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Dietary laws

Dietary laws: In Judaism the term kasher, or kosher, refers to food that is ritually fit for consumption—hence kashrut, fitness. According to Genesis, God gave all fruits and vegetables for human food (1. 29). Dietary laws, therefore, are primarily concerned with animals, birds, and fish, and their products. Animals that have a cloven hoof and chew the cud, such as the ox, sheep, and goat are kosher (Deuteronomy 14. 6), but creatures that fulfil only one of those criteria, such as the pig or camel, are forbidden (14. 7–8). Creatures must be slaughtered (sheḥitah) in the ritually correct manner, and this must be carried out by a trained and licenced slaughterer (shohet). After slaughter, the animal or bird must be hung so that as much blood as possible drains out. Leviticus specifically forbids the eating of blood (7. 26–7), so meat must be salted and washed before it is cooked. Reform Jews generally ignore the dietary laws.

For other Religions, see FOOD AND RELIGION.

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