The People Who Eat at the Carts

The People Who Eat at the Carts

 The customers of halal Food in America, especially the Muslim consumers, possess a substantial amount of consumer power. According to Evan Abdalhamid, the editor of Halal Connect, if the customers “form local consumer groups, lobby for more Halal products, better standards, more transparency, moral and ethical business transactions” (Albadhaid, 14), they can exert a great deal of influence on the industry.  The reason that the customers play such a huge role in the industry is because without trust that the halal food is actually halal from consumers then halal carts would be nothing.

Trust between the food producers, retailers and the consumer is a crucial factor that allows the business to continue to thrive. Thus, without trust, the business cannot function properly, and will fail to harness profits in the long run. According to Emily Claire Hawthorne, alum of The University of Texas at Austin, halal consumers, whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims, place a great amount of trust in the halal food providers and retailers. For instance, Hawthorne asserted that “consumers’ intention to purchase halal food that was appropriate constituted the most important part of the network of trust in halal…consumption” (Hawthorne, 76). In other words, many customers truly care whether or not the halal food they consume is authentically halal. In addition, according to the article “Halal Food Fraud Worries Muslim-American Community” by Omar Sacirbey, the Muslim consumers are worried that “certification and guidelines do little to protect halal consumers from false advertising” (Sacirbey). This further emphasizes how crucial trust is and how important the authenticity of halal food is.  While the authenticity of the halal food is important to some, it seems that over the years halal carts have adapted their food to the taste buds of Americans.  

Halal carts are often run by Egyptian immigrants. However according to Eater, food in halal carts bares little resemblance to the street food in Egypt. Instead the food in halal carts often consists of rice and greens topped with meat with red and white sauce. The dishes served by halal carts are authentic by flavor and preparation, but these dishes seemed to have conformed to the American tastes of New Yorkers. For most, despite the very identical carts, each halal cart cook tends to add their own spin to the dish that is unique to their own.



Evans, Abdalhamid. “A Perfect Storm on the Horizon.” Halal Connect. The American Halal Association, July 2009, 10-14.

Hawthorne, Emily C. Chains of Trust: Halal Certification in the United States. MA Thesis. The University of Texas at Austin, 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2017

Sacribey, Omar. “Halal Food Fraud Worries Muslim-American Community.” Huffpost. Huffpost, 27 Jun. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

Danovich, Tove. “Street Meat: The Rise of NYC’s Halal Cart Culture.” Eater. Eater, 10 July 2015. Web. 10 May 2017.




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