clean foods bible kosher

Clean Foods- What the Bible Teaches

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When it comes to obeying the clean food laws of the Bible, some outside the faith will find the practice novel, others peculiar. Still others will cite a passage or two in the New Testament in an effort to say that the True Worshiper no longer needs to concern himself or herself with that “old Mosaic law” in this age of grace. We answer the most popularly cited New Testament verses elsewhere in this brochure.

How important are clean foods to True Worship? Consider that it was the breaking of a “kosher” law that caused Adam and Eve to commit the original sin. Yahweh certifies certain foods as acceptable and other foods as unacceptable for our consumption. It was that way at creation and remains true today. Kosher simply means to be straight or right, by implication to be acceptable; also to succeed or prosper (Strong’s Concordance No. 3787). Yahweh told mankind’s original parents which food was right and acceptable and which was not. Obeying Him, we will succeed and prosper. Neither He nor His standards ever change, Malachi 3:6.

Yahweh’s laws of clean and unclean animals, fish, birds, insects, and even dead creatures, are found in His Word. Just as with the Ten Commandments, we can see these laws operating long before they were reiterated to Israel and handed down to Moses on stone tablets at Sinai. We also see them still in force in the New Testament.

An example in which we see clean food laws in operation long before Sinai is in Yahweh’s instructions to Noah. Yahweh told Noah that clean animals were to go aboard the ark by sevens, but he was to limit the unclean to only two, Genesis 7:2. Noah obviously had to know the difference because of the clean food laws. Peter knew the difference as well, as we see in his reaction to his own vision in Acts 10.

The laws of clean and unclean food are like the moral laws — they have been in effect since the beginning of creation. Therefore, we cannot brush them off with the argument that they were merely “Mosaic” and given only to ancient Israel.

Deciphering Clean from Unclean

In Leviticus 11 Yahweh details the laws regulating clean and unclean foods. Verses 1-8 focus on acceptable and unacceptable animals as food.

“And Yahweh spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which you shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parts the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that shall you eat. Nevertheless these shall you not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch; they are unclean to you” (Lev. 11:1-8).

Parting the hoof and being clovenfooted means the same. A clovenfoot is a split hoof of two toes. Chewing the cud is the process of casting up and re-chewing of food. These are the two criteria that qualify animals that can be used for food. Leviticus 11 lists several animals that do not fit these qualifications. These animals include the camel, rabbit (coney), and swine (pig). The swine (Heb. Chazir) is one the most gluttonous animals on the earth. This animal has been held sacred by the Greeks, Romans, and Anglo-Saxons. Yahweh also prohibited us from touching their carcasses.

Aquatic life is discussed in verses 9-12: “These shall you eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall you eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall have their carcasses in abomination. Whatsoever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you” (Lev. 11:9-12).

For aquatic creatures to be fit to eat, they must have both fins and scales. One school of thought explains that marine animals without fins and scales tend to be bottom feeders, consuming the effluent that sinks to the mud. Having this in mind, we can perceive the reason Yahweh prohibited these marine species. Aquatic life unfit for human consumption includes shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, crabs, and catfish. Modern science is now finding dangerous levels of harmful, heavy metals like mercury and lead in the flesh of many of these creatures. Yahweh certainly knows best!

Verses 13-19 discuss unclean birds. “And these are they which you shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat” (Lev. 11:13-19).

The first unfit bird that is mentioned is the eagle (Heb. nesher, from nashar). Nesher means to cut or tear in pieces. From this definition we can see that the eagle is a raptor. The Ossifrage (os – bone, frango – break) probably signifies the black eagle. Among the Greeks and Romans the eagle was held sacred, and is represented carrying the thunderbolts of Jupiter. The vulture (Heb. daah) from a root meaning “to fly,” may be more probably rendered kite. Daah is different from the vulture. The Hebrew word daiyah indicates the vulture. The word for kite in The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is No. 344, ayah, and it denotes a species of the hawk. The interesting fact that surrounds these birds is that they are all birds of prey or scavengers.

Forbidden birds are also listed in Deuteronomy 14:11-18, but Yahweh does not specify why these particular birds are forbidden. Other kinds of bird are permitted, such as chicken, goose, duck and turkey.

We will now examine those New Testament passages that are commonly used in claims that the Old Testament food laws are no longer binding.

The Passage in Question

Mark 7:18: “And he said unto them, are you so without understanding also? Do you not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him…?”

Erroneous interpretation – Yahshua was condemning the Scribes and Pharisees for their strict lawkeeping, decreeing that virtually any “food” is harmless and therefore edible.

Proper Understanding – When taken in proper context, this passage is not difficult to understand. At the beginning we find Yahshua’s disciples eating with unwashed hands in plain sight of the Scribes and Pharisees. The Scribes and Pharisees were two Jewish sects in the time of Yahshua. These Jews had many rabbinical traditions that had been handed down through the ages, and one of those was ceremonial washing of hands before eating. We can see this in the first few verses. “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables” (Mark 7:3-4).

When the Scribes and Pharisees saw Yahshua’s disciples eating before washing their hands, they accused Yahshua and His disciples of breaking their traditions. Yahshua was not pleased with their condemnation, but in turn accused them of placing their own man-made doctrine or dogma over Yahweh’s commandments. “Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of Elohim, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do. And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of Elohim, that you may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).

Yahshua does not condemn them for compliance with Yahweh’s kosher food Laws, but instead condemns them for their doctrines of men. These doctrines were not part of Yahweh’s Torah, but were laws established by Jewish leaders through many generations. Yahshua’s condemnation goes even further than their doctrines of men. Yahshua chastised the Scribes and Pharisees for their carnal natures.

