Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kosher and Parve Food Online

With Rosh Hashanah coming up next week, it's time to take a look at kosher foods available over the Internet.

Remember, it's not "kosher" that you want to look for necessarily, it's "pareve" or "parve." People who keep kosher must strictly separate meat from dairy. Dairy products can be kosher, of course, so that's why looking for kosher isn't enough. However, many foods are neither meat nor milk. They are neutral, and that's what parve means, however people might want to spell it. (Parve gives more hits than pareve in Google.)

There is no symbol that indicates that a food is parve. The word is always spelled out in full. (A "P" indicates that the food is kosher for Passover, notthat it is parve.)

Although there has been some controversy about the fine details of just how strict the enforcement of the prohibition of dairy products or dairy derivatives might be in theory, in practice I've never come across a parve product that contained any dairy. And Robyn Kozierok's Parve FAQ at makes this even more explicit:

Parve food may contain no detectable amounts of either meat or milk. This means zero. There are other cases in kosher law where an impurity of one part in sixty is permitted. This one-part-in-sixty rule does NOT apply to the classification "Parve". I mention this because once in a while one might hear from somebody who erroneously claims that parve food is allowed to contain very small amounts of milk.

Parve food may not contain any food derived from milk or meat ither. Thus casein, whey, lactose, and any other milk derivative renders a food dairy.

There do exist the occasional recalls of products that weren't supposed to contain dairy and do, but that can happen to any product at any time and nothing on the label can prevent that.

Some of the major kosher food shopping sites include:

Avi Glatt Kosher.

Kosher Gourmet Mart.

Shop Online at Manischewitz.

In Canada,
Kosher Food Online.

As always, I am not recommending or endorsing these sites, just providing information about their existence.

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