7 Haram Ingredients Muslims Will Thank Allah We Can't Eat
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

7 Haram Ingredients Muslims Will Thank Allah We Can't Eat

Just a glance may spoil your appetite, so don't make this a lunch break read unless you've got a strong stomach!

23279
7 Haram Ingredients Muslims Will Thank Allah We Can't Eat
Wikimedia Commons

Muslims who eat halal all know that there are specific Haram ingredients to avoid, but do we know why? These ingredients aren't just outlawed because they're unhealthy, it's also because some of them are super, super gross. Here's the list of the top 7 most disgusting haram ingredients. Just a glance may spoil your appetite, so don't make this a lunch break read unless you've got a strong stomach!


1. Gelatin

Aww, gummy bears! Innocent enough, right? Now, here comes the fun part.

Gelatin is protein obtained from cows and pigs by boiling their skin, tendons, ligaments and bones in boiling water. It's commonly present in marshmallows, yogurt, cream cheese and frosted cereals, which is why you should still check the ingredients label of every product, even if it's marked Kosher. Gelatin is also used in shampoos, face masks and cosmetics, so to all the Muslim makeup gurus out there, looks like some of your Mac lipsticks may share more than just a name with Chilli. And speaking of Mac...

2. Carmine/Cochineal

Ah, yes. That gorgeous red shade of MAC's Hot Tahiti? Its color "is extracted from the insect’s body and eggs and is mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (also known as cochineal)."

And when used as a food additive, it may incite an allergic reaction, trigger an asthma attack and even send you into anaphylactic shock. This became such a concern that in Jan. 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began to require that all foods and cosmetics containing cochineal must declare it on the product's ingredients list. This ingredient is also present in some food products by brands like Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Hot Pockets and Werhter's.

3. L-cysteine

I can already hear you gasping, "No!" And as always, I'm here to tell you it's much more worse than what you're thinking.

L-cysteine helps make dough stretchy and workable, like pizza dough and bagels. But what's the secret to that elasticity? Not weaves — oh no, we want to keep this organic as possible, with real human hair. And not just human hair but also duck feathers (specifically Chinese and Indian ducks, oddly enough) and hog hair.

If it's any comfort, know that the hog hair is only swirled into the mix if there isn't enough dark hair and duck feathers to go around — not that you would really taste the difference. Since L-cysteine is considered a "reaction flavor," the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) does not require it to be present on ingredients lists if it has been used to create the final product, like with pizza kits.

Of course, there are synthetic and microbial (read: not-human-hair-version) of L-cysteine available as well, but they're pricey and not many peasants like us common folk can afford. Fast food chains are the least likely to dish out a dime for higher quality L-cysteine, especially not when they can just leave their cheap version of the ingredients list so you can easily block it out of your mind. Customer service at its finest, eh?

4. Alcohol

This one's very common, and you may be thinking, "OK, human hair one I get, but alcohol? Non-Muslims drink that fresh from the bottle all the time!"

Yeah, and it tastes nasty. All those fancy schmancy drinks you've heard of? Martina, margarita, jagar bomb and so forth are all alcohol mixed with something else, and sometimes, that something else is orange juice (vodka + orange juice combo — because apparently, that's a thing now). No one drinks alcohol straight unless they're hardcore, and in that case, they may also be hardheaded because the negative effects of alcohol are innumerable, including stroke, high blood pressure and cancer.

Alcohol tastes sickening for a reason — it's made from fermentation, which is the professional synonym for rotting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide for days to weeks on end.

It's very unhealthy in large doses, especially if you're looking to get intoxicated, but surprise, surprise! Under strict guidelines, alcohol made from ingredients besides dates and grapes is technically permissible if taken for health reasons or present in minuscule amounts. However, this can get quite tricky. For instance, ethyl alcohol is a common ingredient, and sometimes, it can be derived from grapes and dates, which means you'll have to dial customer service to corner an answer out of them, every single time.

This is why I recommend taking the taqwa route, dropping that product and moving along, because trust me, you don't need that kind of carcinogenic negativity in your stomach for your food to taste better.