Throughout the New Testament it becomes clear that these Jewish leaders who were responsible for teaching Yahweh’s Law became complacent with the more important matters. This may be seen in Matthew 23:23, where Yahshua makes this statement: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” This was most evidently the problem in Mark 7, which we can see through Yahshua’s statement in verse 21. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23).

Ingesting some dirt from unwashed hands will not defile a man, Yahshua taught in verse 18. But evil thoughts will defile because they come from the heart, verses 19-20. Nowhere in Mark 7 do we find Yahweh’s clean food Laws mentioned. We simply see the same message Yahshua taught during his ministry here on earth. We are to observe Yahweh’s physical Laws without neglecting His weightier Laws.

The Passage in Question

Acts 10:15: “And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What Yahweh has cleansed, that call not common.”

Erroneous Interpretation – Yahweh has cleansed all meats in the New Testament era.

Proper Understanding – To grasp this verse, and Peter’s vision surrounding it, is to understand the context of the entire chapter. At the start of this passage we find a Gentile named Cornelius, an army captain. We learn that he is righteous and is well respected by all those around him, including the Jews. One day Yahweh sends an angel to deliver a message to Cornelius: send men to Joppa to Simon the Tanner where they will meet the Apostle Peter. Cornelius complies.

Before the men arrive, Peter goes onto the housetop to pray and there becomes hungry. As Peter prays he falls into a trace through which Yahweh reveals a message that will change True Worship forever. In his vision Peter sees a great sheet come down from the sky and on this sheet he finds all types of unclean beasts. Next, Peter hears a shocking proclamation. A voice commands, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter cannot believe what he is hearing. He is confused and baffled at this command. It is repeated three times by the angelic being before the sheet is taken away.

Peter argues that he has never eaten anything unclean, verse 14, not even to this day—10 years after the death of Yahshua. Surely if the laws of clean and unclean foods had been abolished at the Savior’s death, one of the greatest apostles of the New Testament would have been aware of it immediately after Yahshua’s death. After all, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, which taught the apostles all things (John 14:26).

After the vision the three men that were sent by Cornelius find Peter and he returns with them to meet Cornelius. Once there, Peter explains the meaning of his vision of the sheet. “You know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but Elohim has showed me that I should not call ANY MAN common or unclean” (Acts 10:28). Thereafter Cornelius becomes the first Gentile convert to the faith. Here we have the simple explanation of this vision from the mouth of the inspired Apostle Peter himself: Gentiles, once considered unclean, may now enter the Covenant promise. Yahweh simply used unclean food to symbolize “unclean” Gentiles, who can now enter the Promises.

The Adam Clark’s Commentary on the Bible notes, “He [Peter] now begins to understand the import of the vision which he saw at Joppa. A gentile is not to be avoided because he is a gentile; [Elohim] is now taking down the partition wall which separated them from the Jews” (p. 984).

In the Old Testament Yahweh’s promise was only offered completely to Israel, and not freely given to the Gentiles until the death of Yahshua the Messiah. At the death of Yahshua the wall that separated Jew from Gentile was broken down through the blood of our Savior. “Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: But now in Messiah Yahshua you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph. 2:11-14).

In verse 35 of Acts 10 Peter summarizes the lesson of his vision that he received in Joppa on the rooftop of the house of Simeon the Tanner: “But in EVERY NATION he that fears him [Yahweh], and works righteousness, is accepted with him.” Clearly the vision seen by Peter was to show him in a very graphic and profound way that Gentiles—who were once considered unclean—were now permitted into Yahweh’s covenant. Nowhere in this passage are Yahweh’s clean food Laws discussed or repealed. Peter himself denies that he should ever eat anything that conflicts with the clean food Laws.

The Passage in Question

Romans 14:1-3: “Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for Elohim has received him.”

Erroneous Interpretation – The apostle Paul shows that those who wish to eat whatever they desire should not be judged by those who choose to follow the clean food laws.

Proper Understanding –To grasp the meaning we must realize what the concern was at the time it was written. Another of Paul’s writings, 1Corinthians 10, is helpful in our understanding of Romans 14. These two letters were written only a year apart and have similar issues. His letter to the Corinthians may hold the solution as to why Paul called those who ate only herbs here “weak.”

In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul discusses the issue of food or meats sacrificed to idols. “Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Yahweh: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils” (1Cor. 10:18-20).

Paul here faces a dilemma, which at that time was a major concern for the Jew and the Gentile convert. He writes in verse 25, “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake.” In the Gentile meat markets (“shambles” = makellon, a butcher’s stall) meat was sold that had been first sacrificed to different idols; and many Jew and Gentile converts whom Paul calls “weak” in faith did not buy or eat this meat, considering it impure. Paul, however, said that this food was sacrificed to nothing. These pagan idols were meaningless, nonliving objects invented by man. Paul realized that they could do neither good nor bad because as “deities” they were non-existent.

But then Paul’s warns of an issue that all of Yahweh’s people should acknowledge and be concerned with. He says in1Corinthians 10:29 that we are not to partake of anything that may offend or upset a brother in the faith. Paul says that he would not even eat any meat or drink wine if it would offend a brother and cause him to stumble in the truth (Rom. 14:21). We should remember the second greatest commandment: love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39).

If we apply what we read in 1Corinthians 10 to Romans 14, we may conclude that those that were weak and ate only herbs lacked the faith to realize that meat sacrificed to idols was no different from other food. Such idols are neither good nor bad, but take on existence only for those who would believe in them. These idols had no effect on the meat that was sacrificed to them. The meat was still proper for man to eat according to Yahweh’s dietary food Laws (assuming it first qualified as clean).

For those who prefer to be vegetarian, that is okay, Paul says, 14:2-4. Then he addresses those who choose to set aside one day for fasting, vv. 5-6. He sums up Romans 14 in verse 20: “For meat [food] destroy not the works of Elohim.” Don’t let disputes over idol meat, vegetarianism or fasting cause division among brothers and sisters in Messiah.

