The Emergence of Eating Halal in America: What It Means to Our Food Culture and Who Is Following This Dietary Practice from Farm to Fork

By Yvonne Maffei, MA.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Halal food is a dietary guideline of the Islamic faith which prohibits pork, alcohol, and a number of other ingredients. It's followed by Muslims all over the world and by those in the United States. Because many of the food rules surrounding halal are in line with the mainstream American (and global) food movement surrounding sustainability in agricultural practices as well as being humane towards animals, many people who didn't follow eating halal before are showing interest in it now, even those outside of the Islamic faith. With the emergence of halal-certified products (particularly those that are organic, free-range, and antibiotic-free) in the U.S. market, this is becoming more accessible to the halal consumer. This paper discusses how this new food market is shaping consumer habits, purchases, sustainable agricultural practices among farmers, and the overall food culture in the melting pot of America.

Keywords: Halal, Organic, Sustainable, Consumer Behavior, Muslims, Islam, Kosher, Free-range, Farmers, Animal Welfare

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.19-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 412.065KB).

Yvonne Maffei, MA

Editor and Publisher, Publishing, My Halal Kitchen, Des Plaines, IL, USA

Yvonne Maffei graduated from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies and an M.A. in International Development, where she specialized in international education and journalism. Yvonne has lived and traveled abroad in various regions throughout Central America, Europe and the southern Mediterranean, as well as the American cities of San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. She has been cooking and writing since a young age and always wanted to turn her passion for healthy eating into something more. When her recipe was published in the May 2008 issue of Cooking Light magazine, it was all the inspiration she needed to make a necessary life and career change. After years of being a teacher (and eating halal for nearly 10 years), she decided to transfer her teaching platform from the school classroom to the kitchen and her laptop to finally follow her dream of writing about food, travel and healthy halal living. Today Yvonne writes, edits and publishes her own blog about halal food, halal cooking and kitchen tips at and is the author of the first cookbook in America about Ramadan called Summer Ramadan Cooking: Recipes & Resources for Healthy Cooking All Month Long, as well as a pocket book on environmentally-friendly cleaning called Clean Your Kitchen Green: Non-Toxic and Economical Ways to Efficiently Clean Any Kitchen. She is currently writing a second cookbook, consulting Muslim schools on healthier halal lunch programs, partnering with halal food companies, writing a monthly cooking column for a UK-based magazine and appears often on national radio programs like NPR to talk about halal cooking and eating. She resides near Chicago, IL with her husband.