Kosher food is not a style of cooking, but rather food that has met the definition, preparation and consumption rules presented in the Kashrut. Chinese food can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law.
While there is no direction provided by Jewish law that animals must keep kosher, their owners may want to extend to them the benefits of a kosher diet, which is prepared under the most sanitary of conditions and is believed to provide the body with a more easily digested regimen of nutrition, specifically by separating dairy and meat. Kosher pet food allows pets to enjoy the same standards of nutrition as their owners.
On a practical level, supplying the pet with kosher food for the Jewish holiday of Passover, when the rules are heightened to entirely exclude leavened bread, or anything made from the five major grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats), means that the cat or dog can be fed at home, with the family, without conflicting with the week-long prohibition.
Kosher households use only kosher food in their preparation and eat from any of the three acceptable categories of meat, dairy or pareve (neutral, neither dairy nor meat), as identified and defined by Jewish law, but without ever mixing meat and dairy. This strict division must be followed from the very beginning of the processing cycle, for example, meat cannot come from a factory that produces dairy, and vice versa. Also, this rule must be maintained through preparation, using an entirely separate set of cookware, utensils and dishes; and consumption, with appropriate order of and time between consumption.
To qualify the food as kosher for animals, the companies that now provide kosher kibble adhere to the strict separation of meat and dairy. This does not make the pet food kosher for human consumption, and in a kosher household, the animal's dish would have to be washed in a bathroom or laundry room sink, separate from the kosher supplies in the kitchen, advises Rabbi Joseph Landa of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and consultant to Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company, which provides kosher pet food.
Striving to close that gap is Wagatha's Vermont-made organic dog treats. Wagatha produces dog treats that are USDA-certified organic, kosher, and made with 100% human grade ingredients, boasts co-founder and biscuit-baker Norman Levitz, who personally samples his product, and encourages customers to enjoy a nibble on their dog's nosh, "because we believe that your pet should eat as well as you do."
Levitz, a professionally-trained chef, and his partner Neil Reilly, established Wagatha's "to offer the best. The biggest thing is that because our standards are so high, our product is really of a high quality," Levitz explains, "and if you care about your pet's nutrition, this is a direction you should be leaning."
Why kosher? "We wanted to be 100% organic. I don't like grey areas. The motivation for the kosher aspect is we did not want any barriers for someone to have a reason not to bring the product into the household."
Additionally, a percentage of the company's profits are donated to charitable causes, so baking, selling and even buying these treats can be a mitzvah (an act of kindness or a good deed). Enjoy!