Re: Is there an non-animal substitute for jello?

Article: 12091 of rec.food.veg.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.veg.cooking
From: gladman@oci.utoronto.ca (Aviv Gladman)
Subject: Re: Is there an non-animal substitute for jello?
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 15:16:07 GMT
FYI, there are a few different views on the Judaic dietary laws regarding 
items like gelatin. Traditional gelatin is, I believe, made from porcine 
bone, which would make it unkosher, since pigs are unkosher.  However, 
Jewish dietary law forbids the consumption of certain parts even in 
kosher animals. The forbidden parts include the animal's bones. Hence, 
technically all manner of animal-derived gelatin is unkosher. There is 
another concept in Judaic law known as 'Davar Hadash', which translates 
to 'a new item.' The basic idea is that if you make something into what 
is essentially a new product (like pulverizing bone into gelatin), it is 
considered to be just that, something totally new with no connection to 
the original. Hence, by this definition, any animal-derived gelatin is 
considered kosher (including porcine gelatin).

There is a great deal of controversy on the application of the 'new 
product' rule to gelatin, so you'll find different Rabbis with different 
opinions on the subject.  Interestingly enough, these opinions differ 
even amongst the more Orthodox Rabbis. So even if a product has a kosher 
seal of approval from an Orthodox Rabbi, it doesn't guarantee that the 
gelatin isn't animal-derived. The Orthodox Union (identified by a U with 
a circle around it) in the United States, and the Canadian Orthodox 
Rabbinate (identified by a COR with a circle around it) both do not 
sanction the use of animal-derived gelatin, so products with these 
symbols on them are a good starting point. In fact, a good rule of thumb 
is to avoid any product certified as kosher by only a single Rabbi (as 
opposed to a Rabbinical Council), or by a Conservative or Reform Council 
(as opposed to an Orthodox one).

There are several brands of kosher gelatin that are derived from seaweed 
and other vegetable matter. These usually say so on the label (ie. 
seaweed gelatin), but not always, so contacting the manufacturer is a 
good idea. BTW for those interested, the kosher marshmallows they sell 
for Passover contain ANIMAL-derived gelatin, and some of them even 
contain porcine gelatin.

Oh, I do ramble...

Aviv Gladman
----
Unemployed graduate student - say why not hire me? All biomedical 
engineering needs satisfied. Windows and toilets extra.


On Wed, 3 Jul 1996, Trista Hixson wrote:

> 
> By the way, kosher gelatin is not necessarily vegetarian.  Usually it's
> just gelatin made from animals killed kosher-style, which, if you've ever
> read Animal Liberation, is supposed to be more humane, yet because of the
> federal regulations for cleanliness, turns out to be much more horrifying
> and brutal.  I don't think I need to go into details here, the book can be
> checked out at just about any local library.  But don't be fooled by the
> word kosher.  Ask the manufacturer first.
>