As you probably already know, most of the things we eat and drink are not grown naturally. Have you ever heard of chocolate bars growing on trees? Or perhaps a chicken laying cookies? How about a cow giving Coke? Of course not! All these food items are made by mixing together different things such as water, sugar, milk, flour, eggs, oil, fat, and so on. These many “things” are called ingredients.
Before eating a food product, we Muslims must make sure that only halal ingredients have been used in making the food product. We must watch out for haram ingredients. If a food product contains any haram ingredients, we must not eat or drink it.
Some food products contain ingredients which could be halal or haram. If you find one of the these in a food product, you should not eat or drink it until you make sure that it is halal. You can do that by asking a Muslim grown-up. If you’re still not sure, just don’t eat or drink it.
Most of the time, the ingredients used in making a food product are written on the side of the box or wrapper. All you have to do is look for them.
Here are some examples:
The circled part of a box of Smarties
The back side of a pack of Sour Patches
The ingredients listed below are always haram or they are usually haram:
- Animal Fat (or Shortening)
Here are some ingredients which could be halal or haram:
- L-cysteine (pronounced l–sis–teen)
If you find one of these ingredients written on the box or wrapper of a food product, ask a grown-up Muslim to help you find out if it’s halal or haram. If you’re still not sure, then don’t eat or drink it.