What Makes Halal Special
What is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Qur’an (the Muslim scripture). The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. These terms are commonly used in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials.
Pros to eating Halal
No growth hormones. Quality 100% halal meat shares its health benefits with those of organic meat. Halal is bound up with tayyib, a concept Islam takes very seriously. Tayyib, meaning ‘wholesome’, ensures animals are treated with maximum welfare. This means they should be free to graze and not be treated with antibiotics or hormones. Long-term exposure to growth hormones in our food can mean these substances accumulate in our bodies, with potential hormone-mimicking effects. While studies continue to research the full extent of the effects of these drugs on humans, it’s wise to steer clear of unnecessary chemicals.
No antibiotics. Antibiotics are commonly-used in meat production. There is a health risk attached to these too. BBC News has reported on the advice that farmers need to dramatically cut the amount of antibiotics used in agriculture for this reason. The main worry is that these antibiotics could lead to resistance of the drugs in humans (as well as antifungal and antiparasitic drugs), potentially leading to new ‘superbugs.’ Putting food into our systems that’s used to fatten meat animals is also thought to also pose a weight-gain risk to humans.
No preservatives. Some of the most notorious preservatives can trigger chemical changes that can bring about cancer-causing compounds and inhibit red blood cells from transporting oxygen throughout the body. Haloodies also doesn’t include any nasty (but sadly common) preservatives (E249/E250/E251/E252) in any of its fresh meat, unlike some of its competitors.
No pesticides. There are fewer synthetic pesticides involved in halal meat production. This ensures improved animal health and minimal environmental impact. Like antibiotics, pesticides used to produce chicken feed, for example, have been shown to transfer to the bird’s tissue and eggs, which is transferred in turn to us when eaten. In fattier meats any pesticides, hormones and other toxins concentrate more in the tissue (and can more easily lodge themselves in our fat tissues), so if you don’t normally eat halal, this is a particularly wise choice when opting for fattier cuts.
Grass-fed animals. In line with its free-range philosophy, halal meat focuses on grass-feeding. Grass-fed meat typically has higher concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fats, and lower concentrations of saturated fat overall. Omega-3 levels in grass-fed beef are approximately 50 percent higher than in non-halal, non-organic beef.
What are some of the common practices for making meat "Halal"?
The slaughterer must say the name of God before making the cut.
The name of God is said in order to emphasise the sanctity of life and that the animal is being killed for food with God’s consent.
The animal must be killed by cutting the throat with one continuous motion of a sharp knife
The spinal cord must not be cut.
Animals must be well treated before being killed.
Animals must not see other animals being killed.
The knife must not be sharpened in the animal’s presence.
The knife blade must be free of blemishes that might tear the wound.
The animal must not be in an uncomfortable position.
The animal must be allowed to bleed out and be completely dead before further processing.
Are there health benefits to eating Halal meat?
To start with, Halal food has low incidence rate when it comes to contamination and food poisoning. Muslims who prepare Halal food keep in mind the hygienic rules that have been set by their religion. Hence Halal food is safer to eat.
When the jugular vein is cut, the blood from the animal is drained out which assist in taking away all kinds of harmful substances from the meat. Blood comprises high levels of uric acid which can be quite damaging to the human body if consumed. Research suggests those animals killed through other methods, their meat consists of e-coli poisoning, bacteria and other harmful substances.
When an animal is sacrificed in the Halal way it keeps all the organs of the animal intact. What means is each organ loses blood as the blood is draining out. Any other method used when killing the animal can damage their organs and this would again mean that the organs would consist of contaminated blood.
Halal food being free from harmful and filthy substances is not just vital for the body but also for the mind. Our thoughts are impacted by the kind of food we eat. Gary L. Wenk stated in his article, ‘How does food affect our brain?’ “Almost everything you choose to consume will directly or indirectly affect your brain.” So imagine eating meat which comprises of blood, bacteria and other harmful substances and its impact on our thoughts.
Halal food promises good health and will keep you protected from diseases. Furthermore, you will be able to develop a stronger immune system and your organs will function smoothly. Halal food being free from alcohol, impurities, blood and urine means that you will have a well-developed body and mind.
All in all, Halal food brings in a lot of benefits hence not just Muslims but anyone who believes in eating healthy should switch to it. If you still have doubts about Halal food and how it would taste why not give it a go at one of the Halal food selling restaurants. You will be amazed by its taste which surely is another added benefit to eating Halal food.
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