What is Halal Meat?

Halal is an Arabic word meaning ‘lawful’ or ‘permissible.’ The term outlines the types of foods (particularly meat) that Muslims can eat according to Islamic dietary practices. For example, when a meat product is labeled as ‘halal,’ it indicates that the type of animal it came from was was slaughtered in a humane way, with specific rituals attached to the process to not only ensure respect for the animal itself, but also that the meat was prepared in a safe and cleanly environment. From this process, meat products can be labeled as halal-certified.

With growing demand for halal meat, a large amount of restaurants and grocers now carry halal-certified meat. This appeals to a vast community of people, both religiously affiliated and non. An increasing concern for low-quality meats with a high level of unwanted chemicals has spurred many to seek out alternatives to what is typically mass produced and often times cruelly butchered. Halal meat typically includes chicken, beef, and lamb. However, halal meat can also include a variety of other types as well.

Although certification for halal meat vs. what is understood to be organic meat isn’t necessarily always synonymous, there is a rising trend for the two types to coincide. Many people are gravitating toward halal meat to get a desired level of high-quality meat–processed differently from the conventional methods–which is why it’s starting to become more common for distributors to produce both halal- and organically-certified meat all in one.

Halal extends further than just meat, however. It can also include non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, sans animal by-products.