Nothing in any of these passages allows the eating of meat that doesn’t qualify lawfully, however.

The Passage in Question

Colossians 2:16: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.”

Erroneous Interpretation – We are not to judge others on the freedom they now have in Messiah. No longer is the keeping of Old Testament food Laws or any other laws necessary for New Testament believers.

Proper Understanding – Is Paul speaking to the assembly or to the world in general? The answer is key to understanding this passage. If Paul is speaking to a pagan world that has neglected Yahweh’s Word, then it would only make sense to conclude that Paul is saying that we are no longer under Old Testament regulations and must not be judged in those matters. But if Paul is speaking to an obedient assembly, then this passage would take on a much different meaning. The truth is, this letter is to an Assembly of believers at Colosse.

The following verse 17 is key: “Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body [is] of Messiah.” Translators have italicized the word “is,” meaning it was added. If we take “is” out, and read verses 16 and 17 together, we see that it is the body of Messiah that should do the judging. “Man” in verse 16 refers to any person, including outsiders. “Don’t let any outsider judge you in what you eat, but only the Body of Messiah,” Paul is saying.

The 4th verse is an additional help. It reads, “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” From this we can see that the Apostle Paul’s concern was for this assembly, for there were those outside the assembly trying to persuade the people of Colosse to reject their present beliefs. With this in mind it is evident that Paul’s statement in Colossians 2:16 was for an assembly that was obediently following Yahweh’s Laws. His warning is not to let heathens—outsiders—try to persuade you differently regarding the keeping of clean food Laws and other laws of Yahweh.

The Passage in Question

1Timothy 4:4: “For every creature of Yahweh is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”

Erroneous Interpretation – Every creature is acceptable for consumption if received with thanksgiving.

Proper Understanding –A “creature of Yahweh” that meets clean food qualifications is defined in the next verse: “For it is sanctified by the Word of Elohim and prayer.” It is the Word that sanctifies or sets apart those animals (listed in Leviticus 11 andDeuteronomy 14) that Yahweh says we may eat. Without any further study it should be clear as crystal that Paul is not promoting the eating of ceremonially unclean animals that Yahweh has ordained as abominable for mankind. Who would argue that rats, bats, lizards, scorpions and skunks are good for food?

Yahweh’s dietary Laws have not been annulled, but remain for all of Yahweh’s New Testament saints. As it becomes more knowledgeable about food and its effects on health, modern science is verifying what the Bible has been teaching for millennia—that certain meats are harmful and are not meant to be eaten. Therefore, we can see why Yahweh prohibited specific “foods” as unfit. Even then, however, True Worshipers do not need a scientific explanation. The simple fact that the Maker of our bodies tells us what to avoid is reason enough to obey.

Evidence from Medical Science 

In addition to the Bible, science is also confirming the benefit of the clean food laws. Many doctors are now telling their patients to stay away from foods that Yahweh forbade some 3,000 years ago. For example, Dr. Russell explains the detriments of eating pork in his book What the Bible Says About Healthy EatingOne reason for [Yahweh’s] rule forbidding pork is that the digestive system of a pig is completely different from that of a cow. It is similar to ours, in that the stomach is very acidic. Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins can pass into the pigs flesh because of overeating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat a pig’s flesh.”

As a secondary witness, here’s part of an online article entitled, God’s Dietary Laws: Why Pigs, Crabs And Lobsters Are Bad For You, from Off The Grid News, “Lobsters are nocturnal bottom walkers and scavengers that scavenge for dead animals and debris on the ocean floor – they are like the vultures of the oceans. Lobsters have even been seen burying dead fish and digging them up a little at a time to eat. Crabs will eat just about anything and are known as professional garbage hunters. The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life tells us that crabs, common shrimp and lobsters all feed off of dead and decaying matter. Therein lies their occupation – they were created to be the cleanup crew for the bottoms of lakes, rivers and oceans. They were not intended to be eaten by human beings. Eating raw or undercooked crabs, crayfish, shrimp or snails puts anyone at risk of a severe parasitic infection… Closer observation of oysters, mussels, scallops and clams shows us that [Yahweh’s] also had a very significant purpose for these creatures…They are stationary – meaning they do not go hunting for their food but rather pump large amounts of water over their gills, trapping small pieces of silt, bacteria, viruses and plant debris for their dinner.”

From these sources we find why these animals are a detriment to man’s health. They are scavengers and were created to remove and clean up the toxins, whether that be on land or sea. What’s amazing is that our Heavenly Father provided this information long ago.

Some believe that the Bible was not inspired, but written by nomads in the desert. However, how is it possible that a group of nomads understood the detriments of eating meats?  Keep in mind that medical science is only now beginning to understand this.  The fact that these commandments can now be validated through medical science prove that Yahweh’s Word is inspired and everything within it has meaning and purpose.

In Addition…

Yahweh’s Word prohibits consumption of both fat and blood (Lev. 3:17; 7:23, 26-27). The fat of the animal was offered to Yahweh in sacrifice (Lev. 3:16). It belongs to Him. The life of the animal is found in its blood (Lev. 17:10-14). Both fat and blood of the sacrifice were treated separately from the meat of the sacrifice and neither were eaten. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of Scripturally clean animals before eating and to avoid eating residual blood.

At the time of slaughter, rapid draining of most of the blood must occur. This process is unnecessary with fish, as very little blood remains in the meat of fish. Any remaining blood can be removed by soaking in brine.

