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Globalising kosher and halal markets
Authors: John Lever and Johan Fischer

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.

John Lever and Johan Fischer

-​quality kosher meat free from the threat of contamination that exists within industrial production systems. The Torah injunction against eating blood has implications for processing kosher meat, and before it reaches the butcher’s counter it must undergo nikur or porging to remove veins and forbidden fats. In the front part of the body this process is where meat, viewed as an ‘economic good’, acquires some of the final qualities that render it a product (Callon et al. 2002) in the form of specific kosher cuts, i.e. brisket, shoulder, flank and rib (Lytton 2013). In the

in Religion, regulation, consumption
Abstract only
John Lever and Johan Fischer

our Jewish and Muslim consumers. Both groups for the most part rely on religious texts as guides to their everyday consumption practices. Many of our informants would agree that science is needed in kosher/​halal production and many search for knowledge about how to live a pious life. This knowledge comes not only from religious texts, but also from rabbis and ulama, family and friends, and from lists on websites and smartphone apps. Most Jews stress the centrality of non-​stunned meat to their kosher identity, but comparatively kosher meat is more widely available

in Religion, regulation, consumption
Abstract only
John Lever and Johan Fischer

. Science is thus much more important in food production than it once was, he claims, and young people are stricter ‘than they were 50, 60 years ago’. Peter thinks that kosher meat is less susceptible to problems that emerge from food scares such as the horsemeat scandal and he states that ‘If it’s kosher it’s kosher.’ Certification is more important with meat than any other kosher food, he argues, primarily because meat has high status and also because of what it symbolises; stunning, he suggests, is non-​negotiable and meat has to be produced ‘the Jewish way or no way

in Religion, regulation, consumption
Open Access (free)
Simha Goldin

mumar le-te’avon (lit., ‘a mumar for appetite’), defined as one who, when no kosher meat is available, will eat forbidden flesh. There is a distinction drawn between a Jew who is willing to eat the flesh of carcasses or other non-kosher meat only when no kosher meat is available, and one who eats non-kosher meat even when it is possible to eat kosher meat. Even though the former is also called Yisrael mumar la-nevelot (‘a Jew who violates the law concerning eating non-kosher-slaughtered meat’), the attitude towards him is the same as that towards any other regular Jew

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
John Lever and Johan Fischer

(Williams 1976). The first legal dispute over shechita slaughter in the UK was heard in London in 1788 (Wise 2006) and in 1804 local Sephardi and Ashkenazi congregations established the London Board for Shechita (www.shechita.org) (LBS). When the first synagogue opened in Manchester in 1825 the congregational shochet slaughtered animals and supervised the sale of kosher meat at licensed butchers with the authority of the ‘chief rabbi’ and a London-​based Beth Din (Williams 2006). As the economic and professional standing of Manchester’s original Jewish settlers began to

in Religion, regulation, consumption
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John Lever and Johan Fischer

Manchester, from shops near their local mosque. A lot of the restaurants Khadija frequents are also HMC-​certified: if she goes to a place that isn’t, she will ask if the meat is halal and if it is she states that this usually fine too; she notes that in some restaurants chicken is halal while beef isn’t and that she thus makes her choices accordingly. Khadija also believes that kosher meat is halal because of the way animals are slaughtered and prepared for slaughter. Khadija argues that halal is also about much more than food. Islam, she states, is a complete way of life

in Religion, regulation, consumption
Jewish identity in late Victorian Leeds
James Appell

. The Jews who had established themselves in Leeds in 1880 were almost all first-generation immigrants to Britain. Leeds had a population of fewer than thirty Jewish families throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, and such was the city’s status as a relative backwater in this period that the early community sourced its kosher meat from Sheffield and only opened a dedicated synagogue in 1846. 8 The nearly 3,000 Jewish men, women and children registered in the city in 1881 were thus the product of the migratory trend from Eastern Europe which took off in

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
A comparative analysis of their communities in Harbin, 1898-1930
Joshua A. Fogel

, and kosher meat was available all year round. William Zimmerman remembers that, when his family lived in Vladivostok, they travelled regularly to Harbin to purchase kosher meat ‘because Harbin is a good Jewish city’. Benjamin Alcone remembers that the Chinese even prepared gefilte fish for the Jewish families in whose homes they worked. 32 The Jewish press of Harbin covered the full gamut from far right to far left. The great majority of its output was published in Russian. Evsey Domar remembered there being six daily newspapers

in New frontiers
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Global kosher and halal markets
John Lever and Johan Fischer

). In 2012 it was reported that India exported 1.5 million tonnes of halal-​approved water buffalo meat to countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia in line with rising demand from price-​conscious consumers. This increased to 2.082 million tonnes in 2015 to generate US$4.8 billion in export trade that made India the largest global exporter of beef (Weeks 2012). Kosher meat is also traded globally, and over recent decades Israel in particular has imported vast quantities of kosher meat from countries such as Argentina and Uruguay in South America

in Religion, regulation, consumption