I've been thinking about this subject the last couple of days in relation to my DD's childcare centre. The centre provides food but because it owned by Muslims it requires that meat is Halal (not sure about all other food, I can't remember). When halal meat is not available no other protein option is provided, the children will simply get more of something else (eg potatoes, garlic bread).
I found the food provided did not meet what I would consider suitable nutritional standards that I would expect (the above example plus others) so I actually pack DD her own lunch to take but she usually eats their afternoon tea.
So I'm sitting here now trying to digest my thoughts on how I feel about religious/cultural practices that I object to being surreptitiously introduced into my life. (I only know about the halal compliancy because of the discussions on the food quality and choices I have had with the centre manager.)
(I don't know when the new owners bought the centre, it has changed hands since I first had DS there in 2008 and has only provided food in the last 14 months.)
that is definitely crossing a line!
I find that really odd Busy-Bee, as I've said before in this thread, one of the benefits of Halal certification is that we are now aware of so many more sources of Halal food; I can't imagine a situation where Halal meat wouldn't be available, it's easily available in both Coles and Woolies. If in some very bizarre circumstance there really wasn't Halal meat available, fish is Halal and should be readily available.
It sounds to me like the centre is just lazy in its organisation and provision of suitable food and I can completely understand any parent being upset by this. There's no reason why a Muslim owned centre should not be providing healthy food, a Halal compliant meal could be something like grilled chicken or fish with hummus or guacamole dipping sauce and salad or steamed vegetables with fruit salad and greek yoghurt. All of these foods can be found with Halal certification and are easily available. I would definitely be questioning them about this. As someone else said, if they market themselves as a Muslim child care centre it would be very unlikely that they would ever offer non Halal food, however just because they only offer Halal food, that is no reason for them to provide inappropriate food that lacks nutritional value.
They don't actually market themselves as a Muslim child care centre - I didn't know until I had the conversation with the centre manager regarding the standard of food and it was mentioned then.
I got so fed up with the poor food that I decided it was easier for DD to take her own lunch in so I could ensure she had balanced and nutritious food. DD is quite petite and she doesn't like milk so it's very important she has calcium in other forms every day. One day I asked her what she had eaten at CC and she told me morning tea was fresh fruit (fine, all good); for lunch she had 3 sandwich triangles, 1 vegemite, 1 honey and 1 jam; and for afternoon tea she had rice cakes, one with butter and one with butter and vegemite. I think that's an appalling diet to offer toddlers and pre-schoolers. There was another time as mentioned above where I was told they couldn't get halal meat so the children had something like sweet potato bake with garlic bread. All the food is purchased from Coles - I don't know the ins and outs of their purchasing processes so I don't know what happened on this occasion. The centre doesn't provide any written standards of food they follow so can't even guarantee that only wholemeal bread and not white bread. Standard lunch items also include hot dogs and garlic bread.
It was such a good centre when DS started years ago. The standards were very high. The didn't allow any foods in wrappers and the only drinks that were allowed were milk or water. Muffins were fine for afternoon tea but no icing. When the centre first introduced supplying food they had juice on the menu every day (which I intervened and got taken off the menu) and DD recently told me they had iced cup cakes for afternoon tea. DD is settled there now though and has firmly established friends and carers that she will transition to school with which is the only reason she still goes.
ETA: To be clear, I am not suggesting that the falling standards has anything to do with the centre being owned by Muslims. I was just having a little off-topic rant about the situation.
Last edited by Busy-Bee; 19-10-2014 at 21:43.
Mrs Tickle (19-10-2014)
Who knows why they do, maybe because they dont really understand peoples culture so they do they lazy thing and jump on the band wagon. How many genuine terrorists' did they find in the raids saw one picture on ninemsn of a sword ornament in an evidence bag with the title sword found- you idiots it was a religious ornament thats hung on the wall that is blunt and could really be used as a sword- thats like a cross in an evidence bag with the caption weapon found lol, oh yes back to that and so they government used scare tactics through the media so we can all say oh yes librals thankyou for spending millions when the real reason is to kiss americas a** look at us we are sister countries lol!! #idiots
With regards to this particular issue of Halal certification, as a Muslim I do see the criticism of it as discriminatory. Kosher certification has existed in Australia for decades, no one seems to have a problem with it; it is essentially the same thing as Halal certification. When only one group is targeted and not the whole practice then it certainly does come off as discrimination.
I've actually used the same argument - just to see where people are coming from.
Are they simply getting riled up by viral emails/FB posts and displaying forms of tribalism?
Have they weighed up the differences between Judaism and Islam (yes, discrimination in a rational sense) - and the effects these religions have had, and are having on the world.
...that's the conversation I want to have.
ETA> I also want to add, that I personally don't see it as a 'tax' (Halal certification)
I think people are using this word 'tax', because of Islamic world history - drawing similarities to a Jizya.
It's all worth exploring and talking about.
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 24-10-2014 at 12:37.
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