicit prohibition in the (Written) Torah. (24)

Similarly with the next categories of toxic foods, vegetable seed oils and added sugar goods (soda/fizzy drinks, sweets/candies, commercially-made ice cream etc), we should note that Kashruth certification is required on these items, because they can easily have non-Kosher ingredients, but are otherwise permitted to observant jews. (25)

Likewise we have already covered above that Kashruth has no problem with dairy-based foods (such as cheeses) or drinking milk, while Paleo most certainly does (even though personally I still consume some dairy in my coffee).

Once again by avoiding these food types; Paleo skirts another element of common Kashruth certification and therefore keeps an individual and/or families non-Kosher.

To summarize Kashruth has no problem consuming the toxic food groups as identified by the Paleo diet. Therefore by keeping to the Paleo diet; an individual indirectly steers themselves away from food groups liable to high levels of Kashruth supervision in the production process.

Moving on to what the Paleo diets encourages its adherents to eat; we first come to vegetables. Now surely you might think that Kashruth cannot surely have a problem with fruits and vegetables.

You would however be quite wrong.

Kashruth requires that nearly all fruits and vegetables be inspected by the (jewish) chef to ensure that there are no insects or living creatures inside the fruit or vegetable (this is because they are very likely to be halakhically identified as treif and not kosher). (26) This means that generally-speaking jews have not infrequently had a diet that is very low on fruit and vegetables, (27) which in the Second Temple period in antiquity lead to the jewish priestly class having severe constipation, because they hardly every ate anything but meat. (28)

For practical purposes this means that jews tend to shy away from ethically grown produce and incline towards commercially grown produce. Since the latter tends to have used large amounts of pesticides and other chemicals to remove insects and the like from the equation. This often unknown element of Kashruth is a major difference between Kashruth and Paleo as it puts a significant roadblock in the way of adhering to Kashruth and Paleo at the same time.

It also drives jews away from the very type, and origin, of foods that require no actual Kashruth certification and are extremely good for them, but which Paleo, having no qualms about ritualized food fetishes, pushes people towards.

Next we come to the subject of meat; now Paleo endorses meat-eating wholeheartedly and encourages those keeping to the diet to regularly consume ethically raised and slaughtered meat.

This is a complete anathema to jews as while they don't have a problem with meat eating per se (although Judaism not infrequently advocates vegetarianism or veganism); (29) they have a lot (and I mean a lot) of rules around meat eating that are almost completely incompatible with Paleo. I will only cover some of the more obvious ones here, but in a future publication I intend to explain the issue of kosher meat and Schechita (jewish ritual slaughter) in some detail.

In the first instance Kashruth only permits those adhering to it to consume those land animals that both chew the cud and have split hooves. (30) A few insects (such as locusts) and domestic birds (such as chicken, duck, geese and turkey not things like quail or pheasant) are permitted as well. (31) This already rules out such bastions of the Paleo diet as pork; so scratch those bacon, pork chop and pork scratching-based recipes as they just aren't kosher.

In the second Kashruth requires that jewish slaughters (schochetim) of known piety do the work of killing, or supervise it, in a very similar vein to the practice of Islamic animal slaughter. (32) Hence attacks on kosher meat invariably also attack Halal meat. (33)

There is a lengthy after process of 'koshering' the meat and further ritual inspections as well after this, which can take up to 72 hours. (34) This means that unless you know a schochet personally or have a kosher butcher nearby; then it is next to impossible to procure ethically reared kosher meat as most butchers shops are non-kosher and always have been. Even if you do, as previously pointed out, find such a provider of kosher meat; it is likely you will be paying significantly more for it than non-kosher meat for no actual benefit, which obviously decreases the viability of eating plenty of animal protein.

In the third instance Kashruth mandates that only some parts of some animals may be eaten. For example the hindquarters of a cow are generally regarded as non-Kosher due to the sciatic nerve (Gid Hanosheh), which effectively rules out rump steak and other meats from a Kashruth-observant diet. (35)

In the fourth case organs are not kosher except for the heart and liver, which are subject to special practices usually involving heavy salting in order to make them kosher (and are increasingly difficult to obtain outside of Israel and specialist butchers). (36) Likewise anything made from bones or bone marrow isn't kosher at all, as it is explicitly forbidden in the (Written) Torah, (37) which removes things like bone broth in the Paleo diet from contention.

To summarize this; Kashruth severely limits the ability of an individual to eat meat and also removes numerous Paleo staples, such as anything to do with pork, most organs and bones, from the diet, which means in effect that Paleo pushes you to eat the very types of meat which are most non-Kosher.

