Food safety and peace of mind

What is halal?

Did you know that Muslims have rules concerning food, and that their religion forbids them from eating certain things? Also, do you know what the words halal and haram mean?

The word halal refers to something that is permissible or legal according to Islamic law, while the word haram means that it is forbidden. In terms of food, most vegetables, fruits and seafood are halal. Pork, however, is an example of a food that is considered haram. In addition to the rules concerning types of food, there are others concerning the method of how food is processed and prepared for consumption.

Examples of Haram Foods (These may vary depending on the interpretation of the particular sect or group)
Processed pork, soup taken from the bone or meat of pork, and seasonings and ingredients with powdered pork are all forbidden.
Plants that are intoxicating, hazardous to your health or poisonous are forbidden.
Mushrooms that are intoxicating, hazardous to your health or poisonous are forbidden.
●Items That Are Considered Najis (Unclean)
■Pigs, dogs and anything derived from pigs and dogs (such as saliva, fur and skin)
■Halal foods that have been contaminated by foods that are not halal
■Meats and animals that have not been prepared in a halal manner

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What does "vegetarian" mean?

The word “vegetarian” was first used in 1847 to promote the British Vegetarian Society. The word is said to come from the Latin word vegetus, which means healthy, fresh and lively (opinions on this theory vary).

Vegetarianism in the 21st Century

Today, the definition of “vegetarian” is fluid. In the UK, people who do not eat meat tend to be referred to as vegetarian in a broad sense. Besides those who are vegetarian for religious reasons or to maintain nutrition and health, and those who promote animal rights or the value of life, there are an increasing number of environmental vegetarians who choose the vegetarian lifestyle in response to environmental and food issues, eating vegetables to conserve the global environment and help developing countries.

Types of vegetarian

Vegan, strict vegetarian

A “vegan” does not eat meat (including chicken, fish and other fishery products), eggs or dairy products, and does not use animal products (leather, silk wool, wool oil, gelatin, etc.) to avoid harming animals. These people are also called “strict vegetarians.”A “dietary vegan” eats only vegetable products like a vegan, but may use nonfood animal products.A “fruitarian” eats only foods that does not require killing the plant (for conservation). (He/she may eat an apple since the tree will not die, but will not harvest a carrot, which will die when harvested.)


A “lacto-vegetarian” eats milk and dairy products in addition to plant products.


“Lacto-ovo-vegetarians” eat plant products as well as dairy products, such as milk and cheese, as well as eggs. Most vegetarians in Europe and the U.S. are of this type.


There are also vegetarians who eat plants, milk, eggs and fish, called “pesco-vegetarian,” as well as those who eat chicken, called “pollo-vegetarian.” However, the International Vegetarian Union does not recognize these types of vegetarians.

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Kashrut is a set of strict dietary laws based on the teachings of the Torah, and kosher refers to the food that may be consumed under these laws. The standard applies to a broad range, and in modern society it applies to things that a person generally consumes, such as medicine, supplements, seasonings and other foods as well. Foods that are kosher as they are include natural products such as fish (certain types), beef, sheep and poultry slaughtered in a particular way, and vegetables and fruits. Processed foods can also be kosher, but only products that are strictly stored in containers so other foods or items harmful to the body do not accidentally enter the product are considered kosher.

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