15 Jan Kashruth Question of the Week
Cast iron cookware: Does it really need a hechsher?
Absolutely!: If it’s pure cast iron and it doesn’t have anything else on the pots or pans, then it doesn’t need a hechsher. But this has become a very popular question. There are cast iron pots that are sold that when the pots are made, there were certain oils or spices baked into the pots and pans that will be released as they’re used for cooking. This would certainly be an issue because we have to make sure the oils and spices that were baked in are Kosher. If they aren’t, there’s virtually no way to Kosher those pots and pans.
Pig gelatin for marshmallows and yogurt: Is it ok?
As far as kashrus is concerned, gelatins that come from pork are the worst type of gelatins. We would not use pig gelatin for any product that we certify. Gelatin that came from the bones or hide of any animal that isn’t kosher is also not acceptable. Gelation must be from a kosher animal, and when I say kosher, I don’t just mean a kosher type of animal. I mean an an animal that was slaughtered and is really, properly kosher. I get questions all the time about many foods, particularly about medication that is in a gel-cap form.
That’s a real issue and something to avoid. Beef gelatin is really not that common in the world of people who keep kosher. There is some kosher beef gelatin, but it’s less available and more expensive.
Kosher fish gelatin is what is most commonly used in kosher products.