Shell Fish

By joni55 Latest Reply 2010-04-20 20:53:46 -0500
Started 2010-04-17 12:04:59 -0500

I have a friend who is muslim. She won't eat pork products or even jello because it is made from the pig. I keep asking her if shell fish are any less disgusting because they are scavengers. I do eat pork sometimes because I like Italian sausage and am not sure if it is made from anything but pork. I know Jewish people will not eat shell fish for this reason. I am wondering what other people's opinions are on this, not only because of their faith but for health reasons. I am willing to listen to any reason, though.

19 replies

OMG-T2 2010-04-20 12:13:10 -0500 Report

I am Jewish and have therefore adopted the dietary laws that Mays covered in a previous post. However, as I converted to Judaism, I found the laws around the consumption of shellfish easiest to follow since I detest most shellfish and always have. Mollusks and shrimp were a snap to give up, but I found it more difficult to give up lobster and crab because I occasionally found them pretty tasty!

A lot of dietary guidelines in various cultures/religions come from often odd or antiquated practices - or lack thereof. For example, there have been suggestions that some dietary laws sprang from the habitats that animals have been kept in all the way through to the ways in which perishable foodstuffs were stored, or perhaps were not adequately stored. I have a very unpopular view on what the Jewish admonition against pork is about, but I don't generally share it as it usually hacks people off real good! LOL!

OK, but aside from my religious leanings as a Jew, I probably wouldn't eat too much shellfish even if I liked it, for health reasons in particular…too many stories of tainted shellfish causing all sorts of nasty problems and even death in people. I guess I would just prefer to reduce my chances of potential problems. But, again, that's easy for me to say since I don't enjoy shellfish as some other folks do. Ooo, but I also really used to like calamari and abalone! LOL!

I am of course willing to concede that there are probably multitudinous benefits from shellfish for diabetics (as long as the stuff isn't battered/fried), but I'm never going to know about that as I just stick with the allowed varieties of fish/seafood.

But I don't eat gefilte fish…EVER!

joni55 2010-04-20 15:46:51 -0500 Report

I don't even like what gefilte fish looks like. I don't know if I could even try it because of that.

I don't eat much shell fish, just fried clams (when I go out and that isn't often LOL) and lobster, also when I can get it. I am wondering also about the cholesterol. I have heard it is high in shell fish. If figures, the calorie count is real low. LOL

Thank you so much for your input.

My friend has told me just about every disgusting story she can think of about pigs. I just love Italian sausage though. Sniff, sniff.

Another friend was telling me that chickens eat their own fecies. So…Maybe I should become a vegetarian. But, then I worked in a nut shop and I know that if nuts are in the heat, bugs start coming out of them.

Zimoss 2010-04-20 02:38:09 -0500 Report

I am not really understanding your post… it appears like you are asking why a person of a specific faith doesn't eat a certain food…but later you state you are asking for health reasons.

If a person makes a choice motivated by religion to not eat a food — it would make no difference if it is healthy or not, to them it is again their traditions.

I agree with May's first post… respect their traditions regardless if you agree with them or not.

now if you are asking about if it is healthy to eat certain foods/ animals…that is different and can be argued either way a hundred times over…so my advice to you would be to do your own research and make a decision YOU are comfortable with.

and for the record I know people who are jewish and they eat whatever they want regardless if its kosher or not… its their personal choice :)

joni55 2010-04-20 11:03:22 -0500 Report

I do respect the traditions of different faiths and cultures very much. I know that in the Bible there are reasons why pork, for example is bad. I am just wondering what is behind there beliefs. I am not at all criticizing them. It could be information that I might want to use for my own reasons. Please know, I am not about preaching or bashing other people's beliefs. I believe that my life is testimony enough for my faith.

Zimoss 2010-04-20 16:54:35 -0500 Report

I am sorry…but I think you missed my point here. (the following examples are meant to be humorous and to illustrate a point— not offend)

The point I was trying to make is that there may not be a "valid" reason why a particular faith doesn't eat a food. (ie. Jewish people not eating pork)— but since it is a matter of religious faith it doesn't really matter either way… if a person is following their faith then it is important enough to know it is prohibited — regardless of the origin of the prohibition. Since we weren't around when the Bible/ Koh'ran was written we may never truly know the reasons why.

Now lets imagine…

For all we know one of the Jewish prophets from the biblical days just didn't like pork — or maybe Abraham got a bad case of food poisoning from some left over roasted pig so he decided to make it a prohibited food ;)
— maybe The Prophet Mohamed was allergic to shellfish — or again went to an inn that served him some shellfish that had been left out overnight and he got a little sick ;)
— Catholics eating fish on Fridays during Lent — as far as I know there is no such directive against eating meat on Fridays in the bible, yet millions of Catholics do just that every year ;)

Another example might be myself…I am LDS (mormon— see for more info)
We don't drink alcohol - at all (well obvious exception I just thought of is medical uses…like in cough syrup).

When recent studies came out praising red wine as contributing to your health and all of its various benefits — I still don't drink red wine BECAUSE of my religion and faith in it — not because someone sat down and explained to me why there was a prohibition to drinking alcohol.

