Monday, July 23, 2007

Alhamdulillah For Halal Butchers

I heard another piece on the evening news tonight about the use of carbon monoxide by U.S. meatpackers. This issue was in the news a few years ago when fresh food advocates asked the U.S. FDA to ban the practice.

Meatpackers use carbon monoxide to make meat look fresh. It is necessary, in part, because the practice of buying meat that is sliced or prepared on spot is becoming a thing of the past. Most big modern grocery stores sell pre-packaged meat. Shoppers spend a lot of time looking at the different packages of steak or ground meat in order to find the pinkest package. This, they believe, is the freshest meat.

Grocers like the practice of using carbon monoxide to make meat stay pink because people will not buy brown meat. Reports claim that grocers suffer a huge financial loss when they have to discard less-than-pink meat because consumers will not buy it.

However, the appearance of meat does not necessarily indicate that it is fresh and safe to eat. Color, likewise, does not indicate freshness. In fact, the practice of altering the color of meat can actually hide or hinder the behavior of certain bacteria, etc.

Bad odor upon opening the package is a more accurate sign that the meat may not be fresh or that it may even be bad.

But the bottom line is that no matter what the industry does, food safety in general is a huge concern in America. Also, some meat sold in America is from other countries.

The meatpacking industry claims that there is no safety risk in the use of carbon monoxide to improve the appearance of meet. Some advocate groups disagree.

Seeing this report on the news again tonight got me to thinking about the Islamic obligation to eat halal meat.

I love my halal butcher!

Everything is cut, sliced, and packaged on the spot in his store.

I don't have to worry about the freshness of the meat or chicken in this brother's halal market.

Some Muslims complain that halal meat is more expensive. Other claim there at fatwaas stating Muslims can eat the meat in the U.S. grocery stores because America is a "Christian" country, and Christians are People of the Book.

I think the Quran is clear on this matter.

I am grateful to have one less thing to worry about.

1 comment:

otowi said...

Yes, we need more halal butchers producing a variety of meats - but I don't think it is the easiest way to make a living. Especially given how many Muslims don't bother about halal or think kosher is just fine, etc.