Monday, June 25, 2012

kosher is our friend

The first time this concept occurred to me was a LONG time ago, when a friend's mother had seen the Sixty Minutes presentation about chicken processing; Sharon saw the filthy conditions these carcasses went through, and couldn't stand the idea of bringing them into her house, handling them and eating them any more.  Being the trivia queen i always was, it occurred to me that cleanliness being one of the hallmarks of kosherhood (kosherdom?  kosherism?), a kosher butcher might just allow her to eat her chicken and have it too.

Now, to a free-thinker such as myself, a lot of the dietary rules followed by observers of the kosher laws seem arbitrary, though i'm willing to suppose there was a good reason for it when they were invented.  In fact, some of the rules actually make some sense when one knows a little about the modern science of nutrition -- for example, the convention of not consuming meat and dairy in the same meal has a logical basis in the light of the fact that calcium and iron compete for absorption in the body.  I've also wondered if the pork prohibition was a means of ensuring no consumption of LONG PORK accidentally....  Whatever the reason, it's no skin off my nose -- people can eat whatever they want to, as long as they don't try to keep ME from eating as I like.  When that happens, i tend to get a little cranky.

One always has to make compromises when shopping in a "conventional" setting.  Sometimes it seems impossible to strike a balance between buying local, minimizing driving, and finding the item you need ... plus acquiring a "healthy" version of what used to be basic FOOD and is now a "commodity."  Resenting our grocery purveyors may satisfy our sense of outrage, but isn't at all useful in managing to set the table for guests just a few hours from now.  I wanted to buy a specific type of wine, and some good berries, and a particular cut of meat, and an uncommon packaged item, AND some milk so i could make the ice-cream i had my heart set on.  The kosher milk wasn't raw and pastured, but it wasn't ultra-pasteurized either.

In this corrupt modern world of food-production, a little kosher hygiene is not to be sneered at.  And doesn't it make you feel good to know that your leg of lamb wasn't wrested from a living animal?  ;-)

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