Why is honey kosher?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “why is honey kosher,” and discuss whether pure honey needs to be kosher, and should the bees make honey non-kosher.

Why is honey kosher?

Honey is kosher because it is considered a fruit product. The Jewish dietary laws (called kashrut) prohibit anything made from milk and meat that has been cooked together and anything that has meat or milk in it. Honey does not have milk or meat, so it is kosher.

When it comes to the Jewish dietary laws, the key issue is whether or not an organism has been prepared according to kosher laws. Although some animals are not kosher, honey is considered to be a by-product of a kosher animal (the bee), and therefore, it can be eaten by those seeking to follow Kosher laws. 

The reason that honey is considered acceptable is that it’s produced without harm or exploitation of the bee.

Honey is kosher, but not because it’s considered a “meat” or “dairy” product. It’s kosher because it’s naturally produced by an animal and can’t be made without the bodily process of an animal.

All honey is kosher, as long as its production doesn’t involve any non-kosher substances, like gelatin or beeswax.

What is kosher honey?

Kosher honey is honey that has been produced in accordance with the rules of kashrut. This means that the honey is produced and handled in a manner that meets the requirements of Jewish law.

Why is bee honey still kosher?

Honey, which is made by bees, is still considered kosher. However, there are a few caveats.

Firstly, honey must be pure and unadulterated. That means it must not be mixed with any non-kosher ingredients, such as gelatin or other animal products. Additionally, honey must not be cooked with any non-kosher ingredients. 

Secondly, if the manufacturer of the honey also handles non-kosher ingredients in the same factory, rabbis may consider that honey to not be kosher. The reason for this is that cross-contamination of flavors can happen and render the kosher substance not kosher anymore.

Additionally, some people take issue with whether bee honey is technically kosher or not because it’s a product of an animal that was never slaughtered in a kosher fashion. While the issue is certainly up for debate, many rabbis hold that bee honey is still kosher because of the process of making it takes place outside of the bee’s body.

Should the bees make honey non-kosher? 

No, the bees should not make honey non-kosher.

In the last few years, there has been a huge upswing in the number of food products that are labeled “kosher.” The popularity of kosher foods is so great that it makes sense to consider whether the bees should produce non-kosher honey.

Bees are not Jewish and do not adhere to Jewish dietary laws. What’s more, when they make honey, they have no idea what they’re doing or even that they’re making anything edible at all. So, if bees aren’t even aware of how their actions impact the world, why would we bother making sure that their product aligns with certain religious dietary laws?

Some might argue that honey is a byproduct of bees’ natural processes, but the same could be said for milk. Milk is a byproduct of cows and sheep, but it does not come from them naturally, it is produced as a result of human intervention. It would be ludicrous to claim that milk is not kosher because it comes from a cow or sheep.

While there may be some potential for confusion about this issue in the future, we believe that bees should continue producing honey without giving any thought to kosher standards.

What is non-kosher honey?

Non-kosher honey is honey that has been produced by bees that have come into contact with any of the following:

  • Beeswax from a non-kosher animal.
  • Honeydew is the result of a bee coming into contact with sap from a certain tree, according to Jewish law.

Does pure honey need to be kosher?

Honey does not need to be kosher, although it is often produced with kosher methods. Honey is not considered a food item in Jewish tradition, as it comes from bees and not plants. Bees are also considered impure insects in Jewish tradition.

In order for products to be kosher, they must come from a kosher animal or plant that has been processed in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. Plant products must also not be processed alongside any animal products, even if those animals are themselves kosher.

Honey is not considered a food item by the Jewish tradition, as it is derived from bees, which are non-kosher animals. As such, honey would not need to be processed according to any dietary rules in order to be consumed by Jews. This means that honey could legally be made in a factory that also produces dairy products and still is considered kosher.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “why is honey kosher,” and other questions related to the subject, such as does pure honey need to be kosher, and should the bees make honey non-kosher.

Citations

https://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/624/do-bee-dont-bee/#:~:text=The%20Gemara3%20 explains%20that,and%20is%20transformed%20into%20honey.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/712032/jewish/Why-Is-Honey-Kosher.htm

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.