This vs. That: Kosher and Halal

Both Kosher and Halal are terms connected to religious diets used to describe foods that are allowed and forbidden under religious laws. Kosher refers to Jewish laws while Halal refers to Islamic laws.

Kosher laws restrict certain foods and has specific laws on food combinations. Under Kashrut laws, any land mammals that have split hooves and chew their cud are permitted to eat. This includes cows, sheep, bison, etc., but excludes pigs. For example, bacon is not Kosher. There are also similar laws to sea animals, as animals with scales and fins are allowed to be eaten. Under this law, shellfish are not Kosher. Kashrut laws also state that meat and dairy cannot be combined in the same meal. In order for meat to be Kosher, the animal has to be slaughtered in a certain way and by a specific person. In order to know if something is Kosher, check for a certification label on the back of the product.

Halal also has restrictions on certain foods and animals, but does not have restriction on food combinations aside from the fact that Halal food should not be eaten with non-Halal food. Pork is not Halal and is forbidden under Islamic law, as well as some reptiles, cancerous animals, and bird of prey. Alcohol, as well as foods prepared with alcohol, are also not Halal. Dairy products must also be produced by animals that are certified to be Halal, otherwise they are not allowed. Similarly to Kosher laws, animals have to be slaughtered in a certain way and by a specific person in order to be Halal. Products that are Halal are certified by a label on the back of the packaging.

Overall, both diets have some overlap but each has their own unique rules. Now that you know the similarities and differences, you can be more informed!