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Processed foods with animal-based ingredients
Hello Rabbi's, please can I ask a question relating to the prohibition of eating meat taken from the limb of a living animal. Would this include animal derivatives such as gelatin if taken under the same circumstances? Thank you,
1. If there is less than a 50% chance that the animal-based derivative was from parts removed from a living animal, it's permitted because of the doubt. See "The Divine Code," Part 4, ch. 6.

2. The animal-based derivative in gelatin is collagen, which is extracted by processing skin, hides, bones, and/or connective tissues (sinews). A person is liable to punishment for knowingly eating edible skin removed from a live animal, but not for hides, bones or sinews (although it's still forbidden if one *knows* they were removed from a live animal). See "The Divine Code," Part 4, ch. 2.
Dear Dr. Shulman,

To clarify I would like to ask how I can apply this practically. I'm not sure what you mean by less than 50% chance, for example when buying food, should I able to identify all animal based derivatives listed in the ingredients? Therefore all E numbers such as gelatine which is written as E441, or animal derived amino acids such as albumin. I would feel that this information would make the likelihood of it having been removed from the limb of a living animal quite possible, ( ie 50% or more) as the mainstream suppliers do not use halal or kosher slaughterhouses.
Thanks very much,

I can say from the outset that the chance is very unlikely (much less than 50%), so there should be no problem. However, if you wish to investigate this in order to convince yourself, I would suggest that you do the research for a few representative products to get clear verification.

First you will need to contact the manufacturer of the product you buy from the store, and ask them from which company or companies they purchase the animal-based ingredients. Since those ingredients are processed, you will need to contact all the companies in the production chain until you find out the possible slaughterhouse locations where the animals are slaughtered.

Then you would need to investigate whether the particular slaughterhouse is subject to any governmental or voluntary regulations, and inspections/monitoring, for humane-slaughter practices. The other information to request is:
- the slaughtering method
- whether or not the slaughtered animal is bled out (or the heart is removed) before the removal of body parts that will be sold for processing into food ingredients
- and the average or targeted time interval between the act of slaughtering and the removal of those body parts.

From that information, it's possible to determine whether or not 50% or more of the slaughtered animals have their heart permanently stopped from beating when the body parts to be sold for food products are removed from the animal. (Residual minor quivering of the heart muscles can occur after the animal's death, but that does not count as the type of beating that actually pumps blood.)

If you do decide to make this investigation, we will be greatly appreciative if you will record and document everything in your entire investigation, and send it to Ask Noah for review and publication!
Shalom Mr. Schulman and friends,
Would be the case of a person, Bnei Noach, choose to eat only kosher food if it has a financial position to do so, and so rejecting all doubt?
The Torah's dietary commandment for Gentiles prohibits knowingly eating meat that was removed from a living animal. The concept for Gentiles of going "beyond the letter of the Torah Law" for that Noahide commandment, but within the range of what is permitted for them by the Torah Law, is the optional practice of maintaining highly-strict observance by eating only kosher-certified meat. In practice, it is not necessary to be that strict, as the chances of random occurrences of forbidden meat from commercial sources is small (usually much less than 50%).

The other Jewish kosher dietary restrictions don't overlap with this issue.

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