Muslims living in Non-Muslim regions have more understanding of Halal than Muslims in Islamic countries. In Muslim society people expect everything is Halal in their markets. People need to understand the concept of Halal is not limited to blood, pork and animal slaughtering methods. Now, the food preference trends have been changed. Read-to-eat, partially cooked and caned products are replacing fresh commodities. These products contain different additives like colour, flavor, gelling agents etc. In international market these ingredients are available from both Halal and Non-Halal (Haram) sources. We have food items in our local markets from all parts of the globe. These products may contain Non-Halal ingredients.
In 2009, a book called Pig 05049 was published by Christien Meindertsma that proved pieces of one pig ended up in 185 separate products from toothpaste, Chewing gum to dough improver and desserts. The pig is considered Haram, or not to be consumed by Muslims. Apart from this, many additives are derived from insects and animal hides. Gelatin is the most common example of suspected additives. If it is derived from Halal animal which is slaughtered ritually then it is acceptable.
|Different Halal logos (Image: Muslim Village)|
This situation is alarming for Muslim consumers especially in Islamic states. They must adapt smart shopping, research and traceability skills. Every individual must read food labels before putting food items in the grocery cart. If Halal logo is present at the package then the product is safe for consumption. When the logo is absent one should read the ingredient list. But, absences of prohibited ingredients in the ingredients list do not assure Halal status of food. There might be traces of prohibited ingredients. Consumers should ask the product manufactures and suppliers to assure the Halal status of food.
Always remember, "We are what we eat".