Parve: Black and White, or Perhaps Shades of Gray?

Parve: Black and White, or Perhaps Shades of Gray?

We tend to look at Parve as binary, yes or no, however Parve actually has a number of gradations.

 

  • If all ingredients and utensils are Parve – the food is 100% Parve.
  • If all ingredients are Parve, but the production facility is either meat or dairy without protocols for maintaining Parve status – the food should not be eaten with the opposite type (dairy or meat), but you don’t have to consider yourself fleishig/milchig after eating the food.
  • If the food was fried in oil which had been used to fry meat or dairy, it takes on the characteristic (meat/dairy) of the oil. It is necessary to wait the customary period after eating this food.
  • If a sharp food such as an onion or horseradish or sharp pickle was cut or “speared” with a clean knife or fork that had been used for meat or dairy in the past the sharp food takes on the characteristic (meat/dairy) of the fork or knife. It is not necessary to wait the customary period after eating the sharp food.
  • If food was cooked in a clean pot that had been used for meat or dairy within the past 24 hours Sfardim consider it Parve while Ashkenazim consider it to have taken on the characteristic (meat or dairy) of the pot. It is not necessary to wait the customary period after eating the food.
  • If food was cooked in a clean pot that had been used for meat or dairy more than 24 hours ago everyone considers it completely Parve. Some people are stringent and try to avoid getting into this situation.    It is not necessary to wait the customary period after eating the food.
  • If medication which is swallowed contains lactose binder (this is common) – unless medically necessary it should not be taken with a meat meal, but rather afterward. Once the meal is finished it is not necessary to wait before taking the pill.

Foods should not be assumed to be Parve unless they carry a Parve designation or you have reliable information regarding their status.

As always you should follow the guidance of your own rabbi.