The following meats meet the qualifications as clean according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:

Biblically Clean Fish

(Must have both fins and scales)
Albacore (Crevalle, Horse Mackerel, Jack)
Alewives (Branch Herring, River Herring)
Anchovy
Barracuda
Bass
Black Drum
Blackfish
Blueback (Glut Herring)
Bluebill Sunfish
Bluefish
Blue Runner (Hardtail)
Bonitos
Boston Bluefish (Pollack)
Bowfin
Buffalofish
Butterfish
Carp
Chub (Bloater, Longjaw, Blackfin)
Cod
Crappie
Crevalle (Albacore)
Croaker
Darter
Flounder (Dab, Gray Sole, Yellow Tail)
Frost Fish (Ice Fish, Smelt)
Gaby
Grayling
Groupers (Gag)
Grunts
Gulf Pike (Robalo, Snook, Sergeant)
Haddock
Hake
Halibut
Hardtail (Blue Runner)
Herring
Horse Mackerel (Albacore)
Kingfish
Long Nose Sucker (Northern Sucker, Red Striped Sucker)
Mackerel
Menhaden
Mullet
Muskellunge (Jack)
Orange Roughy
Perch
Pickerel (Jack)
Pig Fish
Pike (Jack)
Pilchard (Sardine)
Pollack
Pompano
Porgy (Scup)
Red Drum (Redfish)
Redfin (Red Horse Sucker)
Red Snapper
Red Striped Sucker (Long Nose Sucker)
Robalo (Gulf Pike)
Rockfish
Salmon (Chum, Coho, King, Pink, Red)
Sardine (Pilchard)
Scup (Porgy)
Sea Bass
Sergeant Fish (Gulf Pike)
Shad
Sheepshead
Silver Hake (Whiting)
Silversides
Smelt (Frost Fish)
Snook (Gulf Pike)
Spanish Mackerel
Striped Bass
Sucker
Tarpon
Tilapia
Trout
Tuna (Albacore, Bluefin, Yellowfin, Shipjack)
Weakfish
Whitefish
White Sucker
Whiting (Silver Hake)
Yellow Perch

Biblically Unclean Fish and Seafood
Abalone
Bullhead
Catfish
Clam
Crab
Crayfish
Eel
Krill
Lobster
Mussel
Oyster
Paddlefish (Spoonbill)
Scallop
Sculpin
Shark
Shrimp
Squid
Stickleback
Sturgeon (Caviar)
Swordfish
Whale

Clean Red Meat
(Must chew the cud and have a divided hoof)
Antelope
Beef
Buffalo
Deer
Elk
Goat
Moose
Sheep

Clean Fowl
(Cannot be a raptor or scavenger)
Chicken
Dove
Duck
Goose
Grouse
Pheasant
Quail
Turkey

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Kosher symbols and information

Shown Below are the most common Kosher symbols you will find at your local grocery store.                                  oukosher

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
(212) 613-8241, Fax: (212)564-9058

okosher

 

The Organized Kashruth Laboratories (O/K)
391 Troy Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11213
(718) 756-7500, Fax: (718) 756-7503

nk

National Kashrut
101 Route 306 • Monsey, NY 10952
(845) 352-4448, Fax: (845) 356-9756

kaj

K’hal Adath Jeshurun (Breuer’s)
85-93 Bennet Avenue • New York, NY 10033
(212)923-3582, Fax:(212)781-4275

ov

Vaad Hoeir of Saint Louis
4 Millstone Campus • St. Louis , MO 63146
(314)569-2770, Fax:(314)569-2774

kofk

KOF-K Kosher Supervision
201 The Plaza, Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201)837-0500, Fax:(201)837-0126

stark

Star-K Kosher Certification
11 Warren Road • Baltimore, MD 21208-5234
(410)484-4110, Fax:(410)653-9294

crc

Chicago Rabbinical Council
3525 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 315 • Chicago, IL 60659
(312)588-1600, Fax:(312)588-2141

scrollk

The Vaad Hakashrus of Denver
1350 Vrain Street • Denver, CO 80204
(303)595-9349, Fax:(303)629-5159

texask

International Kosher Supervision / Texas
3010 LBJ Freeway, Suite 905 • Dallas, TX 75234
(773) 465-3900, Fax: (773) 465-6929

kd

Vaad Haskashrus of Dallas-THE “DK”
7900 Northaven Road • Dallas, TX 75230
(214)750-8223, Fax:(214)368-4709

kvh

Vaad Hakashrus of Massachusetts
177 Tremont Street • Boston, MA 02111
(617)426-2139, Fax:(617)426-6268

peachk

Atlanta Kashruth Commission
1855 La Vista Road • Atlanta, GA 30329
(404)634-4063, Fax:(404)320-7912

mk-1

Montreal Vaad Hair
5491 Victoria Avenue, Suite 117 • Montreal, H3W2P9 (Canada)
(514)270-2659, Fax:(514)739-7024

cor

Hashruth Council of Toronto
4600 Bathurst St. Suite 240 • North York, Ontario M2R3V2 (Canada)
(416)635-9550, Fax:(416)635-8760

needlek-2

Vaad Harabanim of Greater Seattle
5100 South Dawson Street, Suite #102 • Seattle, WA 98118-2100
(206) 760-0805, Fax: (206) 725-0347

ksa

Kosher Supervision of America
P.O. Box 35721 • Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310)282-0444, Fax:(310)282-0505

c-k_jpeg

California K Igud Hakashrus of Los Angeles (Kehillah Kosher)
345 NORTH LA BREA AVENUE – SUITE #204
LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 935-8383; Fax: 480-393-4655

heart-k-1

THE HEART “K” (Kehillah Kosher)
345 NORTH LA BREA AVENUE – SUITE #204
LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 935-8383; Fax: 480-393-4655

reliab59

Vaad of Lancaster / Cong. Degel Israel
1120 Columbia Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 397-0183; Fax: (717) 509-6188

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

List of clean meats

Abridged List of Biblically Clean Meats (Lev. 11)

