Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ice Cream For A Good Cause

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's! Affad Shaikh discussed this blessed event at: This American Muslim.

Eating for a good cause is very much up my alley.

BUT I have some words of caution, take them for what they're worth insh'Allah. It was recently brought to my attention (hat tip to Saira Lari) that the majority of ice cream flavors by Ben & Jerry's contain vanilla extract. According to Eat Halal (EXCERPT included below):

Vanilla is a plant product. It is extracted with alcohol as the solvent of choice, from the vanilla bean and is normally kept in a solution containing alcohol. It can be used in powder or liquid form. If you examine at a bottle of vanilla extract, you will find it lists alcohol as an ingredient, along with the percentage of alcohol. (In the USA, a minimum of 35% alcohol is required for it to be called natural vanilla.)
. . . .
In current practice, most of the vanillin and ethyl vanillin is produced synthetically; however, the food companies may also dissolve them in alcohol before they are used in the food items.
. . .
So in general, all intoxicants, regardless of the source, are haram. (Khamr is commonly considered to be ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol.) It is also haram to buy, sell, produce, transport, grow the raw materials for or in anyway be associated with the alcoholic drinks (Khamr). Vanilla is not a drink, but it does contain a large amount of alcohol. Even though it is used in small quantities, it is better to avoid it.

And ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, knows best.

Please note: Ben & Jerry's has ice cream ingredients available online, so check out which of their flavors do and/or don't contain vanilla extract before enjoying your free cone. (FYI I believe all of their sorbets are safe, Alhamdulillah.)

Eat with caution?

1 comment:

Obi Asad said...

Aww geez. Is anything safe to eat anymore? Noooooooooo! And vanilla was one of my favorite flavors. OK, rant over. Alhamdulillah.