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Halal Food News: Halal food is the new big thing in France

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  • Zafar Khan
    Ooh la la! Halal food is the new big thing KIM WILLSHER April 12, 2010
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12, 2010
      Ooh la la! Halal food is the new big thing
      April 12, 2010


      PARIS: Few things define the traditional good life in France better than champagne and foie gras but few would have thought them symbols of social integration - until now.

      A boom in sales of halal goods, including alcohol-free bubbly and goose liver pate approved by Islamic law, is being driven by the emergence of an affluent middle class of young Muslims.

      Known as the beurgeois - a play on bourgeois and the word beur, slang for a French person of North African descent - these new consumers are behind a rapidly expanding and highly profitable market in halal food and drinks.

      With spending power worth an estimated €5.5 billion ($7.9 billion) a year, according to the pollster Solis, these under-40s are forcing international food suppliers to cater for their demands.

      Yanis Bouarbi, 33, an information technology specialist who set up the website paris-hallal.com, which lists restaurants in France that serve halal food, says young Muslims are at the heart of a mini-social revolution. ''When our parents and grandparents came to France they did mostly manual work and the priority was having enough to feed the family,'' said Mr Bouarbi, who arrived from Algeria at the age of three.

      ''But second- or third-generation people like me have studied, have good jobs and money and want to go out and profit from French culture without compromising our religious beliefs.

      ''We don't just want cheap kebabs, we want Japanese, Thai, French food. We want to be like the rest of you.''

      The demand for halal products, increasing by an estimated 15 per cent a year, has captured the attention of food giants such as the supermarket group Casino, which has stocked a growing variety of halal foods - mostly meat products - for three years.

      The fast-food chain Quick has a number of halal-only burger bars. Muslim corner shops selling exclusively halal foods and drinks, including eggs, turkey-bacon, pork-free sausages and alcohol-free ''champagne'', labelled as Cham'Alal, are also flourishing.

      Halal foie gras, introduced to supermarket chains two years ago at the end of the Muslim feast of Ramadan, has proved an unexpected success. ''It's one of our best sellers. We have around 30 foie gras bought a day,'' Cyril Malinet, manager of a Carrefour supermarket, told Liberation, the French daily.

      Annick Fettani, head of Bienfaits de France, which specialises in halal duck, said: ''Until now we've had to fight to sell our foie gras but today everyone wants it.''

      In Paris's trendy 11th arrondissement, Les Enfants Terribles, run by brothers Kamel and Sosiane Saidi, serves halal French haute cuisine. ''Before, Muslims wishing to eat halal would go to a restaurant and it was fish or nothing. Now we have a choice,'' said Sosiane, 28, who set up the restaurant three years ago.

      ''Young Muslims have money and want to eat out like everyone else but according to their religion. The food doesn't taste any different. We have many French customers who don't even know we're totally halal. To us, that is what integration is about.''

      Middle-class Muslims fuel French halal boom


      Halal meat protest outside Colne KFC
      Published Date: 08 April 2010


      PEOPLE campaigning against the trial of Halal meat at KFC restaurants held a protest in Colne on Saturday afternoon.

      Mr Steven Smith, who campaigns against ritual slaughter, led a demonstration outside the KFC outlet at the North Valley Retail Park. A protest at the KFC on Colne Road, Burnley, was called off.

      Mr Smith, who lives in Burnley, joined four more campaigners to raise awareness and hand out leaflets about the controversial trial, being tested at 74 KFC stores nationwide.

      He said: "It was a very successful demonstration and we had a number of people supporting us.

      "We campaign against ritually slaughtered meat - Muslim Halal - which involves cutting the throat of animals and is a cruel method of killing animals. It can take up to four minutes for the animal to die, rather than them dying instantly.

      "But another point I'm making, which I find objectionable, is that KFC is not going out of its way to inform people of this trial. They are not clearly advertising this fact and many people don't know about it."

      Mr Smith also claimed the RSCPA has condemned the practice of Halal. However, a spokesman said the animal charity's belief is that all animals should be stunned before slaughter as it lessens their suffering.

      While not all Halal meat is stunned before slaughter, KFC insists its poultry is stunned before slaughter, using a technique called "stun-to-stun".

