When the halal food
market racket is surging in your country, you know your nation is in the early phases of a death spiral. Nothing good can come of it for non-Muslims and even most Muslims, particularly women and girls.
“It’s a huge business. It’s an $80-billion business around the world. In Canada, it’s about $1 billion and it’s growing … by 10 to 15 per cent a year, which is quite significant. It’s much more than other categories,” says Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Halal means permissible in Arabic and refers to foods that have been prepared according to Islamic law. Animals must not suffer when they’re slaughtered and must not see another animal be killed. Pork and its byproducts and alcohol are among forbidden items not allowed in the making of halal foods.
While Canadians are increasingly seeing more halal products stocked by the big supermarket chains, the complexity of the supply chain has led to concerns about mislabelled food or fraud.
Contamination and traceability were motivating factors for the formation of the Halal Monitoring Authority of Canada, says chief operating officer Imam Omar Subedar.
Meanwhile, big fast-food chains like Pizza Pizza, KFC, Popeyes and Nandos have added halal options to their menus, while The Halal Guys, a fast-casual franchise that started as a food cart in Manhattan with huge lineups, is opening a Toronto location on May 5.
“If there is more food offered to consumers they will buy more essentially,” says Charlebois of the rise in halal offerings.
What does it all really mean? Check out the article and videos below.