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Adventures in Eating Halal – Day 3 (Alternatively titled: How gelatine is ruining my life)
The other day as I was brushing my teeth I thought to myself, “Oh, crap; is this toothpaste halal??” You might say, “What the heck, Cecilia? It’s toothpaste! Why would it not be halal?” My response: gelatine. Simple enough product; simply hard to avoid.
Gelatine is in everything!!! And, as a student who’s eating halal this week, guess what I can’t have? Gelatine!
Let’s get to the facts: The halal diet forbids the consumption of pork or any of its byproducts. Gelatine is a protein that is usually obtained from either cows or pigs and is commonly used as a gelling agent in cosmetics or food. As it can come from either cows or pigs, the consumption of anything with gelatine as an ingredient is immediately off of the table for those following a halal diet/lifestyle.
Immediately after I finished brushing my teeth I consulted google to see what sorts of cosmetic products in my house are not halal. According to the Muslim Consumer Group website (http://www.muslimconsumergroup.com/personal_care_products.html) Pantene shampoos and conditioners are not halal as they may contain both pork byproducts or alcohol. Downy fabric softeners and Veet hair removal products are also not halal, according to the same website.
My point here is not to harp on these companies for using animal byproducts in their products (although that is another conversation entirely). Rather, my point is to bring to light all of the unknown ingredients that are in products we use every day. In his article on a gluten and lactose free diet, Nolan Hill wrote, “Gluten and dairy are literally everywhere; I think they might be a secret society running our government.” I would like to make an edit on this comment and add that gelatine is also part of this secret society, working to ruin my halal diet.