5. Confectionery Glaze

Those aren't Hot Cheetos. They're Lac insects. You already know where I'm going with this.

This Timon and Pumbaa inspired technique involves extracting resin from female Lac bugs after they bark, which allows them to produce shellac, a coating or glaze, "much like honey from a bee," except for the fact it's insoluble, of course. That's almost ironic, because Lac resin is actually used to make pills easier to swallow by masking their odor. It's also commonly applied to fruits and vegetables to market that shiny, natural gleam — much like the sheen of your furniture polish, aluminum foil and lipstick.

Lac resin is also the reason why candies like jelly beans, Easter eggs and candy corn are a hit with kids. Under FDA guidelines, shellac passes for "resinous glaze" or "confectioner's glaze" or "natural glaze," so half time, it's used with pharmaceutical pills and with products in the cake aisle. But let's not get confused here, people. Resin isn't bug poop, it's secretion — so like... bug spit!

Still grossed out? Yeah, me too.

6. Glycerin/Glycerol

It's also in soap. Guess that gives you all the hints you need.

Glycerin is can be animal or vegetable origin, but it's usually created from animal fat to dissolve in water or alcohol to form a "colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste." 100 percent glycerin can blister your tongue with a single lick, but when doused with water, it can soften your skin. Hence, glycerin is a byproduct of manufacturing soap and also used to produce toothpaste, mouthwash and even pet food to really up that "chewy" flavor, apparently.

If the glycerin is from a vegetable source (soybeans), you're in the clear. If the glycerin is from an animal source, however... Well, now, you have to worry about tallow.

Tallow is the keeps-you-from-gagging friendly "euphemism for body fat from cows, sheep and pigs." Not a shock factor for you anymore? If you survived through gelatin, I'd expect as much.

Tallow extraction begins with suet (hard white fat on kidneys and loins) from the carcass of beef, pigs, mutton and sometimes, horses. Other pseudonyms this ingredient goes by are: oleic, palmitic, stearic, palmitoleic, linoleic and myristic acid. It's even present inks, adhesives, cosmetics, bird food and was historically used to make candles (as a cheaper alternative to wax, and it still is used for DIY candle projects today). Glycerin also acts as a lubricant for machinery and ammunition, so you know it's the real bomb, haha... Moving on!

What about in food? It can be in condensed milk, breakfast cereals and even pre-cooked vegetables and sauces. It's quite common among processed food, so stick to the organics and naturals when you can. But speaking of natural...

7. Natural and Artificial Flavoring

This one is vague and purposefully so. Companies often try to hide their "extra" ingredients under this tagline ingredient. According to the FDA, natural flavor can pass as "natural" if it's from an edible animal or plant source. Artificial flavors, on the other hand, can be any inedible ingredient under the sun, from the depths of the ocean and delivered through the doors of a science laboratory — "from petroleum to paper pulp processed to create the chemicals that flavor your food."

These ingredients are added for aesthetic reasons. In most cases, they add zero nutritional benefit to your food products. And yes, natural flavors also come under our scrutiny in this case. Just because the ingredient claims to be "natural" does not mean it can't be harmful.

Both ingredients may contain any of the ingredients listed above in this article or others we may never have heard of. They are allowed to do that under FDA guidelines if it's a "standardized flavor," and there's no need to mention the details if that ingredient isn't the product itself. So if you were to buy vanilla extract, the ingredients label would obviously list "vanilla" as an ingredient, but if you were to purchase pudding, and the amount of vanilla extract falls under one percent and is considered "standard," the company does not have to list "vanilla extract" as an ingredient!

So, could they also hide beetle juices like "carmine" or human hair like "L-cysteine" under natural and artificial flavors label? You bet they can, and they most certainly have.

How can you figure out if the product you're purchasing is, in fact, halal? Follow these four, bite-sized steps to find out.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

383
Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Sex And The Church

A letter to fellow believers.

1385
Amanda Hayes
  • I know many of you just read that title and thought it was scandalous to see something so “risque” in the same setting as something holy. Well guess what – sex is part of that. Everyone seems to think they are separate, which makes since because most people treat them as though they are complete polar opposites. Shall we think this through?

