18.5.08

Halal Food


All right.. give up the Ham!! Not Halal!

This is a post for all my Muslim mates out there!

According to reports, the Halal market is growing and it has potential in the non-Muslim market too.

Here's the article link if you are interested to read about it.

From various sources, Islam is the largest religion on Earth presently. Surpassing Christianity. This is a good move for any food business to look into the possibility moving into the Halal market like MacDonald's in Singapore. The whole process of getting Halal certification is stringent and it may involve the purchase of new equipment if the old equipment has been used to cook pork products.

Personally, I think Halal meat tastes better as it requires all the blood to be drained out of the animal. Killing is done more humanely too. My restaurant had switched from non-Halal beef to Halal ones and it only has minimal smell of beef (that I cannot stand in most beef products). Try it for yourself to see the difference!

For me, giving up all forms of pork and lard products may be hard but not an impossibility.

There is a point that I wish to raise here. I have encountered various Muslim friends who told me that Vegetarian products are not Halal. This I find totally absurd. To qualify as Vegetarian food products, there should not be any traces of meat in it. And even fish or seafood! Therefore, there isn't any Pork or Lard present in Vegetarian products. So we can infer it should be Halal?? Please someone tell me otherwise and prove your stand that Vegetarian food is not Halal!

What is your view on Halal products? Do you support it?



8 comments:

Jasmine Shanea said...

Wow... I feel like we have telepathy! I just came back from Vivocity and had a halal western meal at the restuarant called 'Fig & Olives' with my hubby and his 'gay' partner. lol. Really decent food and I love their warm brownie with ice cream. *slurp* Always love a good halal place to eat, esp when I have my Muslim friends with me. :p

C K said...

Am not an expert on Halal food but I think most if not all major fast food chains in Singapore has converted to Halal.

I've heard (but not yet confirmed) that meat prepared using Halal method is not freshly clean and frozen thus may not be as fresh. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally, I've got no preference for Halal food as I can't really taste the difference. :)

SheR. said...

>> Hello Jasmine! The name of the restaurant sounds very middle eastern.. ??

I don't mind Halal or not. They taste good, they deserve a place on the culinary pedestal of Good Food.


>> Hi hi CK!
Thanks for all the info. I didn't know that Halal meat is not fresh??? My restaurant always get its fresh beef supplies. Not frozen. That I'll have to ask around.

Oh I can taste the difference only in beef. Chicken.. the same. Probably cos I can't stand the "beefiness" in the meat??

Syari said...

HI Sher, I believe when they say the vegetarian products are not halal is due to the handling or the process. You know like when you cook pork using a pot, you wash the pot,then you cook some vegetables in it, it automatically becomes non halal because it's contaminated. I cannot be to concern with that since I lived with my parents in law for some time and even father's side of the family are non muslims.

But for me if there are more halal food, that would be great. Since the non muslims are not concern about what is halal or not. With halal products on the market, both the non-muslims and muslims would be able to enjoy and I believe it is more profitable for those who sell them. Don't you think?

SheR. said...

Hi Syari. That's the whole point why I brought up the difference between Vegetarian and Halal.

To qualify as a vegetarian meal, especially for buddhists, all the kitchen must be 100% (and I mean 100%) free from ANY meat!

So Halal food should be a subset of Vegetarian! Not the other way round. Cos it'll be absurd otherwise!

Profitable or not. I'm not sure. For merchants, they are just more concerned about capturing a bigger market.

Syari said...

I guess more profitable because both non-muslims and muslims can be their customers. But I believe more non-muslims prefer pork than other meat. Well, at least the hungarians do.

nur said...

Hi! Landed on your page by chance and found your question intriguing. :D

Vegetarian food can of course be consumed by Muslims since it should not contain any traces of meat. However, one circumstance where Vegetarian food is not halal is when alcohol is used as one of the ingredients. From my humble knowledge of vegetarian food, vegetarians do allow alcohol such as wine in their dietary practices.

Some chocolates for example are non-Halal as they contain alcohol. Even the smallest amount of alcohol is forbidden for Muslims. Some chocolates on the other hand is non-Halal as they contain gelatine derived from animal bones and ligaments. So for gelatine, although not the meat is being used, the animal still need to be slaughtered in the Islamic way. There are many candies which has plant gelatine instead, and if there's no alcohol in it, of course it can be eaten by Muslims. :D

Thus "no pork, no lard" signs which are common in many shops nowadays should not be assumed to be serving Halal food. Halal does not just mean the absence of pork. But it also depends on the slaughtering of the animal, the absence of alcohol, the handling of the food, such as utensils cannot have any prior contact with non-halal items. Even if it has been washed with water and bleach millions of times, it still cannot be used for preparation of Halal food.

Oh and also, pork is not the only non-halal meat. Animals which can live on both land and water for prolonged periods of time like frogs are not halal. Animals with claws and use claws to prey, or carnivorous animals like sharks, lions are also non-halal. Animals that were dead prior to slaughtering are also non-halal.

There's still more types of food that can be non-Halal if u really want to delve into the topic.

Halal is not a simple issue huh... But ultimately, "halal-ness" is to ensure the purity, safety and the cleanliness of the food we consume. To make it easy for me, so I can eat in peace, I consume from eateries that has the proper halal certificate from MUIS. They've done the checking for us. ;)

Hope it's not too much. :D

SheR. said...

Hello Nur!
Thanks for the long and very informative explanation of what is Halal food.

I think Halal and Vegetarian foods are often misunderstood and not many are sure what should qualifies in those two categories.

In the strictest sense of the word Vegetarian, being one referred in Buddhism, it should not contain any food or substance that can provoke emotions or desires of any sort. A vague concept.

Let me explain. That includes food that can influence our emotions or desires. Meats, spices and seasonings. Of course that includes Alcohol. That is why Vegetarian Buddhists prepare very bland food with minimal seasoning. And addition of onions, garlic or chillies are prohibited.

Just like Halal food is influenced by religion beliefs. Vegetarian food should also fall into such a strict category and not misused. However, it is one's belief that guides us in Buddhism. The level of how strict we wish to follow Buddha's teachings is up to the individual.

With this point, I rest my case :)