Mehmet Gurakar, the president of McKeesport halal meat producer MRG Food LLC, has been fasting during the day for more than two weeks. But working alongside livestock and beef, veal and goat carcasses doesn't quite pique his appetite.

"We are at the beginning of the food chain," he said. "It doesn't make us very hungry."

Mr. Gurakar, who is from Turkey, is observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began in late July. Partaking in the Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, and observant Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset during the month.

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