Over the last two decades, global demand for kosher products has been growing steadily, and many non-religious consumers view kosher as a healthy food option: in the US over 60 per cent of kosher food consumption is linked to non-religious values associated with health and food quality. This book explores the emergence and expansion of global kosher and halal markets with a particular focus on the UK and Denmark. While Kosher is a Hebrew term meaning 'fit' or 'proper', halal is an Arabic word that literally means 'permissible' or 'lawful'. The book discusses the manufacture and production of kosher and halal meat (both red meat and poultry) with specific reference to audits/inspections, legislation, networking, product innovation and certification. It draws on contemporary empirical material to explore kosher and halal comparatively at different levels of the social scale, such as individual consumption, the marketplace, religious organisations and the state. It compares the major markets for kosher/halal in the UK with those in Denmark, where kosher/halal are important to smaller groups of religious consumers. Denmark plays an important role in biotechnology that is compatible with what we call kosher/halal transnational governmentality. The book explores how Jewish and Muslim consumers in the UK and Denmark understand and practice kosher consumption in their everyday lives. It also explores how 'compound practice' links eating with issues such as health and spirituality, for example, and with the influence of secularism and ritual.
literature that this study feeds into.
A specific focus in this chapter is how consumers make sense of the issues
raised in previous chapters, that is, buying/eating meat and non-meat products in a changing global context. Another important theme explored is how
Jewish consumers understand and practise their everyday (kosher) foodconsumption in our two case countries: as we have seen, the market in the UK is
not only large and expanding, but also more integrated into the global market
for kosher. This is different from the case in Denmark, where there is only one
option: in the US over 60 per cent of kosherfoodconsumption is linked
to non-religious values associated with health and food quality. Globally there
are estimated to be around 25 million kosher consumers and in 2008 sales of
kosher foods in the US totalled US$12.5 billion (Mintel 2009). Kosher is one
of the oldest food certification systems in the world (Campbell et al. 2011) and
despite widespread acceptance of common practices there are many kosher
certification and standard-setting bodies. The Orthodox Union (OU) is perhaps the best-known global kosher