      Nina Arnott, a KFC spokesman, added: "Our restaurants in Burnley and Colne are taking part in our Halal trial following great demand in the area. We've worked with the Halal Food Authority and animal welfare organisations to ensure our systems and processes fully comply with halal requirements while staying true to our strict standards of animal welfare, which have not been compromised as a result of this trial."

      All restaurants taking part in the trial have signs on the doors and leaflets to explain they are selling Halal food, and all participating restaurants are also listed on the KFC website.

      All About Halal
      March 31, 2010, 11:35am


      Mention the word halal (an Arabic term which means permissible and legal) to average Filipinos and they would be apprehensive, even hesitant to even touch it with a ten-foot-long pole. Due to historical, political, religious, and cultural reasons associated with it, many people still don’t understand halal.

      The common misconceptions are: the term merely refers to Muslim food, that halal food and products are exclusively for Muslims. This means that if a non-Muslim patronizes halal, they will be converted to Muslim beliefs. And there’s the false impression that halal food can just be produced and carried out by Muslim-owned manufacturer and industries, and that Imams are the only ones who can issue Halal Certification.

      Halal and Haraam

      To deter some apprehensions about it, halal is basically like the normal everyday food and products that we use, only that it strictly follows the principles of Qur’an (the Holy Book of Islam).

      Halal is primarily used to describe anything – from human behavior (conduct and manner), speech, clothing, and food – that is acceptable under the Islamic law as opposed to the haraam, which means bad, harmful, and unacceptable.

      Muslims are, in essence, allowed to eat anything that is “good,” meaning pure, clean, and something that is ‘nourishing’ to the body. They can principally eat and utilize everything, except for those that have been specified as haraam.

      As outlined in their Qur’an, they must abstain from eating certain food deemed harmful for human consumption. These include any food sourced from animals which are slaughtered in the name of other gods or anyone but Allah, and those which are strangled, beaten, and savagely killed.

      Forbidden food items for them include shellfish (because they are considered the lowest in the marine food chain and may contain large amount of toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead), blood (because it may contain bio-toxins), animal flesh (pork particularly), fats, and gelatin as well as alcohol and other intoxicants.

      The act of Dhabiha

      The proper and acceptable way of slaughtering animals, called Dhabiha or Thabiha, is an important principle of Halal. The ritual is made with a swift, deep incision of a sharp knife on an animal’s neck, while reciting the name of Allah.

      “The jugular veins and carotid arteries must be removed, but leave the spinal cord intact. The esophagus should also be removed. The blood must be totally drained,” said chef Abdulatif Sangcopan, the halal chef consultant of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

      The ritual is done to acknowledge the sacredness of life, that a person should only kill with God’s permission and only to meet the body’s need for food. The meat product from the ritual is often called zabihah, or simply halal meat. Most Muslims will not eat meat if they are uncertain of how it was slaughtered.

      Their rule: “If the source was a forbidden food, then it is forbidden. If you have doubt about where the meat or food is sourced, don’t eat.” Their halal food and products must come from companies and manufacturers that have Halal Compliance Certificate.

      Halal for Muslim Tourists

      In the Philippines, there are about 5,000 halal products, produced, manufactured, and sold by over 300 Halal certified companies, including the historical Manila Hotel which has become the first halal compliant hotel in the Philippines.

      The Grand Dame has made another history as the NCMF awarded the halal compliance certificate recently. This means the hotel will be able to serve fully the Muslim consumers and tourists, adequately and sufficiently meeting their demands based on the principles that govern halal.

      With the global Muslim consumer base estimated at 1.8 billion spread to over 100 countries, it is not surprising that the Department of Tourism is so predisposed to raise the tourism awareness in the Middle East and other Muslim countries.

      “For the past years, we are trying to tap the Middle East and Muslim tourists to come and visit the Philippines. That’s quite a big market. But whenever we proposed it, they would ask if there is halal food in the country. Our campaign in the Muslim countries will be for naught if we don’t have halal food to offer them,” said Department of Tourism Special Concerns director Shalimar Hofer Tamano.

      Halal Food Became A Widely Spreading Commercial Niche

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