Refugee Resource Center

How to Find Out What’s in Food


How do I know what is in food I get from the supermarket or a food pantry?

Every box or can of food must have a list of INGREDIENTS near the information on NUTRITION FACTS.

  • If there are types of food you don’t want to eat, you can read the list of ingredients to find out if that food is included.

  • If the label has the word VEGAN, it has no products from any animals, including milk or eggs.

  • If the label has the word VEGETARIAN, it might have things like milk, cheese or eggs but nothing from an animal that has been killed to make the food.

For Muslims

If you are Muslim and don’t want to eat pork or drink alcohol, make sure the words PORK or WINE or BEER or ALCOHOL are not in the list of ingredients.

There are some ingredients that may be made from pigs but the list does not use that word. You may want to avoid food that lists these ingredients:

  • Lecithin (but soy lecithin is OK)

  • Lard

  • Gelatin

The Scan Halal app lets you take a photo of the project and will tell you if the product is halal.

If you only want to eat HALAL MEAT, you can buy meat from several halal markets in Austin. Some of those markets are:

North Lamar area (near Masjid Aisha at NAMCC)

  • New Madina Market, 9200 N Lamar Blvd, 512-719-5552

  • International Foods, 11331 N Lamar Blvd, 512-491-8282

  • World Food & Halal Market, 9616 N Lamar Blvd, 512-832-8365

If you would like KOSHER meat, the HEB near Far West Blvd (7015 Village Center) has a kosher meat counter.

TIP:  If someone who is not Muslim invites you to eat with them, it is OK to politely tell them what you cannot eat. You can say: “I would like you to know that I cannot eat food made with pork or alcohol or meat that is not halal.” But tell them when they invite you so they know what kind of food to prepare for you in advance. You can also offer to bring your food to share.



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