Thursday, February 9, 2012

Food Labeling, Important for Parties, Guests and Selling

A few weeks ago, I was at a party in which these cookies were served.  I was overjoyed to see the very clear and noticeable "dairy" label.

By looking at them, you wouldn't have any idea that they are dairy.  There are many reasons that people should be warned about dairy and other ingredients.  One is allergies.  More and more people are discovering that their bodies just can't handle dairy, wheat, peanuts, other nuts, types of fish, nightshade vegetables, which includes paprika etc.  Chaviva's blog frequently posts about gluten-free food among a large variety of topics.  Food restrictions aren't just the concern of the "natural health" club.

Jewish Law for bids the cooking/eating of dairy and meat/poultry products together and requires a long waiting time after meat/poultry before eating dairy.  Hidden dairy is a real problem.  That's why many Torah observant Jews don't use any dairy in baking besides for a cheese cake.  Breads are supposed to be non-dairy, too, because dairy breads look exactly like their parve, non-dairy/meat versions.  In many countries in which milk/butter in those products are the norm, one has to be extra careful to check even when there's kosher certification.  Dairy can be kosher, but it's forbidden with or after meat/poultry meals.

A few years ago when my kids planned my husband's 60th birthday at a dairy restaurant, they specifically chose "grilled vegetables" to be part of the menu for the lactose intolerant (sensitive/allergic to dairy) guests.  When the party was over I was told by the management that I could take the left-over food home, since it was a buffet.  Most of the food was obviously dairy, and I asked if the grilled vegetables were baked in a dairy or parve oven. 

"They're not parve at all," I was told.  "The secret ingredient for their delicious taste is that we sprinkle some yellow cheese on before baking."

So that's a reminder that just because YOU MAY NEVER ADD DAIRY TO YOUR VERSION OF THE RECIPE, DOESN'T MEAN THAT OTHER PEOPLE COOK IT THE SAME WAY!

For health and religious reasons, we should never take anything for granted and should always do our utmost to investigate what's in the food we're being served.

2 comments:

Miriam said...

Batya, with Purim just around the corner, your posting was timely and excellent.

Whenever I give out baked goods I always label, not only dairy or pareve, but also if it contains peanut butter or any other type of nut.

The receiver of your baked goods will be grateful.

Shabbat Shalom
Miriam
http://miriamsrecipes.blogspot.com/
http://miriamswords.blogspot.com/

Batya said...

Miriam, thanks.
It's funny at work they usually buy a dairy cake for celebrations, and I work mostly night shifts. I eat fleishig before going to work and the "parties" are during the time when the two shifts are both in the store. So I always check and am very happy that there's no temptation to "try just a little piece."