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Amtrak's Kosher Food Option - Reviews? Comments?

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20th Century Rider

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Kosher law is complicated. MARC Rider has given a good sum-up that's clearer and more accurate than your short statement. I think that's the point.
Since you say it is 'clearer and more accurate' you can explain it to me... cause you're saying that you get it. I have no understanding of MARC Rider's criticism... especially when there are many variations to Kashruth.

According to "Jewish Virtual Library" ...

"Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods can and cannot be eaten and how those foods must be prepared. The word "Kashrut" comes from the Hebrew meaning fit, proper or correct.

The word "kosher," which describes food that meets the standards of kashrut, is also often used to describe ritual objects that are made in accordance with Jewish law and are fit for ritual use. Food that is not kosher is referred to as treif (literally torn).

Kosher is not a style of cooking and therefore there is no such thing as "kosher-style" food. Any kind of food - Chinese, Mexican, Indian, etc. - can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law. At the same time, traditionalJewish foods like knishes, bagels, blintzes and matzah ball soup can all be treif if not prepared in accordance with Jewish law."

Why Do Jews Observe the Laws of Kashrut?
Many modern Jews think that the laws of kashrut are simply primitive health regulations that have become obsolete with modern methods of food preparation. There is no question that some of the dietary laws have beneficial health effects. For example, the laws regarding kosher slaughter are so sanitary that kosher butchers and slaughterhouses are often exempted from USDA regulations.

However, health is not the main reason for Jewish dietary laws and in fact many of the laws of kashrut have no known connection with health. To the best of our modern scientific knowledge, there is no reason why camel or rabbit meat (both treif) is any less healthy than cow or goat meat. In addition, some of the health benefits derived from kashrut were not made obsolete by the refrigerator. For example, there is some evidence that eating meat and dairy together interferes with digestion, and no modern food preparation technique reproduces the health benefit of the kosher law of eating them separately.

The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify a reason for these laws but for an observant Jew there is no need for a reason - Jews show their belief and obedience to God by following the laws even though they do not know the specific reason.

In the book To Be a Jew, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin suggests that kashrut laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control. In addition, it elevates the simple act of eating into a religious ritual. The Jewish dinner table is often compared to the Temple altar in rabbinic literature.

The Fundamental Rules of Kashrut
Although the details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

1Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
2Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
3All blood must be drained from the meat or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
4Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
5Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
6Utensils that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
7Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
 

Mailliw

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Scranton, PA
Why are we complicating this so much, the Amtrak site has the Kosher Options listed under the Flex Dining Menus, and Food Facts has the nutritional data.
The Kosher options are far healthier than the regular Flex Dining entrees.


You just need to order them at least 72 hours ahead, and I would order earlier than that.

Ken
Thanks, I didn't know we're to find the actual items.
 

TrackWalker

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Several years ago I learned kosher meals were served on a flight I was going to take. I figured I would try it for a change. (had to pre-order)

Best reason to order it I found out is that you were served first before anyone else.
 

20th Century Rider

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Thanks, I didn't know we're to find the actual items.
When booking my trip for last January [later cancelled] I was able to choose any of the choices for breakfast... all are interchangeable. Also comes in two packets. When checking before train departs, be sure all are there! 😊
 

MARC Rider

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The Flex Beef has about twice as much cholesterol & sodium as the Kosher beef, and over four times the saturated fat!

This one Flex meal has 102% of the daily recommended sodium intake.
I find this observation amusing, because one of the rules of kashrut is that raw meat needs to be soaked and salted before it can be cooked. This is because of the biblical prohibition against eating blood (Genesis 9:4), and it was thought that salting the meat would purge the meat of its blood. Nowadays, this is done by the butcher before the meat is sold, and it's supposed to be well soaked and rinsed before and after, but I can say that I have purchased some very salty meat from kosher butchers during my lifetime. Generally, I omit adding salt to meat recipes when using kosher meat, or I'm very careful to taste and only add what's needed. So it's amusing that the non-kosher product is actually has more salt than the kosher product.
 

railiner

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Several years ago I learned kosher meals were served on a flight I was going to take. I figured I would try it for a change. (had to pre-order)

Best reason to order it I found out is that you were served first before anyone else.
Another reason to pre order a special meal, is simply to be assured that your choice (when available), doesn't run out before you're served...
 

willem

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Aug 17, 2014
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[...] check with dining car LSA to make sure they have been issued to the train!
When checking before train departs, be sure all are there!
You seem to be implying that the train staff will have time to correct the situation after a customer has had the opportunity to check. I'm certainly not saying you are wrong, but by the time I would be able to locate one of the dining car staff to confirm my meal is on board, I would expect it is too late for a missing meal to be loaded.
 

OBS

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You seem to be implying that the train staff will have time to correct the situation after a customer has had the opportunity to check. I'm certainly not saying you are wrong, but by the time I would be able to locate one of the dining car staff to confirm my meal is on board, I would expect it is too late for a missing meal to be loaded.
Based on my experience of obtaining missing meals for passengers, there is about 50% chance of problem being corrected.....YMMV...
 

20th Century Rider

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Where there is a will there is a way.....sometimes....
When boarding the Cardinal at CHI I noticed the fire alarm right outside my door chirping. Thinking I couldn't listen to this for a night and a day I told the SLC who scowled and said... if you take the battery out you'll be arrested... that would be a federal offense. Then I found the conductor and told him the same... stopped a maintenance and told him to replace the battery. He did and later the SLC apologized.

Where there's a will... there is a way!;)
 
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