eating Qing-zhen - 清真

Sometimes life out here becomes so normal, that its easy to forget to share about the small choices we have made to be a part of this land & culture. Since we moved here, we have chosen to eat "Qingzhen" which is Chinese for "Halal" or "Kosher" - foregoing all pork products. QING 清 means clean, and ZHEN 真 means real. Because we have lots of Muslim friends, we adhere to this lifestyle. We feel having our home open to all peoples in this land is more important that eating some bacon for breakfast. To adhere to this type of diet isn't that challenging out here, because we are surrounded by others who do the same. Overall, its a very healthy sacrifice!
  • We purchase all of our meat (mostly chicken, some beef) from butchers that are "Qingzhen" certified. This means the animal has been slaughtered in a humane way, properly drained (ick), blessed, and prepared. There is a certain label you need to look for to insure that you are purchasing clean Qingzhen meat.
  • We try to only eat at Qingzhen restaurants, which limits our ability to eat at many Chinese spots. We are able to eat at Hui restaurants, which are very tasty!! If we do happen to visit a non-Qingzhen spot, we will only eat certain dishes - or not at all.
  • We have to ask a lot of questions. Many baked goods contain shortening, lard, pork by-products, animal fat, or gelatin. Vegetable shortening is fine! Most marshmallows and even Jell-O is derived from pig skins....so we just try (with the best of our knowledge) to avoid pork by-products.
  • We keep our home Qingzhen, so that friends feel free to come and share a meal with us, without worry or concern.