Moving on to eggs; these are permitted in Kashruth but once again only from kosher fowl (38) and must be broken and inspected for specks of blood in order to be kosher (if these are found then the whole egg is treif/non-kosher). (39) Meanwhile fermented foods are similarly affected and need to be certified as kosher, but cannot be eaten at certain times of the year such as Passover due to the halakhic prohibition on leaven.

Both these provide additional difficulties in combining a Paleo and a Kosher diet; not insurmountable clearly, but yet more problems, time and trouble.

Now on the subject of seafood Kashruth is, like meat, a little complicated, but to summarize this we need but note that jews are only allowed to eat fish that have fins and scales.

In practice this means that jews are very fussy around fish as, for example, some species of tuna are regarded as kosher and some are not. (40) While in order to be kosher a fish must be filleted in front of, or by, an observant jew (41) and requires separate cutting boards and knives from non-kosher fish. (42)

Meanwhile shellfish and crustaceans in general are explicitly not kosher according to the (Written) Torah so Kashruth removes these from the diet, while Paleo encourages adherents to consume them. Once again we can see that Kashruth and the Paleo are difficult, although not completely impossible, to reconcile with one another.

In summation then we can see that by following the Paleo diet you naturally, by dint of both the types of food eaten and a commitment to eat food that is produced ethically, adhere to an extremely non-Kosher diet. Therefore we can see that following the Paleo diet is a relatively seamless way to avoid eating Kosher-certified (as well as Halal-certified incidentally) food as well as a good way to get in shape and keep yourself that way.



References


(1) http://thepaleodiet.com/the-paleo-di.../#.Vk0AZLfhDIV
(2) http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ts-an-ideology
(3) See http://thepaleodiet.com/the-paleo-di.../#.Vk0AZLfhDIV ; http://paleoleap.com/
(4) Sue Fishkoff, 2010, 'Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America's Food Answers to a Higher Authority', 1st Edition, Schocken: New York, p. 4
(5) Timothy Lytton, 2013, 'Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food', 1st Edition, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, p. 61
(6) Ibid, pp. 104-105
(7) Abraham Bloch, 1980, 'The Biblical and Historical Background of Jewish Customs and Ceremonies', 1st Edition, Ktav: New York, p. 89
(8) Lytton, Op. Cit., p. 109
(9) For example: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/the-co...osher-1.389171
(10) Isidore Grunfeld, 1966, 'The Religious and Moral Basis of the Jewish Dietary Laws', 1st Edition, National Council of Schechita Boards: London, p. 12; Yacov Lipschutz, 1988, 'Kashruth: A Comprehensive Background and Reference Guide to The Principles of Kashruth', 1st Edition, Mesorah: New York, p. 27; Pinchas Cohen, 2010, 'A Practical Guide to the Laws of Kashrut', 1st Edition, Maggid: Jersusalem, p. xv
(11) David Kraemer, 2009, 'Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages', 2nd Edition, Routledge: New York, pp. 26-37; David Freidenreich, 2011, 'Foreigners and their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law', 1st Edition, University of California Press: Berkeley, pp. 21-23
(12) Nathan Gross, Alexander Rosenberg, Berel Wein, 1972, 'Kashruth: Handbook for Home and School', Rabbinical Council of America: New York, p. 8; Victor Geller, Irwin Gordon, n.d., 'Kashruth', Rabbinical Council of America: New York, p. 17
(13) Cohen, Op. Cit., p. 4; Shaul Wagschal, 1966, 'A Practical Guide to Kashruth', 1st Edition, Gateshead Foundation for Torah: Gateshead, p. 5
(14) Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., p. 18
(15) Lipschutz, Op. Cit., p. 19
(16) Jack Prost, Ellen Steinberg, 2011, 'From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Jewish Foodways', 1st Edition, University of Illinois Press: Urbana, p. 23
(17) http://paleoleap.com/
(18) Lipschutz, Op. Cit., p. 68
(19) Ibid, p. 62; Cohen, Op. Cit., p. 42; Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., pp. 18-21; Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., p. 18; Wagschal, Op. Cit., pp. 3-4
(20) http://www.myjewishlearning.com/arti...-at-the-seder/
(21) http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/pdf/JSOR_rice_2014.pdf
(22) Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., p. 21; Lipschutz, Op. Cit., p. 62
(23) Moses Solow, 1968, 'A Guide to Kashrus and Yom Tov', 1st Edition, Yeshiva University: New York, p. 5
(24) http://www.bethelsudbury.org/wp-cont...nd-Kashrut.pdf
(25) Cohen, Op. Cit., p. 37; Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., p. 21, Lipschutz, Op. Cit., pp. 59-62; Solow, Op. Cit., p. 11; Wagschal, Op. Cit., pp. 7-8
(26) Cohen, Op. Cit., pp. 29-35
(27) Bernard Wasserstein, 2012, 'On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War', 1st Edition, Profile: London, p. 16
(28) Jonathan Campbell, 1996, 'Deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls', 1st Edition, Fontana: London, pp. 111-122
(29) Richard Schwartz, 2001, 'Judaism and Vegetarianism', 2nd Edition, Lantern: New York, pp. 1-39
(30) Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., p. 8
(31) Ibid, p. 9; Lipschutz, Op. Cit., p. 19
(32) Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., p. 10; Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., pp. 2, 6; Solomon David Sassoon, 1956, 'A Critical Study of Electrical Stunning and the Jewish Method of Slaughter (Schechita)', 3rd Edition, Self-Published: Letchworth, pp. 7, 14
(33) Sassoon, Op. Cit., p. 1
(34) Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., p. 14; Lipschutz, Op. Cit., pp. 38-39
(35) Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., p. 3; Lipschutz, Op. Cit., pp. 26; 30
(36) Geller, Gordon, Op. Cit., pp. 11-12, 15; Lipschutz, Op. Cit., pp. 31-34, 37 ; Sassoon, Op. Cit., p. 26
(37) Lipschutz, Op. Cit., p. 30
(38) Ibid, p. 19; Wagschal, Op. Cit., p. 15
(39) Cohen, Op. Cit., p. 51; Moshe Eliyohu Klugmann, 2009, 'The Jewish Kitchen: A Comprehensive Review of the Halachos Pertaining to a Kosher Kitchen', 2nd Edition, Moshe Klugmann Publications: Lakewood, pp. 70-71
(40) Solow, Op. Cit., p. 14
(41) Gross, Rosenberg, Wein, Op. Cit., p. 13
(42) Lipschutz, Op. Cit., pp. 11; 49; Solow, Op. Cit., p. 14

