Dietary Laws

To be Torah observant, you need to eat what God approves. I am sure that you are familiar with the dietary laws but if not you can check out Genesis 32:32, Leviticus 7:22-27, Leviticus 11, Leviticus 7:23-27 and Deuteronomy 14:3-21, Deuteronomy 15:21-23.

Please also note the laws about cleaning the dishes/vessels used for food. See Lev 6:28, 11:32-33, Lev 11:35-36, Lev 15:12.

Basically, to put Torah commandments about food in perspective, Torah prohibits all omnivores and carnivores and allows all herbivores. Also, all scavengers are also forbidden as well as dead animals that died of themselves. Fat, insides, dung, sinew and skin are also prohibited.

Please read the above-quoted verses though, because Torah is very specific about what can't be eaten so it can't be generalized. So always double check the text.

Below, I will just concentrate on the modern, most easy and convenient way to eat clean (kosher) food.

Basically, you can just purchase anything that is labeled with the following signs:  OU, Star K, cRc, OK, KSA. Below how OU and Star K signs look like:

I personally recommend OU, because it is one of the most strict kosher certifications. However, other mentioned certificates are ok too. Of'course, always check the ingredients list on the label and call the producing company if you are not sure about specific ingredient.

One issue that is not really explicitly mentioned in the Torah is the issue of skin and other not very edible parts, such as guts, liver, kidneys and other parts of the animal. I generally DO NOT EAT these parts. Not even kidneys or liver. I believe it is not healthy, which is why kidneys and liver for example were burnt on the Altar of Burnt Offering in the Tabernacle. (I.e Exodus 29:13).

As far as fresh meat goes, you can purchase anything that is sold at a reputable kosher store. I recommend "Glatt" ("smooth" in Hebrew) Kosher meat certification, but regular kosher meat is also acceptable if you can't find Glatt.

Chicken generally does not get certified, however, buy ONLY from kosher stores. Preferably Glatt kosher store.

Fish you can buy anywhere as long as it is fresh, whole and has scales and fins. Once again, buy ONLY from kosher stores!!!

Of'course, the best way to get good kosher (clean) food is to grow your own, so if you can do this - do it. This way you know exactly what you eat. The above options of kosher certifications is good for those who can't grow their own food.

Torah DOES NOT have any requirements at how the animal should be slaughtered, so if you are living far away from kosher stores, you can slaughter your own. Just make sure that the animal is killed as humanely as possible and that you drain its blood to the ground as Torah says in Deuteronomy 15:23.

Please note that it is always preferable to choose Orthodox kosher certification because it is most stringent. However, please note that even most stringent kosher certifications base their reasoning on traditional Judaism which in turn may certify what Written Torah considers unclean such as products made from insects or lubricants and other additives. So always double-check (call if you have to) before using any product that is kosher certified. Like I said above, OU for example does not have most of these issues but the one that is available in your area, may. So always double-check and verify.

After all, you are what you eat. This is why you want to eat only clean food.

P.S. A good resource about clean food is However, it is also Rabbinic Orthodox so please be careful with materials presented there. Always double-check with the Written Torah text! Do not trust anyone!

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