Present Day Eating Habits

Today, the Mediterranean region is characterized by a high increase in modernization. The traditional diet of the Mediterranean region has been affected by modernization, particularly in the area of agricultural production for trade. The countries of North Africa and the Middle East struggle the most with modernization problems. This has led to an increase in the dependence on costly food imports from outside the region. While the Greek economy remains rooted in agriculture and the government places a strong emphasis on agricultural reforms, Middle Eastern nations face constraints such as high rates of urbanization, leading to the loss of vital agricultural land.

Modernization has created significant changes in food consumption patterns in the countries of the Mediterranean region. The factors affecting the traditional dietary customs of the region are economy, environment, society and culture, disasters (e.g., war, drought), the expansion of food industries, and advertising campaigns promoting certain foods (e.g., soda, candy bars). Fast-food restaurant chains are also altering traditional diets. The expansion of fast food has resulted in the population consuming processed foods such as sweets and snack foods, which were never a part of their nutritional sustenance.

Halal food products

Food products not halal

Milk (from cows, sheep, camels, and goats) Honey

Pork and pork by-products

Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering

Animals killed in the name of anyone other than Allah (God) Alcohol and intoxicants Carnivorous animals, birds of prey, and land

Fish

Plants that are not an intoxicant

Fresh or naturally frozen vegetables

Fresh or dried fruits

Legumes and nuts such as peanuts, cashew animals without external ears Blood and blood by-products Foods contaminated with any of the above nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts Grains such as wheat, rice, rye, barley, and oats products

SOURCE: Adapted from <http://www.ifanca.org/halal.htm>

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