What do pigs eat?
The pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth. It lives and thrives on muck, faces (---- or poop) or excreta and dirt. Often trash is collected and fed to pigs.
Pigs will scavenge and eat any kind of food, including dead insects, worms, tree bark, rotting carcasses, garbage, small animals and even other pigs. Surprisingly, pigs eat their own babies! They eat anything and everything.
Even if pigs are bred in clean and hygienic conditions they are kept together in farms or barns and they simply cannot resist eating filthy substances or ---- from other pigs and of theirs own. They are just filthy by nature.
Another interesting fact is that the pig excretes only 2% of its total uric acid content; the remaining 98% remains an integral part of the body.
Read The Labels
The law requires that food manufacturers provide ingredient information on the food labels. That makes our job easier. All we need is to read the labels carefully. To be sure, ingredient labels are not the most readable part of many food packages, and they may not always contain sufficient information to determine the Halal status of a product. But reading food ingredient labels is the first essential step in that direction. As you read the labels, especially look for the following ingredients. They deserve a hard look:
Bakery and Cereal Products
Look for these in all bakery and cereal products: Gelatin, mono- and di-glycerides, animal shortening, whey. In cereals look for marshmallows. (They contain gelatin)
Fruits and Vegetables
Additives and preservatives may be added in the preparation of processed and canned fruits and vegetables. Look for: Gelatin, mono- and di-glyceride, cheeses, alcohol or wine.
Look for: Animal fat, gelatin, alcohol, whey, glycerol, glycerine, and marshmallows.
Meet The Suspects
Now that we have learned how to spot the suspect ingredients on a food label, here is more information that will help us decide whether these ingredients can be considered Halal or non-Halal.
Lard is a saturated fat obtained from swine (pigs), particularly from the abdominal cavity of the animal. Any food containing lard is completely Haram.
Mono- and di-glycerides
Mono-glyceride and di-glyceride are lipid (fat) molecules used as emulsifiers in shortening, bakery, and dairy products. These may be manufactured from vegetable oils, beef fat, lard, or marine oils. Therefore, Muslims should stick to labels saying vegetable or marine mono- and di-glvcerides.
Shortening is a blend of fat and/or oil. If the label simply says 'shortening', stay away from it; it may even be lard. When the label says 'vegetable shortening' without listing all the vegetable sources or adding, the words "pure" or "100%". Even 1% lard will make it 100% haram.
Enzymes are a protein substance found and formed in all living cells that bring about chemical reactions inside or outside of the body. Enzymes can be extracted from animal sources, calves and pigs. Vegetable enzymes are okay.
IMPORTANT: Prohibition of eating pork does not imply that pigs are evil. There is nothing in Islam that actually declares the animal to be evil, or anything of the sort. Not eating pork is a very simple means of showing our devotion to our Lord.