Most consumers have seen the words Kosher or Halal listed on food items they are buying or see in a grocery store. The truth is that many people do not know what these are referring to. Others understand that these foods abide by the Islamic and Jewish faith’s guidelines for food. The question then becomes if food is Kosher or Halal, can both faiths indulge in these foods that have been prepared or slaughtered in a particular way? The following are the differences in Halal and Kosher that impact the way that people of specific religions consume, prep, and bless the food.
What is Halal Food?
Halal literally means permissible and it refers to the way that food is prepared. In order for food to be considered permissible in terms of meat, the animal has to live in specific conditions. The animal is to be kept in a space where it can naturally move and should be treated with the utmost respect. Birds that are carnivores cannot be eaten as they eat the flesh of other animals. Pork under any circumstances is not considered Halal although most seafood and other meats can be consumed. The slaughtering of the animal is also important as it should be done in the most humane way possible. Slaughtering the animal also has to be done in the name of Allah to be considered Halal.
The blood of the animal is also to be drained as one should not consume the blood of an animal. Foods and recipes that include alcohol are strictly forbidden by Islamic law. The utensils that a meal is prepared with also have to be Halal. There is no secret that meat that is prepared from an animal that has been treated with respect and prepared the proper way has benefits in terms of taste. In today’s world, the consumer is far more concerned with the treatment of animals than in the past. The combination of ethical treatment of animals coupled with the amazing taste of Halal meat, in particular, cannot be understated.
What is Kosher Food?
People have most likely heard the word Kosher but do not realize it is referring to food prepared in accordance with Jewish law. Pork is also forbidden under Jewish dietary restrictions. While Islamic law does not forbid seafood shellfish like lobster or shrimp are not considered Kosher. For a fish to be eaten it has to have scales as well as fins. The removal of blood is a main process in ensuring that food is prepared within the dietary restrictions of the Jewish faith.
The process of slaughtering an animal is to be done in a quick way so the animal is honored and the process is as humane as possible. There is to be a prayer that is recited before the slaughter and for no reason should the slaughter be delayed or interrupted. Dairy, as well as meat, can be consumed and considered Kosher. For no reason should these be combined as this will not be considered Kosher. The utensils that are used to prepare meat should never be used to cut cheese or prep other dairy products.
The key difference in Halal and Kosher foods is that of the restrictions on shellfish and other animals of the sea. Halal does not restrict this in the slightest while fins and scales are required for a seafood item to be considered Kosher. Alcohol consumption differs immensely as well as the Jewish faith does not restrict this as long as the grapes and other ingredients to make the alcohol are Kosher. Animal fats of certain kinds and the sciatic nerve of animals are not considered to be Kosher. For Kosher meat, the animal is to be hung in order to drain the blood with additional methods being used as well.
As you can see Halal and Kosher both pay respect to faith as well as the animal. Plenty of people prefer these types of foods not only because of the treatment of the animal but also due to the incredible taste. Try out some Halal or Kosher food as you will not be disappointed in the slightest. Do not underestimate the taste of an animal that has been kept in the most pristine conditions. Take the time to look at labels to see f the food you are consuming is either Halal or Kosher!