Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

20 Oct 2002, 23:39 p.m.

Best way to learn what we stock: standing at the…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Best way to learn what we stock: standing at the checkout and watching what people buy. Every day I sell things that I had no idea we stocked. The other day I sold an amazing magazine that guided Muslims through the marketplace and coached them on where and how to obtain halal (pure) products. It may have been HalalPAK. I staggered at the implications of this magazine's existence. Perhaps someday many products will feature a small "H" on their packagings, just as today they display "K"s to signify kosherness (since kosher is not halal).

My discovery led me to HalalPAK's website, which catered to my minor obsession with the obscurities of other people's religious practices.

Speaking of Abrahamic religions and food purity, somehow Leonard got talking recently about the issue of kosherness and genetic engineering. "If you genetically engineer a pig so that it doesn't have cloven hooves, does that make it kosher?" he wondered. I propounded a mad Jewish scientist, or possibly just one hankering after ham. Leonard, googling the topic, noted that Jews seem to take great relish in pursuing the questions that little Christian kids get slapped down for asking in Sunday School.