Kosher Symbol List

Biblically Clean Fish
Must have both fins and scales
Albacore (Crevalle, Horse Mackerel, Jack)
Alewives (Branch Herring, River Herring)
Anchovy
Barracuda
Bass
Black Drum
Blackfish
Blueback (Glut Herring)
Bluebill Sunfish
Bluefish
Blue Runner (Hardtail)
Bonitos
Boston Bluefish (Pollack)
Bowfin
Buffalofish
Butterfish
Carp
Chub (Bloater, Longjaw, Blackfin)
Cod
Crappie
Crevalle (Albacore)
Croaker
Darter
Flounder (Dab, Gray Sole, Yellow Tail)
Frost Fish (Ice Fish, Smelt)
Gaby
Grayling
Groupers (Gag)
Grunts
Gulf Pike (Robalo, Snook, Sergeant)
Haddock
Hake
Halibut
Hardtail (Blue Runner)
Herring
Horse Mackerel (Albacore)
Kingfish
Long Nose Sucker (Northern Sucker, Red Striped Sucker)
Mackerel
Menhaden
Mullet
Muskellunge (Jack)
Orange Roughy
Perch
Pickerel (Jack)
Pig Fish
Pike (Jack)
Pilchard (Sardine)
Pollack
Pompano
Porgy (Scup)
Red Drum (Redfish)
Redfin (Red Horse Sucker)
Red Snapper
Red Striped Sucker (Long Nose Sucker)
Robalo (Gulf Pike)
Rockfish
Salmon (Chum, Coho, King, Pink, Red)
Sardine (Pilchard)
Scup (Porgy)
Sea Bass
Sergeant Fish (Gulf Pike)
Shad
Sheepshead
Silver Hake (Whiting)
Silversides
Smelt (Frost Fish)
Snook (Gulf Pike)
Spanish Mackerel
Striped Bass
Sucker
Tarpon
Trout
Tuna (Albacore, Bluefin, Yellowfin, Shipjack)
Weakfish
Whitefish
White Sucker
Whiting (Silver Hake)
Yellow Perch

Biblically Unclean Fish and Seafood
Abalone
Bullhead
Catfish
Clam
Crab
Crayfish
Eel
Hoki
Lobster
Mussel
Oyster
Paddlefish (Spoonbill)
Scallop
Sculpin
Shark
Shrimp
Squid
Stickleback
Sturgeon (Caviar)
Swordfish
Whale

Biblically Clean Red Meat
Must chew the cud and have a divided hoof
Antelope
Beef
Buffalo
Deer
Elk
Goat
Moose
Sheep

Biblically Clean Fowl
Possess elongated middle toe and hind toe, crops and gizzards; cannot be a raptor
Chicken
Dove
Duck
Goose
Grouse
Pheasant
Quail
Turkey

Manna – What is it?

Manna — What is it?

Manna is what Yahweh fed the Israelites in the wilder­ness for 40 years. In Hebrew manna means “what is it?”. Join us as we take a look at gelatin and learn “what is it?”

What is Kosher?

The word “kosher” is Hebrew for “fit” or “proper”. When applied to food, kosher means the food is acceptable to eat by the biblical standard set in the Torah — the law, or first five books of the Bible — specifically, Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Foods that are kosher rated have not been made with any unclean animal prod­ucts, and kosher meats have been prepared properly (killed and bled correctly).

Kosher rated foods are also subject to the Jewish oral law (the Mishnah and the Talmud), which include some added laws such as mixing milk and meat. Even though the added Jewish oral laws do not concern us as true worshipers of Yahweh we can still benefit from the kosher standard.

Common Kosher symbols-

Some Kosher symbols may be followed by the following words or letters: K, U, P

Passover indicates it is kosher for Passover. It is sometimes shortened to a P.

Parve refers to food that contains neither meat nor dairy.

Fish indicates it contains fish.

M indicates it contains meat.

And D indicates it contains dairy, or milk product.

What is gelatin?

Gelatin is an ingredient used to make things gel or congeal. Gelatin is derived from collagen that is obtained from horns, hooves, bones and skin of pork, cattle or fish.

Here are a few of the common products that may contain gelatin:

        Gummy candies

        Marshmallows

        Yogurt

        Sour cream and dips

        Nail polish remover

        Medication & Vitamin supplement capsules

        Deodorant

Is “kosher” gelatin always acceptable?

Jello-O brand gelatin is labeled with a “K” kosher rating. However according to Kraft, the source of their gelatin can be pork or beef.

According to ouKosher.org –

“Since ‘real’ gelatin is derived from animal sources, it has been the focus of debate for nearly 100 years among leading rabbis. The question is: Can gelatin from non-kosher sources be permit­ted? Although cows that were not ritually slaughtered, and, of course, pigs, are certainly not kosher, some rabbis were lenient in allowing products that had very small amounts of gelatin added. This is because they felt that the gelatin extraction process caused the skins and bones to be sufficiently denatured, to the point that they are no longer considered food.”

Since the “K” rating is not as strict as the OU rating, gelatin de­rived from pork will sometimes receive this “kosher” rating.

While gelatin derived from pork may be acceptable to some Rab­bis, it is not acceptable to Yahweh.

“And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are un­clean to you.” – Leviticus 11:7-8.

“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.” – Deuteronomy 14:8.

What are sources for acceptable gelatin?

Beef and kosher fish. Many kosher marshmallows are made with gelatin derived from kosher fish.

Non-animal sources such as agar-agar and carrageenan, are derived from seaweed and pectin.

Clean Cuisine – Wild Spring Greens

Birds are singing …. the sun is shining …. a glimpse of warmth creeps in after a long winter. Looks like it’s time to go outside and gather in some greens. “Gather in greens?!” you might ask

incredulously. You look around, it’s early spring, nothing is growing out there …. or is it?

For many today the thought of gathering in food in preparation for a meal means driving to the grocery store or the local vegetable stand or orchard. For some, a vegetable garden in their backyard helps to provide them with sustenance. But did you know that Yahweh has provided us with physical nourishment that we neither need to plant nor have to go to the corner market to purchase?

