Salaam Readers,

As I write this letter at our IFANCA office in the Windy City, I’m looking out of the window at a glorious winter day with a high of 53°F. Not bad at all for a December afternoon. I do feel guilty about feeling happy at this, given the implication it has for global warming. Based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010, by the US National Climatic Data Center, the average temperature, in past Decembers at O’Hare International Airport, has been in the range of 35°F and 21°F.

Before I moved to Chicago, I didn’t know 40 below could be actual temperature on earth. Some weeks the American Midwest is colder than Siberia and the two poles. If anyone is thinking of moving to a warmer place—how about Mars? NASA has reported instances when the temperature on Mars was minus 2°F while Chicago was minus 6°F, with a wind chill of minus 20°F. This year, Scotland is said to be bracing itself for a deep freeze. Let’s see how it goes.

Check out the winter recipes we’ve shared with you. The carbs in our truffled, cheesy pasta will give you plenty of warmth. Don’t hesitate to try out Grandma Sally’s mushrooms baked with real butter. Start a snowy morning with the warm, savory porridge recommended by a practitioner of Chinese medicine. Not in the mood for eating vegetables? Just drink them down in the form of smoothies, like the one we have included in this issue.

As always, our articles are very varied. In the current issue, our writer has offered great advice on how to put together a party with novel menus and ideas. There’s information on whether natural flavors are really any different from artificial ones. We’ve discussed why a food fungus is sold at the price of gold. The health section this time focuses on autoimmune disorders, a state in which the body is at war with itself. There is also an article to remind you of the essential nutrients kids need for growth and development. At this time of year, when you may be looking to finalize your child’s college, a healthy dining experience may be high on your priorities. Our main feature in this issue explores how halal food’s reach has broadened to include university campuses. It also discusses ways to advocate for incorporation of halal food into your child’s dining hall menu.

All of us at IFANCA wish you health and prosperity in 2018. May all your aspirations actualize this year. May God’s blessings be with you and yours.

As always, your feedback would be very welcome, whether via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Happy Reading!


Haniya Rais Tirmizi, content manager