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This was originally published at the following address: http://www.semiticcontroversies.blog...on-kosher.html
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Last edited by Karl Radl; November 25th, 2015 at 01:43 PM.
 
Old November 26th, 2015 #2
Crowe
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I've been eating a semi paleo diet. I do eat some legumes, seeing as how they're a rich source of many vitamins and minerals (like iron, protein, etc), and are very cheap. And have an extremely long shelf life (decades) if they're dried and stored properly. A majority of my emergency food reserves involve varieties of dried beans and rice. I try to keep a 3 month supply, and I'll occasionally rotate it out.

My first rule about food is bacon makes anything better. .
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Old June 1st, 2016 #3
Viola
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I've started on the Paleo Diet (not super strict, but I'm trying :-P) fairly recently. I don't really seem to miss bread or pasta or anything very much, but I really really want to bake something. I've tried baking cookies with almond flour (using honey and all-fruit jam as sweeteners), and they turn out pretty yummy but they always end up with the outsides and bottom slightly burned and the middle falling apart. I also wanted to try to make some banana bread using almond flour, but I'm worried the same thing will happen, and almond flour is expensive lol. Although my sis is senior chef at Masala TV but of a no use to me.

Any ideas? Do I need to add something to it, or bake it at a lower temp, or what?? Or is it the sweeteners I'm using that are causing this to happen??
 
Old June 1st, 2016 #4
Karl Radl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I've started on the Paleo Diet (not super strict, but I'm trying :-P) fairly recently. I don't really seem to miss bread or pasta or anything very much, but I really really want to bake something. I've tried baking cookies with almond flour (using honey and all-fruit jam as sweeteners), and they turn out pretty yummy but they always end up with the outsides and bottom slightly burned and the middle falling apart. I also wanted to try to make some banana bread using almond flour, but I'm worried the same thing will happen, and almond flour is expensive lol. Although my sis is senior chef at Masala TV but of a no use to me.

Any ideas? Do I need to add something to it, or bake it at a lower temp, or what?? Or is it the sweeteners I'm using that are causing this to happen??
I don't tend to use Paleo treats myself. I went cold turkey on a lot of stuff including baked goods. I am not missing the sugar either. My only treat is milky coffee in the morning.

My wife thinks that if you are having problems with things getting burnt then you should try baking at a lower temperature and check it regularly to see what is going on.
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