Halal meat, derived from the Arabic word "halal" meaning "permissible," refers to meat that conforms to Islamic dietary regulations for Muslims. The distinction between "halal" (permissible) and "haram" (forbidden) food items is mentioned in the Quran, leading to the development of a categorization system based on mandatory, recommended, neutral, abhorrent, and forbidden decisions. However, for simplicity, the focus has often been on religious slaughter the straightforward differentiation between halal and haram meat.
Halal meat follows religious food standards similar to kosher cuisine, encompassing various aspects, from the feeding and care to slaughtering animals and preparation. The emphasis of halal meats is primarily on the slaughter process.
While non-Muslims may associate "halal" solely with animal killing, it's important to note that meat can be made either halal or haram according to islamic rules on how the animal was slaughtered. Consequently, halal is typically labeled as such in non-Muslim countries, although this labeling may not extend to other products. For example, fruits and vegetables are inherently considered halal, but this information is often overlooked by non-Muslims.
To access the halal food market, halal certification is a requirement for supermarkets selling halal products. This certification ensures high-quality and safe halal products, throughout the food products entire supply chain, from farm to fork. The halal meat industry implements practices that prioritize animal welfare, including proper animal husbandry, post-slaughter management, and antemortem examination to ensure the meat's quality and fitness for consumption. By accelerating haemorrhage during the slaughtering process, the shelf life of the meat is extended, reducing the risk of contamination and product degradation.
The concept of toyyiban (wholesomeness) ensures that halal products and kosher meat under jewish law is free from microbiological, physical, and chemical hazards.
Islamic law under the Quran
Islamic law outlines specific rules for what the term halal means The Quran prohibits the consumption of dead animals, beasts gored to death, predatory animals that consume other animals, blood, pork, and animals killed for idols rather than for Allah alone and it's considered unlawful. Verses such as Surah Al-Anm (6):145 and Surah Al-Midah (5):3 provide guidance on these dietary restrictions according to Islamic scholars.
Presently, the dietary recommendations based on legal data provided by the Quran primarily apply to terrestrial animals, as a hadith by the Prophet PBUH categorizes aquatic animals as "tahir" (pure) and thus considered permissible for consumption. Therefore, land meat holds significance in Islamic law. The legal maxim "al asl fi al-zabaih wa al-luhum al-tahrim" (the norm of regular meat is considered haram until it is slaughtered through a Shariah-compliant manner) emphasizes that eating meat is considered haram if not slaughtered correctly.
Muslims following the Islam must adhere to specific requirements for halal slaughter, which include having the animal slaughtered by a Muslim, using a sharp tool free from bones, nails, and teeth, and reciting the name of Allah during the slaughter. Failure to meet these requirements renders the meat prohibited for consumption. As a result, Muslims are advised to purchase only halal meat and halal food to comply with religious dietary laws.
Considered Halal Method
The halal slaughter process, also known as the arabic word zabihah, involves several steps:
- Any Muslim who has reached puberty can perform the slaughter.
- Allah's name must be invoked before or during the slaughter.
- The animal should be positioned in a way that allows Makkah (Mecca) to be visible.
- A flawlessly sharp knife is required, ensuring a smooth blade edge without any nicks. The knife should not be elevated in the presence of animals intended for slaughter to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Halal slaughter involves a single pass of the knife across the animal's throat, cutting its carotid artery, trachea, and jugular vein. Studies have shown that this method minimizes pain for the animal, and they lose consciousness quickly as the heart aids in blood elimination from the body.
- The halal animal must be allowed to bleed out completely, as blood is considered non-halal. In rare cases, the Muslim community may deem Christian and Jewish kosher food acceptable if it meets the requirements.
- While stunning animals before slaughter is not a common practice in halal slaughter, it is important to note that stunning is not exclusive to non-halal methods. Some stunning methods are considered acceptable only difference is if it's performed effectively in a single attempt.
Additionally, some halal certification organizations emphasize the mental state of the slaughterer and the treatment and comfort of the animal before slaughter.
