Cows moo-ve over: camel milk coming to Europe

July 8, 2010

Is Chalav Stam endangered?

The Talmud prohibited the consumption of unsupervised milk of gentile provenance, lest it contain an admixture of kosher and non kosher milk. However, as the codified halakhah also stretched the definition of supervision to include potential supervision (i.e. the Jewish supervisor sits behind a fence and if he would get up, he could see whether the non-Jew was milking a non-kosher animal, e.g. a camel or a mare), therefore, some authorities ruled that milk produced in a farms that have no none kosher animals to milk, is permissible.

Consequently, some Jewish communities have customarily allowed themselves to consume the milk on the general market, since non kosher animals are not customarily milked in Europe.

Now, however, that may be set to change. Reuters UK reports that:

European grocery shelves may soon be invaded by milk from that proverbial ship of the desert, the camel.

An animal famous for bad breath and ill humour might seem an unlikely source of liquid to lubricate a bowl of breakfast cereal or froth up a latte, but promoters from the United Arab Emirates say it is healthy — and almost like mother’s own.

The European Commission recently approved plans for screening camel milk, and will send an EU panel to inspect the UAE’s two dairy farms producing camel milk — Al Ain Dairy, with “Camelait,” and the Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products’ “Camelicious,” found in most UAE grocery stores. (hat tip: SBA)

Will the kosher consumer still be able to argue that milk on the general market is permissible? Read the rest of this entry »