The food quality focus is on how animals are raised, as that effects the quality of the meat. But is there any truth to the idea that how an animal's life ends makes a difference on the plate?
Those who eat Kosher or Halal think how the animal is slain makes a difference for religious reasons. And from what we've seen on the killing floor, you have to wonder based on the cleaning process if going Kosher or Halal makes a difference in taste.
Just for the record, I am not either Jewish or Muslim. And I hope desperately to not offend those who are by my ignorance (please feel free to leave a comment to correct any religious element within the story).
Halal is a Muslim term that is similar in vein to kosher that apply to how the animals are slain.
Sometime ago, I noticed a sign at a nearby KFC that the outlet was halal, not a huge surprise in that area. So I thought this would be a good experiment since unlike other establishments, I would be able to tell "before" and "after."
I ordered a breast and a wing with 2 sides and a biscuit for my sample meal. The chicken came out with a darker brown color than I have had in awhile. My unofficial theory is that KFC tasted better when I was a child in part because the chicken skin was dark brown, not the lighter skinned chicken we see today from KFC. (Yes, it was freshly cooked back then as well.) This chicken didn't quite reach the color level of my childhood, but I was impressed.
[Side note: when I tried the Double Down, I noticed that the picture of the Double Down had a similar dark brown color unlike my actual sandwich. If only I could order the sandwich in the picture.]
Color was good and encouraging, but taste would have to rule out. The chicken certainly was the juiciest KFC bird I had eaten in, well, I couldn't remember. So often in eating KFC, I tough it out with the meat, trying to counterbalance (somewhat) the skin.
Color, taste, expectations? Numerous reasons for why the bird was much better than normal. Can I give full credit to halal? I would have to think that halal made a difference, and kosher would, too.
Other than Kosher beef hot dogs, I don't think I have had kosher or halal meat before this, and hot dogs aren't the best judge of meat quality. But if I feel like the quality is significantly better, my eyes are now open to Kosher and Halal, regardless of religion.