Letter to the Editor: Halal meat a better alternative

By: FATEMA ALBALOOSHI – GRADUATE STUDENT – MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION

In a society dominated with steroid injected meats and chemically processed foods, there has been a wave of change calling for healthier foods free of these additives.

More and more people are studying the sources of meat—how the animals have lived, what they ate, how they were treated—to check if it’s up to proper standards. More often than not, it isn’t.

In contrast, halal meat is a possibility that highlights respect for the animals, and continuously emphasizes the meat’s freshness.

Muslims traditionally consume halal food, yet as others have come to know of it, many non-Muslims have preferred it as well. By definition, “halal” is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permissible. In order for the meat to be considered halal, the animal has to be raised on organic feed, treated humanely and live in an environment that is natural to its species.

The animal, during its life, should not be abused or fed by-products of other animals, for this can cause cross-contamination and releases toxins throughout the animal. It should be able to move around freely in its living quarters with access to fresh air, food and water.

Appropriate treatment of the animal during its lifetime is just as important as the treatment of the animal at the time it is sacrificed. The result after cooking halal meat is a tender texture and a clear taste difference.

As a basis of life and Islam, one should fill his or her body with wholesome foods, as our bodies have a right over us. Our bodies are havens and we should treat them with respect. This respect extends to filling them with foods free of pesticides, toxins and pollutants. This is a value not only desired by Muslims, but by all of humanity. Halal meat is not exclusive to Muslims, but extends to all humans regardless of their religious or cultural background.

Previously, cooking at home was difficult for those seeking halal food, as students had to visit the market where it is sold, prepare the ingredients, pack it, and then go to school with just one meal. The time in which students have to find someone to cook for them or for them to cook themselves is precious time that could instead be utilized for doing homework or for research.

However, by having halal food on campus, many more students could stay on campus eat and would gain more time for studying and research work. This gives the students a stronger attachment to the university.

Passports restaurant, located in the VWK residence hall is offering a variety of dishes from the Middle East and all of the meats are halal. Monday through Friday, VWK will offer two authentic main entrees, one for lunch and one for dinner. The halal meat comes from a certified distributor, Noah Gula, the owner and supplier of the Middle Eastern Deli here in Dayton.

Please join us as we experience the better alternative!