So Cadbury’s has been caught with some pork fat in its chocolate bars in Malaysia. Tsk:
Chocolate maker Cadbury has recalled two products in mainly Muslim Malaysia after traces of pig DNA were found during a routine check for non-halal substances.
“Cadbury has voluntarily removed two of its products from the shelves,” said the Malaysian health minister, S Subramaniam.
The tests were conducted by the ministry which over the weekend announced that two Cadbury products contained pork traces.
Chocolate products are popular in Malaysia and can be found in most shops nationwide.
Pork and its byproducts are not considered halal – permissible – and are forbidden for Muslims to consume, along with alcohol and meat from animals not slaughtered according to Islamic procedures.
Clearly, not good for the company.
However, I’m reminded of a little story I heard somewhere or other. Some decent number of our more recent immigrants into the UK are vegetarian for religious and or cultural reasons. And they continue to eat the diet they had before: dahls and curries and rice and so on. But doctors are seeing dietary diseases, anaemias and so on, products of protein deficiency, in some of these people. Problems that didn’t appear with the same diet in the Old Country.
The explanation offered is that Third World food chains are so infested with insects and weevils and the like that people were getting a significant amount of animal (or at least insect) protein even while eating a nominally vegetarian diet. Our much cleaner food supply chain doesn’t offer this: thus the protein deficiencies.
And this leads to the idea that historic food chains have never actually been properly halal or kosher. Sure, they might not actually have had pig fat in them but there’s much more to both sets of dietary restrictions than that. It’s only with modern food handling (and detection as well) practices that it’s even possible to get close to the ideals.