For many Muslim grocery shoppers, a shifting definition of ‘halal’

Source: The Conversation

BY &


For Muslims, halal food follows certain rules proscribed by Islamic law. It usually pertains to ritual slaughter and abstention from certain items like pork, blood and alcohol.


But the interpretation of Islamic food traditions has often varied by time and place. In fact, food that was once prohibited, like caviar for Shiite Muslims, has since become accepted as halal.

While conducting research for our book, “Halal Food: A History,” we found that more and more Muslims are looking at ethical and health considerations while determining whether something is halal. Of course, ethical and healthy eating now occupies a significant niche within Western food culture, and many of these Muslims are based in North America and Europe. But increasingly – and like some Christians and Jews – they’re pointing to religious texts to support their choices.

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