Meat, Milk, Parev?

{Angel} asked a pretty interesting question on my {previous post about kashrut}.

Quick question on baking – does combining milk and eggs and butter count as a dairy-protein combination, like a cheeseburger?

To answer this you first need to understand the definition of ‘milk’, ‘meat’ and ‘parev’.  I have taken the definitions from {Chabad.org}.  You also have to understand why we do not mix meat and milk in kashrut.

Why we don’t eat meat and milk together?

This dietary law is based on two verses in the Book of Exodus, which forbids “boiling a (kid) goat in its mother’s milk”.(Exodus 23:19 and Exodus 34:26) This prohibition is repeated in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 14:21).

Milk (Dairy or milchig)

All foods derived from or containing milk are considered dairy, or milchig (Yiddish). This includes milk, butter, yoghurt and all cheese — hard, soft and cream. Even a small amount of dairy in a food can cause the food to be considered dairy.

Meat (fleishig)

The category of meat includes meat, fowl and their by-products, such as bones, soup or gravy. Any food made with meat or fowl, or with meat or fowl products, is considered fleishig (Yiddish). Even a small amount of meat in a food can cause it to be fleishig. 

*Note that meat is considered protein by dieticians, but so are nuts, legumes, seeds and tofu which fall into the parev category.  

Parev (neutral) 

Foods that are neither meat nor dairy are called pareve. This means that they contain no meat or dairy derivatives, and have not been cooked or mixed with any meat or dairy foods.

Eggs, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, and juices in their natural, unprocessed state are common pareve foods. Other pareve foods include pasta, soft drinks, coffee and tea.

Chicken is meat, why are chicken eggs parev?

The prohibition mentioned in the Torah is to not mix meat (beef) with milk. This law was eventually extended to include fowl (chicken) as its meat can be confused with beef.

Eggs do not fall into this category as they cannot be mistaken for meat.

We also eat eggs before they have been fertilised and start to become chickens.  Therefore they are not a living creature.

So, to answer your question Angel, the cheese burger is forbidden because you are mixing a milk product, the cheese, with a meat product, the burger patty.  We are not looking at it as a dairy/protein issue, but rather as a milk/meat issue.   Since eggs are not considered meat, mixing them with milk in baking is allowed.

On that note though, if you made rolls with milk in them, you couldn’t use them as burger rolls since you would then be mixing milk, the rolls, with meat, the burger patty.

I hope this very long winded post has answered your question 🙂

4 Replies to “Meat, Milk, Parev?”

  1. It does indeed. Baking is fine – thats a win in my book!
    😀
    It must be really hard to eat out then, unless there are kosher restaurants?

    1. There are quite a few kosher restaurants in Jozi 🙂

      Some people are less strict and will eat dairy or vegetarian meals at a non kosher restaurant but refrain from eating meat and chicken.

      I personally eat most anything, I have stopped mixing meat and milk though and am leaning towards not eating meat or chicken out at all.

      Baby steps 🙂

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