There might not be a "burning bush" that tells you the will of God, but if you believe in a specific faith…follow their custom or not it really is a personal choice between You and YOUR God.

joni55 2010-04-20 17:58:59 -0500 Report

I am a born-again Christian and my faith has no dietary restrictions. Mine are self-imposed. About a year ago, I went to visit a friend who I used to tease because she was a health food phanatic and into vitamins. Well, when I went to see her, I saw how she had so much more energy than me. That was a wakeup call for me. I cut out all canned food, except for maybe Cream of Mushroom Soup and canned mandarin oranges, which I have since switched to jars. I thought I was doing okay, but a few weeks ago, I found Diabetic Connect. I was sick at the time and my blood sugar was 89-90. I thought that was low, but John reassured me that that was where it was SUPPOSED to be. My doctor never told me that. That was another wakeup call that I needed to further revise my eating habits and I have been switching to whole wheat pasta and brown rice. I have been feeling real good and as a benefit, I have also lost 22 pounds. I am just looking for people who have more wisdom than me to tell me if I need to further revise my eating habits. I feel like God has given me a second chance. I have also come off of many of my meds, as I no longer need them.

I do so appreciate the input I have gotten.

MAYS 2010-04-20 18:13:35 -0500 Report

A willingness to learn which we don't know or understand but are willing to makes us, as humans, exceptional in our own right, we all misunderstand written words due to how we interpret that of which we read, although as it was or is being written, there was no disrespect intended.

This site is much more than we could have ever imagined, in a good way !

~ Mays ~

joni55 2010-04-20 20:53:46 -0500 Report

No disrespect taken. I love this site. I was just asking my neighbor about something else about Islam. I asked her why the times of prayer at the times they are. She didn't know but is going to ask. We both love to learn. I will never change my faith, but I am fascinated by different trivia about things.

MAYS 2010-04-17 13:08:36 -0500 Report

Please respect and honor one's religious dietary laws and preferences at all times even if they differ from yours religiously and\or culturally.

Most of the dietary laws for Jews and Muslims are similar in many aspects, in the Jewish religion it's called Kashrut, in Islam it's called Halal.

The Islamic dietary laws (Halal) and the Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut) are both quite detailed, and contain both points of similarity and discord. While both are dietary laws from Abrahamic religions, they have different roots: an explanation of the Islamic code of law found in the Qur'an and a Jewish code of laws found in Leviticus.

Pigs and swine (bovine) are considered unclean in both religions and are not used or accepted as a means of food for human consumption.

Kashrut states that kosher aquatic animals must have scales and fins. Some Muslims (mostly the Shi'ites) also believe that only fish with scales and fins are Halal. However, according to Jewish oral law all fish that have scales have fins, thus making all fish with scales kosher.

Gelatin is only permissible if it comes from a permissible animal (usually kosher gelatin comes from the bones of kosher fish, or it is vegan).

Here are some links of reference :

To each their own, respect should be given as we all
are different and have different religious and cultural beliefs.

~ Mays ~

joni55 2010-04-17 18:04:06 -0500 Report

I do highly respect the food regulations of other people's religions. I am just searching for information on the health benefits. I have been stearing away from pork, mainly because I do not feel it is healthy. I just am not sure about shell fish. It is not one of my favorites. But, I do like fried clams from time to time. I realize that frying is not the best for cooking, but I do enjoy it when I eat out once in awhile. I just figure different religions have a reason for their dietary rules, and I would like to hear them, as it may change my views on it as well. I find their opinions very enlightening. It was not my intent to offend anyone. I just saw an inconsistency in my neighbor's diet. She is new to her faith though and is still feeling her way around. When she learns something, so do I.

joni55 2010-04-17 18:08:22 -0500 Report

My neighbor finds it helpful when I ask questions because, very often, she will have the same questions. Than you for your reply.

joni55 2010-04-17 18:14:49 -0500 Report

I just told my neighbor about the jello. Neither of us knew they had kosher. She says she will look for it. Thank you!

joni55 2010-04-17 20:47:36 -0500 Report

Thank you Mays! I printed out the page for the Islamic rules for dietary. She was a little hesitant at first because she only takes information that comes from the mosque. But, I told her that it was from the Qu'ran, so she took it. I believe she will look at it.

joni55 2010-04-17 20:52:22 -0500 Report

I just checked it out and I don't have time to really look at it now, but I will probably tomorrow. Thanks again! You are so helpful.

MAYS 2010-04-17 18:24:15 -0500 Report

I apologize if I have offended you, that was not my intent, nor was I implying any disrespect on your behalf religiously.

I understand your learning curiosity and I applaud it respectfully, learning is a lifelong process that should be embraced by all, here is some informative links to the subject of seafood and shellfish and it's nutritional benefits :

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

~ Mays ~

joni55 2010-04-17 19:06:05 -0500 Report

I was definitely not offended. I was just concerned that I may have offended you. Thank your for your response. Please be assured I will not use this site and a sounding board for my faith. I feel my life tells it all. I will tell my story and will answer questions but I am not about preaching. Thank you for the information.

My neighbor and I are the best of friends. We may be far from on the same track with our beliefs, but we are still friends and try to stay away from the discussion of religious beliefs.

MAYS 2010-04-17 19:14:09 -0500 Report

Beautiful and well stated, you are a true friend and very well loved and respected, there is and was no offense taken on my behalf.

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