This “free” food is in the form of wild greens, herbs, and even flowers—and in the early spring when nothing else is growing, finding these wild “treasures” can be exciting.

One of these greens we’re going to consider here is wild watercress. While watercress can be found in the gourmet sections of some supermarkets, this vegetable also grows in the wild along running streams and creeks. Growing abundantly from mid-Feb­ruary onwards, watercress is best as soon as it appears until it starts to flower sometime in April. High in vitamin K (a vitamin known to help maintain healthy blood clotting), watercress can be cooked as a green or pureed into watercress soup. While cultivated water­cress can be eaten raw in such appetizers as cucumber and water­cress sandwiches, it is generally recommended that this fresh-water vegetable that is found growing in the wild be cooked before being consumed. As we all know, this earth is not as pure and pristine as it once was, and unless you are 100% certain as to the source of the watercourse, wild watercress should not be eaten raw. The water quality of the spring or creek in which it grows is very important since Fasciola Hepatica, also called the “common liver fluke,” is a parasite that can wreak havoc with the liver. Questionable habitats such as irrigation canals, roadside ditches, or city park streams should be avoided. A more ideal place to find wild watercress is in small, running mountain streams.

Another early vegetable to consider is the wild onion. Members of the wild alium family, these spring greens can be found in lawns, fields, and along roadsides. These green onion tops have a mild flavor similar to fresh chives, and can be used in much the same way as you would use cultivated onion tops or chives. There were quite a few occasions that these early greens flavored some scrambled eggs or enhanced a beef kielbasa entree after I discov­ered there were no onions in the pantry and it was too early for the chives to be cut. Early spring is the best time to cut these greens, as they tend to get stringy by summer.

 

Interestingly, this last wild spring green we are going to consider is regarded by many to be a weed. In fact, some people painstakingly attempt to eradicate this green—the seemingly ubiquitous dan­delion. But for some, this lowly plant offers much in the way of nourishment—from its tender leaves used in a salad, to its yellow flowers used for making wine or sautéed and dipped in batter and fried for fritters, to its gnarled root used as a medicinal tonic.

field of dandelions

The leaves should be picked as early as possible, since by the time the flowers start to appear, these tender greens have already begun to get bitter. These leaves are extremely nutritious, providing more beta-carotene than carrots, as well as a phenomenal content of iron and calcium.

Sometimes dandelion greens are cooked in a small amount of salted water, then drained and added to sautéed onions and garlic and seasoned with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. At other times they are fried with garlic in olive oil until wilted and tender-crisp, and then combined with dried fruit or toasted nuts. And yet at other times, these dandelion greens are eaten raw, tossed in a salad with sliced apples, sharp cheese, and toasted walnuts, or with a dressing poured over them.

The dandelion dressing below is much like the one my mother made almost every spring when I was growing up. The sweet/sour dressing helps to overcome the slightly bitter flavor of the dande­lion greens.

Remember to gather any of these greens as early as possible, as they all start developing a bitter flavor the further along in the sea­son that they are harvested. Also remember when picking any wild food, to be absolutely certain they are harvested from areas where pesticides or fertilizers have not been sprayed, or anywhere they could be contaminated with any form of pollutant.  Joyous eating!

Dandelion Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

8 slices turkey bacon

2 eggs – beaten

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup water

2 hard boiled eggs

2 tsp. cornstarch

fresh dandelion greens

Preparation –

Wash the dandelion greens and spin dry. Place the greens in a large serving bowl. Slice the hard boiled eggs. Lay the egg slices on top of the greens. Set aside. Fry the turkey bacon until tender crisp, then break or cut into bits. Set aside. Mix the 2 beaten eggs, vin­egar, salt, sugar, and cornstarch together in a saucepan. Whisk and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Stir in the turkey bacon bits. Pour the warm dressing over the salad and serve im­mediately.

by: Debbie Wirl

Got Water?

From the beginning the Scriptures say a lot about water. In Gen. 6:17 Yahweh is washing the evil off the earth with water!  Jeremiah 12:13 says Yahweh is the fountain of living waters.  And, of course, we must be immersed in the water of baptism in order to be adopted into the Body of Messiah.
  
It is absolutely crucial to provide all the parts of the body with a lot of this basic component.  Chances are that you’re among the 75% of Americans who are chronically dehydrated.

In the beginning all water was alkaline. Pollution from so called civilization is still corrupting Yahweh’s creation. It turns out that the single measurement most important to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues; how acidic or alkaline it is.  Just as your body temperature is rigidly regulated, the blood and tissues must be kept in a very narrow pH range. The human body is designed to be alkaline, and will go to great lengths to preserve that.  A body insufficient in alkalizing minerals will seek these vital components elsewhere. Sodium or potassium will be leached from the blood, calcium from bone and cartilage, and magnesium from muscles.  If the acid overload gets too great for the blood to balance, excess acid is dumped into the tissues for storage. Then the lymphatic (immune) system must neutralize what it can and try to get rid of everything else.  Unfortunately, ‘getting rid of’ acid from the tissues means dumping it right back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle of drawing still more basic minerals away from their ordinary functions and stressing the liver and kidneys. The body creates fat cells to try to protect the vital organs.  When you eat and drink to make your body alkaline, the body won’t need to keep that fat around anymore.

Chronic over-acidity corrodes body tissue and, if left unchecked, willinterrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain.  An imbalance in the blood and tissue pH leads to irritation and inflammation and sets the stage for sickness and disease.  So many of our diseases start with inflammation, that I cannot help but think of the curse in Deuteronomy 28:22,

“Yahweh will smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew, and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.”
 