Who created the Church body? God. Who created the body? Also God. If we know God to be the creator of all things, we cannot leave sex out of that equation. God created sex, people! Praise Him! Like all great things, the world has twisted and perverted it. The world has stained it so badly that even many church congregations see it only as stained and keep quiet about that part of God’s word. Many people know that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), but a lot of people overlook the entirety of Song of Solomon. The entire book is dedicated to telling of the love and sex between man and wife. God blessed us with the gift of intimacy, one to be shared between husband and wife. Church if we teach of sex as the blessing that it is, more people will start treating it as such. If we stop viewing sex as this unspeakable act, the temptation would be lessened. With the fall of man, humans naturally desire things they should not have. So if more people speak of it with gladness and praise, and do not hide it in the darkness as if it were vile, fewer people would be drawn to it for the wrong reasons. More people would appreciate it for what it is: a gift from God.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tumblr

Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

An open letter to my father

What you did sounds dumb to me

2727
An open letter to my father
The Truth About My Parents' Divorce

Considering im 18 now & you're one of the best men i've ever met since you have a child; me. I want you to know that I love you, more than anyone, I love you. I don't forgive you for the way you hurt my mother. I'm hurt because you broke our family. Thing went down hill the day you found Laquita. You we're distant & shortly after my mother turned into the coldest, saddest women to walk past me. She's my best friend & so are you. Not one day goes by where I don't wonder what she did wrong. How on earth could you trade your family & the women who loved you unconditionally for a home wrecker? Sounds dumb to me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Is God Reckless?

Exploring the controversy behind the popular worship song "Reckless Love"

3026
Is God Reckless?


First things first I do not agree with people getting so caught up in the specific theology of a song that they forget who they are singing the song to. I normally don't pay attention to negative things that people say about worship music, but the things that people were saying caught my attention. For example, that the song was not biblical and should not be sung in churches. Worship was created to glorify God, and not to argue over what kind of theology the artist used to write the song. I was not made aware of the controversy surrounding the popular song "Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury until about a week ago, but now that I am aware this is what I have concluded.The controversy surrounding the song is how the term reckless is used to describe God's love. This is the statement that Cory Asbury released after many people questioned his theology regarding his lyrics. I think that by trying to clarify what the song was saying he added to the confusion behind the controversy.This is what he had to say,
"Many have asked me for clarity on the phrase, "reckless love". Many have wondered why I'd use a "negative" word to describe God. I've taken some time to write out my thoughts here. I hope it brings answers to your questions. But more than that, I hope it brings you into an encounter with the wildness of His love.When I use the phrase, "the reckless love of God", I'm not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn't crafty or slick. It's not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it's quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn't consider Himself first. His love isn't selfish or self-serving. He doesn't wonder what He'll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return.His love leaves the ninety-nine to find the one every time."
Some people are arguing that song is biblical because it makes reference to the scripture from Matthew 28:12-14 and Luke 15. Both of these scriptures talk about the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd. The shepherd symbolizes God and the lost sheep are people that do not have a relationship with God. On the other hand some people are arguing that using the term reckless, referring to God's character is heretical and not biblical. I found two articles that discuss the controversy about the song.The first article is called, "Reckless Love" By Cory Asbury - "Song Meaning, Review, and Worship Leading Tips." The writer of the article, Jake Gosselin argues that people are "Making a mountain out of a molehill" and that the argument is foolish. The second article, "God's Love is not Reckless, Contrary to What You Might Sing" by author Andrew Gabriel argues that using the term reckless is irresponsible and that you cannot separate Gods character traits from God himself. For example, saying that God's love is reckless could also be argued that God himself is reckless. Reckless is typically not a word that someone would use to describe God and his love for us. The term reckless is defined as (of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. However, Cory Asbury is not talking about a person, he is talking about God's passionate and relentless pursuit of the lost. While I would not have chosen the word reckless, I understand what he was trying to communicate through the song. Down below I have linked two articles that might be helpful if you are interested in reading more about the controversy.


Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments