(Flickr/Robyn Lee)

Half of all food sold in U.S. supermarkets today is certified as kosher, according to some estimates. Depending on who’s doing the certifying, that means not just that milk and meat haven’t mixed, but potentially also that the food was handled only by certain people, that animals and workers were treated humanely, and that tiny insects have not made their way into the food’s crevices (consumers of broccoli, beware!), among other things. Journalist Sue Fishkoff spent the past few years studying the vast and expanding world of kosher food. She talked to manufacturers, mashgichim (who give kosher certification), rabbis, restaurateurs, and home cooks, all committed to adhering to Jewish dietary laws as variously interpreted. She’s gathered her findings in a new book, Kosher Nation, and she joined Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss who’s eating kosher these days, what makes a good mashgiach, and about how her research and writing changed her own approach to food. [Running time: 15:02]