It's crucial to understand that not all meat and animal products can be made halal regardless of the method used. Certain non halal species are categorically prohibited from consumption, including pork and its byproducts, mules, horses, donkeys, fanged animals (such as cats, dogs, and bears), predatory birds, prey reptiles, and a few other species, including monkeys.
Halal food and meals
Most Foods that are Vegan are generally considered halal food, with one exception—when alcohol is present. Islam prohibits the consumption of all intoxicants, including alcohol in vegan food.
Determining the halal status of vegetarian food, especially dairy and eggs, can be more complex and depends on the interpretation of Islamic law. This complexity in halal principles arises due to two main factors:
- Eggs and dairy products are often produced using non-halal methods of animal slaughter, such as the killing of non-productive male chicks or calves at birth. Additionally, non-halal animal rennet may be present in cheese.
- Some animals regularly consume non-halal foods, such as pork byproducts or non-halal medicines, as part of their diet.
Wagyu, meaning "Japanese beef" in Japanese, is known for its marbling and is considered one of the most expensive meats globally. Wagyu beef boasts superior omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, resulting in a delightful, non-greasy flavor appreciated by many. It also offers the sought-after umami essence compared to other meat.
Halal Wagyu has gained popularity among food enthusiasts and is increasingly in demand. Fortunately, halal restaurants that serve halal Wagyu beef are now more accessible, enabling everyone to savor this premium beef and halal lifestyle without any concerns.
The Wagyu Meat Industry
The Wagyu beef market was valued at $12,638 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $21,310 million by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% during the forecast period (2022–2030). The Asia-Pacific region holds the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period.
While Wagyu beef companies primarily focus on institutional consumers such as hotels, hotel chains, and high-end restaurants, the retail consumer sector plays a significant role in the mass food industry. Studies indicate that institutional business-to-business (B2B) clients account for approximately 85% of Wagyu beef sales. Many Wagyu beef companies have formed partnerships with hotel chains, restaurant groups, and specialty eateries, with a presence in airports, upscale malls, superstores, and urban areas. Retail distribution channels are also targeted, including high-end supermarkets and online platforms.
In the twenty-first century, online stores have become effective channels for marketing and selling products across various industries, including the global Wagyu beef industry. Online sales and e-commerce platforms allow for targeted audience reach. The growing presence of e-commerce and online retail platforms in developed, developing, and emerging countries has contributed to the increased demand for Wagyu beef products.
The worldwide Wagyu beef market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa, with the Asia-Pacific region dominating the market.
Within the global Wagyu beef market, the Japanese Breed, Australian Breed, and Other categories exist. The Japanese Breed holds the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% by 2030.
An expanding consumer base seeking healthier beef options is expected to drive the global Wagyu beef industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Wagyu halal?
The halal status of Wagyu beef depends on specific conditions. If the cattle are not given alcohol before slaughter, Wagyu is considered halal. However, if alcohol is given to the cattle, it is deemed haram. The Wagyu beef sold by us is 100% certified halal, ensuring that Muslims can eat it without any concerns.
Does Wagyu beef contain alcohol?
Finding Wagyu beef without alcohol can be challenging. Some producers feed sake (alcohol) to Wagyu cattle to enhance their appetite. As a result, Muslim consumers should refrain from consuming Wagyu beef that contains alcohol.
How is Wagyu different from other types of meat?
Genuine Wagyu beef is renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality and flavor. Its distinctive feature is extensive marbling, which creates a buttery tenderness that sets it apart from any other steak. Wagyu refers specifically to Japanese beef, with Japanese Black cattle accounting for approximately 90% of Wagyu production.
Is Wagyu quality graded?
Wagyu beef quality is assessed and graded by the Japan Meat Grading Association. The grading system encompasses yield grade, which measures the proportion of meat to carcass weight, and quality grade, which evaluates marbling, meat color, fat color, and texture. The highest quality grade is A5, indicating the finest beef available.