The federal government has required all sorts of symbols and markings on the packaging of our food, many for our health and safety. But there is one symbol on quite a few of our most common food items that has little to do directly with general health or safety, and you just might not know what it means.
There is a symbol that appears on nearly 40 percent of the packaged food you buy at the grocery stores. Called the “Hechsher,” the marking is simply a circle with a capital “U” inside and it is a sure thing that you have food items marked with the Hechsher symbol in your home right now.
So what does the Hechsher signify? The symbol included on so many of the food items you may enjoy is the symbol that certifies that the item is kosher and conforms to the requirements of what’s known as halakha. The requirements for Hechsher compliance have generally been drawn from the Torah, the central religious reference of the Judaic tradition.
It is included on a wide range of food products including Oreos, Coca-Cola, Canada Dry, Cinnamon Chex, and other cereals. In some cases, even the 5 Hour Energy Drink is kosher. In some cases, kosher food items are said to be better for people who are allergic to dairy.
A Hechsher is also seen on numerous non-food items such as cleaning agents and disposable cutlery which come in contact with foods. The marking indicates that ingredients don’t contain any animal extracts or other prohibited substances.
So, next time you buy something at the grocery store, take a look. And take a look also at the short video with this post, as it explains more about the Hechsher — food for thought.
h/t: Business Insider