Are there any edible flowers I can try to grow this summer?
Depending on the climate you live in, there are typically many varieties of flowers that can be grown as edibles – and they attract bees, which is a wonderful way to get them to pollinate your vegetables, too! Some of the most commonly grown edible flowers in the UK are begonias, cornflower, courgette flowers, daylilies, evening primrose, lilac, marigold, and nasturtium. Most of the flowers’ petals are edible but be sure to check with your local nursery about each one. Buy only organic, non-GMO seeds and/or plants, and never eat any flowers that have been sprayed with chemicals. Most of the petals are delicious in salads or pressed into butter and cream cheeses to infuse them with the lovely, earthy, and sometimes spicy flavour of these very diverse flower petals.
Whenever I eat out or go shopping for fresh meat, I want to make sure that what I’m consuming is dhabiha halal (i.e. slaughtered properly according to Islamic standards), but I’m unsure how to ask without offending the shop owner. How should I ask?
I think this is an important question because all too often we either assume a halal sign in a shop window means that all is fine with the meat products, or we may ask questions in a way that is impolite and offensive to those with the best intentions to serve dhabiha halal products. The best thing to do is to first do your research before leaving home – try to find out as much as you can about where you’re going (i.e. the store or the restaurant) as well as the halal certification agencies in your region. What are the standards they set out to fulfill and what is their definition of a dhabiha halal product? For example, do they allow stunning of animals? Do they know anything about how the animals were raised and fed? Are they in touch with the farmers who grow the food you’re intending to buy? Once you know what you are looking for, you’ll be a more educated consumer who can ask the right questions.
Never demand to see a certificate of halal authenticity; simply ask to see it if it’s not visible and if you still don’t understand it, politely ask your questions to the right person – the owner or manager who is responsible for such matters. If there is resistance to any such transparency, perhaps consider taking your business elsewhere.