At last, a portable kitchen gadget for anyone trying to keep halal, kosher, vegan, vegetarian, or any combination of the above. Scientists in Kazakhstan have come up with an instant pork tester. The plastic-stick test, which changes color rather like a pregnancy test, detects food molecules that are found only in pork. The Kazakh scientists reportedly went to Moscow to test and assemble the pork detector at Russian pregnancy test plants. Eating pork, of course, is forbidden by Islamic law, as well as Jewish dietary laws and, who knows, probably by PETA . The consumption of pork is not prohibited by the Pro-Life movement, at least as far as we know, although that would be terribly ironic from a product marketing standpoint.

In order to test a bit of hamburger that you suspect might contain pork — a practice apparently widespread in the mainly Muslim country, according to Megapolis, the Kazakh newspaper that reported the story — all you need is a stick tester and a glass of water. “When you get your beef patty, cut off a couple of small pieces and drop them in a glass of water. Stir, shake, put the test stick in … In a minute or two you will see the result.” No word on when the kits will become available, or whether we'll be able to find them in Walgreens, say, conveniently next to all those other handy testers.

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