The nastiest consequences of an overly acidic body, however, are the presence of bacteria, yeasts (or fungi), and molds.  These microforms take advantage of the body’s weaker areas, poisoning and overworking them.  In an acidic environment, they basically get free rein to break down tissues and bodily processes. They live on our body’s energy, or electrons, and use our fats and proteins (even our genetic matter, nucleic acids) for development and growth.  Bacteria, yeast, fungus, and mold do not themselves produce symptoms in the body, their toxic wastes do.  Nor do they initiate disease.  They only show up because of a compromised internal environment that causes body cells to transform into bacteria, then yeast, and finally mold.
 
It is just as important to maintain an alkaline body as it is to monitor your fish tank water or swimming pool water. And, any gardener knows to adjust the soil pH in order to grow strong healthy veggies.
 
The small intestine must be alkaline in order for the food to be transformed into red blood cells.  So the quality of the food you eat determines the quality of the red blood cells that determine the quality of your bones, muscles, or organs, etc. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, is noted as saying:  “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”  You are, quite literally, what you eat!

The number one over-the-counter remedy sold in the United States is antacids!  Recurrent and chronic acid indigestion and heartburn are urgent messages our bodies are sending us.

The chaos of acid imbalance and microform transformation and then overgrowth is an entirely natural and orderly process when life is ending.  The body automatically becomes acidic upon death. Once a body stops breathing, microforms thrive in the acid they love. They are the “undertakers” when we die; they decompose our dead bodies.  Biologists call it the carbon cycle.  It’s the literal meaning of “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”  Acid is what makes our corpses rot and it does the same thing to us when we are living!  (A good book to read on this subject is The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD.)

So drink up! For best results drink two liters of purified alkaline water every day and the water of the Word. HalleluYah!

by: Lora Wilson

Clean Cuisine – Summers Vanity

Last February, I pined away for the taste of a fresh tomato, tender green beans, or a basketful of sweet lettuce leaves – all freshly picked from the garden.  But, each year in late summer I am reminded of the old saying, “Be careful of what you wish for.”  The branches on the peach trees droop in an attempt to carry their load and birds swarm the blackberry canes in frenzied efforts to get their fair share of the bounty.  The springtime lettuce has bolted in the Midwestern heat, the green tomatoes have changed into their brilliant red attire, screaming, “It’s now or never,” while the zucchini…I won’t even go there.  I gaze upon the beauty and abundance of the garden  and realize that in a few short months all will be gone in the colder months to come.  Yes, harvest is here and it’s time to enjoy the colors, smells and tastes of our labors.

BABA GANOUSH – Growing up, I absolutely hated eggplant.  Now, however, I can’t get enough of the stuff: eggplant parmesan, eggplant pizza, eggplant and tomato pasta, marinated eggplant, fried eggplant, pickled eggplant and, especially, this wonderful Mediterranean dish that is served spread on bread or crackers, or eaten as a side dish all by itself.

1 large eggplant

¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

1-2 Tablespoons  olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Kalamata olives

Grill the eggplant for approximately 10-15 minutes until the skin starts to turn black and the flesh starts to soften.  Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until very soft.  After cooling, peel the eggplant and transfer the flesh to a mixing bowl.  Mash the eggplant into a paste.   Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and cumin and mix well.  Add salt to taste and adjust other ingredients, as needed (you may want to add more tahini or lemon juice).  Mound the mixture in a serving dish and, using the back of a large spoon, form a shallow well in the center.  Spoon some of the olive oil in the well and drizzle the rest over the mixture.  Sprinkle parsley over the top and arrange olives around the outside. Serves 6.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS – This is an updated form of potato pancakes using zucchini instead of potatoes.  Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but who isn’t looking for more recipes when the green things mount their invasion of the garden?

3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini, skins on and seeds removed

2 eggs, beaten

½ small onion, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

2 Tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1-2 Tablespoons milk, if needed

Mix all of the above ingredients together – I stir vigorously instead of using a mixer.  Add a tablespoon of milk or two only if mixture is too dry.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot, well-greased griddle or skillet.  Brown on both sides and serve immediately.  Makes 10-12 fritters.

RASPBERRY VINEGAR – More cooks are moving away from  prepared foods to more natural ingredients in the family meals.  Although there are a few bottled salad dressings I occasionally serve, we more often opt for olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice on our salads.  Flavored vinegars are easy to make and have a variety of uses.  Fresh blackberries, blueberries, or coarsely chopped cranberries may be substituted for the raspberries in this recipe.

3 cups red or white wine vinegar

1 cup fresh red raspberries

½ cup granulated sugar (optional)

½ cup red raspberries for decoration (optional)

Combine vinegar and sugar (if desired) in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not quite boiling.  Pour into a glass bowl and stir in the raspberries.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a cool place for about a week.  Strain through cheesecloth, coarse muslin, or a coffee filter a couple of times to remove all debris.

Pour into bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator – up to several months, if it lasts that long!

by: Debbie Reed

got flour

Clean Cuisine – Got Flour?

In Deuteronomy 8:8, Yahweh described the Promised Land as “a land of wheat and barley.”  In John 6, we see that Yahshua fed thousands with five loaves of barley.  The story of how a class of food long revered as the “staff of life” should suddenly become a toxic substance to large numbers of people is complex and controversial.  But it also provides revealing insights into modern agriculture and industrialized methods of food production.  Modern wheat varieties have a long history of hybridization to create a crop easier to process with machinery, from the field to the oven.  Commercial hybrid “dwarf” wheat contains a “super starch,” amylopectin-A, that is very fattening.  It also contains a “super gluten” that is inflammatory.  It even contains a “super drug” that is highly addictive, making you crave and eat more and more.

