Halal food is becoming better known as the UK adopts its multicultural roots. However, there are also a few myths around which scare people away. The truth is there is a lack of understanding in some quarters and it’s not helpful. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the dynamics of this type of cuisine.
What Is Halal Food?
Typically, it’s food or meat which comes from the Middle Eastern region due to the high number of Muslims. Technically, it’s the process of blessing the animal before it is killed by referencing a prayer (tasmiya or shahada) from the Koran, Islam’s holy book. Halal means “permissible” in Arabic, which means it’s okay for Muslims to eat without going against Islamic law or teachings.
To kill the animal, the butcher slits the throat piercing the windpipe, carotid artery, and jugular vein. The animal bleeds out and must be alive at the time of the killing.
Why Halal Food?
The obvious answer is that of religious beliefs. Muslims and followers of Islam believe they must follow this law before they eat. Otherwise, it could be classed as a sin. By saying God’s name before and after the process, it brings Muslims closer to Him.
Some people think there are animal-cruelty issues, yet Muslims disagree. The majority of the followers of Islam think it’s less barbaric to put an animal out of its misery rather than stunning it and drawing out the process.
One thing which isn’t in doubt is the health benefits. For starters, Halal doesn’t cover certain parts of a carcass, such as the testicles and bladder. Therefore, there are no disgusting ingredients in a Halal dish such as urine and blood, the latter which can carry disease.
Is It Healthier?
There is a school of thought to say that it can be as healthy as the average food products in the UK. One example points to the way animals are raised before they are killed. To be genuinely Halal, they need to eat organic meals which are mainly vegetarian. The nutrient levels in the meat, therefore, are very high and that makes the food useful for the body.
Another interesting fact is that Halal generally omits antibiotics and growth hormones. Both of these can contain pork, which is forbidden under Islamic Law. As a result, animals blessed by a Muslim butcher or slaughterer don’t pass on any unwanted chemicals or medicines.
Whether it’s healthier or not is up for debate, but it certainly contains lots of health benefits.
Where Can I Find Them In Newcastle?
Being a metropolitan city, there are plenty of shops and independent butchers which provide Halal foods. Pamir Halal Meat and Gateshead Halal Store are two in the region that have excellent ratings on Google as well as strong customer reviews.
The Najeb Continental Supermarket and Newcastle Halal Food store are convenience stores that sell products other than meat.
M A Brothers is a fully-fledged supermarket for anybody who wants more choice.