Alhamdulillah, by Allah's (swt) Grace and Mercy I have recently begun
practicing Islam, may Allah bless you for establishing a light on the
Internet when there is so much darkness and evil present on it.
I am a little confused about what foods are haram/halal. What to do when
'people of the book' offer meat (besides pork) to us?
Also, I have heard that certain ingredients in food may be derived from
animals, such as mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, gelatin, etc. Are these
permissible to eat?
As well, I have heard certain chocolate bars have trace amounts of alcohol
in them. But they are so small that there is no way of being even slightly
intoxicated from them.
Please clarify these issues, Allah-willing.
Praise be to Allaah
Who has guided you to follow His laws and religion.
We ask Allaah to give you and us even more of His Bounty.
In response to your question, there is nothing wrong with eating any halaal
food offered to us by the People of the Book, so long as it is not mixed with
haraam like pork and so on. As regards sweets that contain unchanged alcohol,
we are not permitted to eat them, whether the alcohol in them is in big amounts
or only a little. The answer to the remainder of your question may be found
under question #210 .