Problems occur when we are cruel to our grains – when we fractionate them into bran, germ and naked starch, when we mill them at high temperatures, when we extrude them to make them crunchy breakfast cereals, and when we consume them without careful preparation.  Proper preparation of grains is a kind of gentle process that imitates nature.  It involves soaking for a period in warm acidulated pure water in the preparation of porridge or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of delicious bread.  Such processes neutralize phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor, which can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and, especially, zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins, tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components.

Gluten intolerance makes headlines a lot these days.  It has created a market for gluten free products using alternatives such as rice flour or coconut flour.  If you have not tried any of these products, I will tell you that they do not compare to wheat products.  While I am bothered by wheat, but not to the point of Celiac disease, I do just fine with the ancient grains:  spelt, barley and einkorn flours.  These three ancient grains are known as “the covered wheats,” since the kernels do not thresh free of their hard coverings, making them more labor intensive to mill.

Einkorn is known as the oldest variety of wheat and is my favorite.  It is thought to have originated in the upper area of the fertile crescent of the Near East (Tigris-Euphrates regions), and is quite probably the main grain recorded in biblical history.  It is a rich source of beta carotene lutein, a powerful antioxidant, and also both forms of vitamin E.  Compared to modern varieties, it has higher levels of protein, crude fat, phosphorus and potassium.

Emmer is similar to einkorn and probably an early hybrid of wild einkorn that is more suitable for a wider range of climates, particularly warmer climates.  The earliest civilizations initially ate emmer as a porridge.  Even today it remains an important crop in Ethiopia and a minor crop in Italy and India.

Spelt is probably the predecessor to modern wheat.  It is a hybrid of emmer with more adaptability.  Spelt produces a heavier product that commercial bakers avoid.  It fares much better in sourdough applications where its flavors can develop fully and long souring enhances its digestibility.  Commercially produced sourdough bread that contains yeast in the list of ingredients is not a true sourdough bread loaf.   Only three ingredients create a delicious, nutritious bread, but keep in mind that sourdough is a leavening agent we must avoid during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Due to difficulties in harvesting these ancient grains, only a few farmers in the U.S. grow them.  Lentz Spelt Farm in Marlin, Washington, is one of the few that produces einkorn, spelt, barley and emmer.  Contact Lentz Farm by phone at (509) 717-0015 or by mail at P.O. Box 2, Marlin, WA 98832.

I buy einkorn flour online at www.tropicaltraditions.com.  If you get on the email list you can get occasional special offers, such as free shipping.  Also check out www.store.jovialfoods.com for a variety of einkorn products, some of which I am blessed to have local access.

And remember in Matthew 4:4, Yahshua answered the Evil One with these words, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh.”

HalleluYah!

by: Lora Wilson

Clean Cuisine – Apples

Braeburn, Pippin, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Cortland …. names of cities or perhaps fictional characters?  No, these are only a few of the many varieties (over 7,000 in all) of that delicious fall fruit, the apple.  One of the most popular for eating out of hand is the Red Delicious, with Gala coming in close behind.  Baking aficionados tend to gravitate to the likes of Winesap,  Jonathan, or McIntosh  as these are more firm and will not get mushy with oven heat.  Whether you’re looking for a good baking apple or a juicy, scrumptious eating apple, or whether your taste runs the gamut from tart to sweet, know that this delicious fruit is very nutritious and versatile.

Apple Crisp

6-8 med. baking apples

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

Spread peeled, cored, and sliced apples into a lightly greased 8-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.   In separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon; crumble over apples.  Bake in 375˚ oven for 25 minutes.   Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

by: Debbie Wirl

Green Thumbs Up!

Are you ready for the garden?  Here in the Midwest, it may be too early to actually plant anything, but the cold months of winter are the perfect time to plan the garden.  Consider what you will plant, when it will be planted and where each herb, vegetable and flower will be located.  Make out a map of the garden before heading out to dig in the dirt and keep three important gardening techniques in mind:  rotation, companion and successive planting.

Rotation means simply to rotate your crops – do not plant the same thing in the same spot as last year.  This discourages insect infestations. Little critters may be just waiting for more of the same delicacies that were served up last year in the same area.  While some plants will rob the soil of certain nutrients, other plants will add those, and other, nutrients back into the soil.  So, by rotating crops you will also be helping to keep the soil in good condition.

Companion planting is another method used to help prevent insect damage by planting mutually beneficial plants near each other.  Likewise, some plants should never be placed in close proximity to one another.  More specific information on neighborly plants is easily obtained on the Internet.  By mixing herbs, vegetables and flowers together as companions you can make an interesting, beautiful and organically functional garden.

Successive planting is the method whereby a second crop is planted in the same soil after a first crop has been harvested.  This second crop may be a repeat of the first crop, or an entirely different one altogether.  Cool weather crops, such as carrots, chard, lettuce, onions, potatoes and spinach, are planted early in the spring, mature early in the summer and may be planted again, some even multiple times, during the growing season.   Some vegetables, such as kale, green beans or turnips, do better when planted in the middle of the summer, maturing in the cool of the autumn.  With this in mind, I will plant turnips in the same spot formerly occupied by my harvested beets or green beans in the area where the squash had thrived.  By planting crops in succession, you can produce more in less garden space, almost doubling your harvest.

Following is a rough schedule of when to plant here in Mid- Missouri, or Climate Zone 5.  This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive and you can customize it to fit your own personal choices and timetable.

Very early (mid-March to early-April) – chard, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach

Early (April) – beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions

Mid (May) – corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, okra, parsnips, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, flowers

Late (mid-July) – beans, cabbage, carrots, chard, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips
Keep in mind that not everything in the garden will do well every year.  Some growing seasons can be downright heartbreaking, while the abundance of others can be almost overwhelming.  Despite good soil, special techniques and constant vigilance to weed and insect problems, the weather is always the determining factor in production.   So, whether the garden thrives this year or not, enjoy the outdoors, the exercise and the visual and culinary delights that Yahweh  provides.

by: Debbie Reed