In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2004 / 18 Teves, 5764

Holy Cow? Why there is no such thing as Meshuga Cow Disease

By Y. Elchonon

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Email this article | As America — indeed, much of the Western world — rushes to prevent further outbreaks of Mad Cow disease, Big Beef officials might spend a moment examining why there has yet to be a recorded instance of the malady inflicting the kosher meat supply.

Of all the food safety concerns raised by the discovery of Mad Cow disease two weeks ago, perhaps none is more focused than the questions about ground beef, the main ingredient for hamburger, a staple of many an American's diet.

Hamburger meat from the infected cow actually made its way into the distribution system before the Mad Cow diagnosis was confirmed, prompting a hamburger meat recall in eight Western states and the US territory of Guam.

As opposed to other cuts of meat which are generally identified as to their source of origin on the cow, most non-kosher hamburger meat sold in this country is combined from several animals, and different parts of those animals as well, some of which are much safer than others, with regard to Mad Cow disease. Scientists believe that the Mad Cow infection is harbored in the cow's nervous system, which has led to requirements on American meat plants to treat the brains and spinal cords of all slaughtered animals as unfit for human consumption. But there is still a problem, because cuts of meat taken from near a cow's spinal column might still be contaminated with nearby nerve tissue.

In terms of kosher cuts of meat, that would include standing rib roast, chuck or round steaks, as well as beef stock made from neck bones.

The risk is greater for those same cuts of meat from non-kosher slaughterhouses, because many of them use advanced machinery to take every piece of meat off the bone, right up to the spinal column, increasing the likelihood of having Mad Cow contaminated nerve tissue mixed in.

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Also, once infected, it doesn't matter how long the meat is cooked, because, unlike other food contaminations, such as E coli the prions that cause Mad Cow disease are not neutralized by cooking temperatures. Irradiation, another widely used method to decontaminate meat from other sources of infection, does not help make mad cow contaminated meat any safer.

Buying kosher meat does seem to be safer with regard to the Mad Cow threat. For starters, no downer cow too sick to walk on its own power would ever be slaughtered.

According to Rabbi Shalom Fishbane, Kashrus (kosher) Administrator for the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc), a "downer" cow is referred to in Jewish legal literature as a mesukenes, and would not be acceptable, according to current standards, as suitable for slaughtering.

But until the newly announced US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations forbidding it went into effect last week, 190,000 downer cows a year were slaughtered for their meat and allowed to enter the distribution system, with the only proviso being the removal of their brain and spinal column tissue. Kosher slaughtered cows, in contrast, are generally too young to exhibit Mad Cow symptoms, even if they have been exposed to the disease. Kosher slaughterhouses typically use cows between 18-24 months old, whereas the symptoms of Mad Cow disease do not generally appear until an infected cow is at least four or five years old.

Another potential Mad Cow risk factor not present in kosher slaughtered meat is the stunning of cows with a blow to the head, a practice now banned by the new USDA regulations. The fatal stunning blow to the animal's skull often winds splattering potentially infected brain matter throughout the animal's body, contaminating muscles and organs that would otherwise not pose a danger of spreading the Mad Cow infection.

Rabbi Fishbane notes the irony in the fact that in European countries where the legality of kosher slaughtered meat has been challenged, the complaint against it has been that it is less humane than stunning the cow. Now, it turns out that stunning cattle in non-kosher slaughterhouses is a major health hazard in its own right.

However, Rabbi Fishbane observes that common practice in kosher slaughterhouses further reduces the likelihood of mad cow infections.

He says that feedlot cattle, those most susceptible to contracting Mad Cow from contaminated feed, are generally less healthy than pasture-raised, grass-fed beef, which are never exposed to the Mad Cow threat. More of the healthier grass- fed animals are therefore found to be kosher after slaughter than feedlot raised cattle, by a ratio of about 2-1.

As a result, for strictly commercial reasons, kosher slaughterhouses generally prefer to use a higher percentage of the safer grass-fed beef than non-kosher slaughterhouses do, further reducing the Mad Cow risk to kosher consumers.

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Y. Elchonon is a reporter for Yated Ne'eman. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Yated Ne'eman