MuslimView‘s Neil Payne looks into three British Muslim Farms and the increasing demand for halal and tayyib food and produce as consumers become much more aware of how their food is produced.
Sowing the Seeds of Love: British Muslim Farmers and the demand for good food
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MuslimView: Reimagining British Muslims
There are news stories circulating about Pizza Express using halal chicken in their restaurants. This does not make Pizza Express halal chicken pizzas automatically safe to eat by default. Muslims must exercise caution. The mere fact that Pizza Express is not advertising itself as a halal eating outlet should warrant caution. Continue reading Pizza Express Halal Chicken?
I visited Willowbrook Farm on Saturday with my family (my father, my wife and kids). The weather, although clear, was not really conducive to enjoying a stroll in the fields but we trekked around anyway. Although Willowbrook Farm has been going for nearly 5 years, it is still very much in a developmental stage and there is a lot of work still to be done. Aside from the chickens and sheep, plans are afoot to develop an orchard and a soft fruit garden and more vegetables will be grown. I may go back again with my video camera and have a chat with him and his wife Ruby about the farm project.
The farm shop had a number of items on offer, organic lamb cuts, frozen organic chickens, organic eggs, sausages (which were delicious!), bread and even handmade soap originating from the farm itself. Prices, it has to be said, were “expensive” notice I have put that in quotes since it is all relative. We purchased a couple of frozen chickens and they were about ?14.00 each, they were a very good size but when you are used to paying ?3.00 per chicken at your usual halal shop, obviously you are conditioned into thinking that this is expensive. Most people don’t bat an eyelid when they buy a pizza for the same price. Whilst I am not recommending that people buy all their meat stock from Willowbrook exclusively (although if you can afford it you should!) you should at least consider paying that much extra for a chicken or two on special occasions, treat yourself or your guests to halal organic meat once in a while!
What marks this produce out from the usual fair is that it is hand reared and not mass-produced and slaughtered, Lutfi and Ruby lovingly raise their produce. I asked Lutfi about wholesaling and he told me that whilst it could be lucrative it would mean compromising on quality and the welfare of the animals and that is something that he is not prepared to do. May Allah reward and bless this family in this endeavour and may Allah give us the means to support their work. Hats off to them, it is not an easy job and I don’t envy them!