Keeping Halal in the Home: Meal Options for Canadians

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As just about any observant Muslim knows, keeping to halal rules can be a challenge in non-Muslim majority countries. Aside from all the tantalizing haram offerings around every corner, we can’t always trust that what has been labeled as “halal” food truly conforms to the preparation and handling regulations laid out by the Quran.

This makes keeping our commitment to the tenets of our religion a struggle at times.

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Canada has a population of over one million Muslims and prides itself on being a multicultural and inclusive society. To that end, the Canadian government instituted new federal regulations in 2016 that require the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure that all food labeled “halal” does, in fact, conform to Muslim dietary requirements.

The two main certifying authorities are the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of Canada and the Halal Monitoring Authority. These organizations work diligently with suppliers and brands across Canada to ensure that the food we purchase and consume is clean, humanely treated, and prepared in accordance with our religious laws. 

Home Cooking

For many Muslims, both the most secure and most satisfying way to maintain a halal diet is to eat at home. Plus, let’s be honest; few restaurants can match our mum’s or wife’s skills in the kitchen. But it can be confusing and daunting for those doing the grocery shopping to know which products are safe to buy. After all, no one wants to be the one responsible for feeding their kids a non-halal meal! 

One of the most reliable ways to avoid accidentally buying unapproved products is to purchase directly from trusted providers and avoid the mass market stores altogether. Since meat is an especially delicate subject for us, purchasing meat from specialized companies eliminates the worry associated with grocery shopping. Why not try a reputable supplier, check out D & D Poultry. Companies such as this produce dedicated halal products for consumer purchase.

Meal Delivery Services

For those of us with less time or simply less patience for cooking, there are now halal meal delivery services in some parts of Canada. Some have a limited geographic reach, such as the Toronto-specific Mean Meals, and others, such as Halal Meals, cover a much wider swath of the country. 

These delivery services are great because everything arrives pre-cut, marinated, proportioned, and nearly ready to go. For most, all you have to do is combine the ingredients, and possibly heat the food and you are ready to go. It’s pretty hard to justify eating non-halal when services like these make adhering to the rules effortless.

There You Have It

Keeping halal in the home takes some effort but is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. As Canada’s Muslim population and its commitment to cultural inclusion both continue to grow, we expect many more diverse and delicious halal options to appear in the near future. 

Remember, for those of you who can’t be bothered to cook at all; there are countless halal restaurants around the country. A great many even deliver right to your door. In other words, no excuses!

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