The other day, while squeezing my tube of toothpaste to brush my teeth, I noticed something very interesting:
Can you see what’s interesting about this photo?
There’s a Halal certification logo on my tube of toothpaste! (The Halal logo is to certify that the product is ok for Muslims to use/consume)
The first thought that went through my mind was: Is there toothpaste made from pork? I’d love to try bak-kwa or bacon toothpaste! That’ll be an interesting flavour.
I went to the supermarket and checked. All the toothpaste brands have a Halal certification on them! This got me very very curious.
I decided to search the Internet for answers! And boy was I in for a surprise!
Did you know that in the West, toothpaste has pork in it?!
Pork fat is processed into glycerin, which is then used to give toothpaste its texture.
Because of this, places like Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia (and possibly many other places in South East Asia) where there’s a substantial number of Muslims, have made it a norm to sell Halal toothpaste. The glycerin is made from something else. I’m not sure what. It’s probably from plants, though there’s a possibility it might have come from other animals (in which case, vegetarians would be really upset).
I’ve read a few articles online and it seems that some people in the West are pretty upset that Halal toothpaste is on the rise. This seems like a non-issue to most South East Asians since we’ve grown up using Halal toothpaste. Apparently, it’s just not the same, and some people in the West just want bacon back in their toothpaste!
I’m curious! Is there really a significant difference between Halal and non-Halal toothpaste? I’d like to travel to the West and try their toothpaste just to know the difference.
Anyway, here’s an interesting piece of information on other everyday products in which you can find traces of Little Miss Piggy:
Oh wow… I never knew pigs are used in the making of bread, beer, fruit juice, bullets, soap, and even paper!
For Muslims in South East Asia reading this, do take note when you travel to the West! Most soaps and toothpaste have pork in them!
Well… That was interesting! Now I know! And now you know!