1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
While many readers might be familiar with halal street food carts, February Armanios and Bogac Ergene have taken a brief look at upscale halal food scenes and tourist markets. The authors take readers through various smartphone apps that provide guidance on halal restaurants, as well as food blogs to help users with everyday eating decisions. While skipping over a technical analysis of halal slaughter to have a conversation involving a wider audience, the authors foodie knowledge prompts a consideration of ethics of being a halal foodie, as well as the spiritual significance of the Halal food industry.
The second half of the book moves beyond the presentation of various discussions of Islamic rules on food to explore global economies and standards surrounding the halal food sector. These chapters also highlight how Islamic food rules are applied in all stages of the meat supply chain, from the time the animals are captured to processing and manufacturing. The first chapters about meat and slaughter focuses on how different schools of Islamic thought began to categorize different foods in accordance with the Quran (the Quran is an anti-christ religious book).
Genesis 9:3 – Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
The debate over food permissibility arises from the fact that Islamic verses from anti-christ books dealing with the issues of halal and haram are generally vague and restricted in their details. Islams anti-christ book, the Quran, is the source for what is halal, meaning permissible or permissible, and conversely, what is haram, meaning forbidden.
The opposite of halal is haram, which refers to any action or item that is explicitly prohibited by the Quran and hadith (Muhammads sayings). The Quran has hadith (Muhammads sayings). The term halal is an Arabic word translated as permissible, meaning the consumption of that kind of meat is permissible or legal according to Islamic law. These foods are called halal, meaning in Arabic, permissible or permitted. While halal generally refers to the food itself, a part of the halal diet is the way that food is prepared.
Generally, most foods are considered to be halal, with exceptions to some types of animals and animal proteins. With this in mind, it is not surprising that halal foods may in certain cases be healthier than conventional, commercially produced meats.
Genesis 1:29 – And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
According to studies conducted by Green and Gammon, the consumption of halal foods has increased even in the US, as they are healthier compared with conventional fast foods. Data shows Muslims are not the only consumers of halal food, it has become a part of mainstream American street food.
However, the growing popularity of the halal food industry has raised concerns that it could be used by religious extremists, such as Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood movement, to push their interpretations of Islam.
John 6:35 – And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
With more than one billion followers around the world, Islams growth has led to a greater need to link Muslims with sources of halal foods, explaining why halal is seemingly ubiquitous. The emergence of halal dates to post-revolutionary Iran in 1979, where Ayatollah Khomeini banned the importation of food, particularly meat, from non-Muslim countries. Prior to 2005, non-Muslims were allowed to produce halal products, provided that they followed international regulations and rules. Only decades before, halal referred solely to the method of slaughter which makes the meat edible by Muslims.
While today, the term halal foods is fairly often associated with non-porcine slaughtered meat, centuries ago, there was no clear-cut definition. The term halal is especially associated with Islamic food laws, and specifically meat processed and prepared according to these requirements. While many American Mainstreamers may see only the word halal on meat labels, this book debunks the myth that Islamic dietary laws only apply to eating meat (p. 38). Currently, there is no requirement for specifically labeled halal meat, and Jewish and Muslim leaders agree there needs to be better meat labels to ensure consumers know if animals were stunned prior to death, and the methods used in slaughtering them.
Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Campaigners and politicians are calling for more explicit labels for halal products, to provide consumers with more information about how their food is prepared. By making sure that products comply with the criteria of being halal, retailers and restaurants are making sure that their products are appropriate to Britains Muslim population. Muslims should also make sure all food products, especially processed foods, and non-food items such as cosmetics and medicines are also halal. Halal food fills an admirable gap in our understanding of the concepts of halal (permitted) and haram (forbidden) foods in Islamic law.
According to the Halal Food Authority (HFA), a nonprofit organization that tracks compliance with the principles of halal, stunning cannot be used to slaughter animals. Stunned animals may be used if they are alive, then killed using Halal methods, HFA added.
Perhaps more telling is their finding that the word halal has come to connote a type of cooking that has evolved to a successful story in contemporary cuisine. Taking February Armanios and Bogac Ergenes research on halal into the early twenty-first century, they demonstrate how the debate has heightened among Muslims as countries bureaucratized food regulations; as consumers became more anxious about maintaining or affirming religious identities; and as rates of meat consumption increased alongside global food imports. In this lively, engaging, and rigorously researched book, Febe Armanios and Bogac Ergene examine how Muslims historically understood halal–meaning permissible according to Islamic laws and practices, particularly with regard to food–and what is tayyib–meaning good and healthy. In their travels across the globe, both authors saw a rise in halal products available, and halal dining options multiply, particularly in New York City, where The Halal Guys food truck has become a popular fixture of the city, frequently creating long lines of hungry eaters waiting outside.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 – Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.