7 Tips to avoid Eating Pork in Non-Muslim Countries

A Muslim especially Saudi National while living in Non-Muslim countries faces many problems due to cultural differences. We have covered this topic in this link “Why some Saudis cannot adjust abroad?” The most severe problem out of all these is How to avoid eating pork in Non-Muslim Countries? Pork or pig’s meat is forbidden (Haram) in Islam and many textures of Bible also show that it was also forbidden (Haram) in Christianity as well. Muslims do not eat the forbidden (Haram) meat. While living in Saudi Arabia, no one needs to worry about any meat product that it could be of pork as there is no pork in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, it is altogether a different situation in the Non-Muslim countries as a considerable number of products contain pork such as snack foods like cookies, donuts etc and dairy products for example cream and detergents, dishwashing liquids and soaps etc. As I wrote above that while living in Saudi Arabia there is no point to worry about pork as pork does not exist in KSA so people of KSA have a very less knowledge about pork products.  In America, many daily usage items contain pork or its by-products.[irp]

1.Be attentive at the grocery stores in Non-Muslim countries: While shopping at a grocery store in Saudi Arabia it’s nothing to worry while purchasing bacon, sausages and ribs etc. as all the food items are Halal but it is not at all the same at an American grocery store. Always remember to see the label before buying a rather appetizing package. Try to look that the package is not having labels like animal glyceride, animal fats, gelatin and animal rennet. There are also many other labels those describe pork so it is better to ask the attendant at the shop either the desired product is free from pork or its by-products.

2.Cosmetics and other toiletry items may also contain Pork in the form of keratin, collagen, and tallow, the byproducts of pork. They are used in manufacturing in lipsticks, hair shampoos, bath soaps and shaving creams. Some medicines also contain chemicals obtained from pork.

3.The bottom line is that be attentive at grocery stores and ask the staff about pork-free products. While you are at medical store refer to “The Physicians’ Desk Reference” you can see the details bout medicine such as names, indications, ingredients and brands etc.

4.Restaurants are also a place where you need to be extra vigilant. Many salads and soups may contain pork in them so before you place an order make a request to the staff to serve you a pork free food.

5.If you are unable to define Halal items in Non-Muslim countries, there is also another way of avoiding pork that you may not eat food items those are commercially manufactured. Prepare your food at home and use homemade whole grains, nuts roasted at home, fresh and frozen vegetables and fresh fruits. If you need gravies in the food you can make that from olive oil, water, milk of nuts and herbs etc. Make some dishes before time and place them in the freezer for use when needed in a short time notice.

6.Use dates, honey, apples and jams jellies made from pure fruits without any additives. Avoid commercially prepared cookies and candies and use fruits instead of them.

7.Last but least one shall try to the maximum extent that the food item is free from pork or may avoid eating the items those are doubted. Homemade pure foods are also advised by nutrition specialists.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.