Halal Cuisine: A Philippines Culinary Revelation

Halal is the answer for millions of people, Americans included, who are being killed slowly by their food and lifestyles. Now, as they seek quality -real- food and healthier lifestyles, the discrimination against Islam and Muslims has been exposed. We are all now discovering the wellness and healing properties inherent in Halal Cuisine. And we are wondering why, have we not known this all before? We have questions…” – Kareem Jackson, Publisher, The Philippines Magazine International

In a world where fast food reigns supreme and health-conscious choices often feel like an expensive uphill battle, there’s a culinary revolution brewing, and it’s happening in the Philippines.

I am Kareem Jackson, and I had the honor of being an esteemed guest at a recent Halal Stakeholders Consultation Forum in Makati City, and I want to share my eye-opening experience of this gastronomic awakening and why it’s high time the world takes notice of Halal. Enjoy…

Picture this:

…a sumptuous 10-course meal laid before you, each dish a masterpiece of flavor and tradition. From tender, perfectly spiced beef to succulent shrimp, vibrant fruits, hearty soups, and refreshing salads, every bite is a celebration of Halal cuisine’s richness and diversity. But this wasn’t just any meal—it was a revelation, a testament to the incredible quality and safety of Halal foods.

Indulge in the exquisite Halal cuisine crafted by the talented chefs at Berjaya Hotel, located in Makati City, Philippines, offering a remarkable dining experience for Muslims and healthy food enthusiasts alike. Plan your visit and book your stay at www.berjayahotel.com/makati.

Kareem Jackson, representing US and international media at the event, was not just honored but also shocked by the sheer excellence of the Halal cuisine. For him, that was the highlight of the event. The Halal Cuisine, was more than just a meal; it was a spicy wake-up call to the untapped potential of Halal foods, both nationally and globally.

Kareem was hosted by Pakistani entrepreneur and friend, Mr. Muhammad Fahim, CEO of Royal Linens Manufacturing Corp., the forum brought together key stakeholders to discuss the future of Halal in the Philippines and beyond. One notable conversation was with Malaysia Ambassador, H.E. Dato Malik Melvin Castelino Bin Anthony, who emphasized Halal’s promising future as it gains momentum against organizations like the FDA.

But what sets Halal cuisine apart?

It’s not just about religious adherence; it’s about quality, safety, and ethics. As the world grapples with health crises like COVID-19, people are awakening to the importance of what they consume. Halal foods (always) offer a solution—a farm-to-fork standard that prioritizes natural, organic, and kosher practices -starting at the farms!

In the Philippines, the Halal market is booming, with exports expected to reach 3k to 6k products this year alone. But it’s not just about business; it’s about inclusivity and empowerment. Halal is open to all religions and people, offering a pathway to unity and wellness.

Here are Kareem’s 5 reasons why everyone (Muslim or not-) should wake-up and embrace Halal cuisine -NOW!

  1. Health Benefits: Halal foods are not only delicious but also healthier, free from harmful additives and processed ingredients. With rising awareness of dietary choices, Halal offers a natural and wholesome alternative.
  2. Tourism Potential: The Philippines, with its breathtaking landscapes and warm hospitality, has the potential to become a halal tourism hotspot. Catering to the needs of Muslim travelers can unlock new opportunities and revenue streams for the country.
  3. Cultural Exchange: Halal cuisine is a gateway to cultural exchange and understanding. By embracing Halal foods, we celebrate diversity and bridge gaps between communities.
  4. Economic Growth: Halal is not just a culinary trend; it’s a $7.7 trillion industry expected to soar in the coming years. By investing in Halal certification and production, businesses can tap into this lucrative market.
  5. Global Movement: Halal is more than just food—it’s a movement rooted in ethics and morality. By supporting Halal practices, we contribute to a world where sustainability and social responsibility are paramount.

With initiatives like Halal Internet, medicines, travel, and educational programs in schools (much like the issues surrounding CRT in the US), the Philippines is poised to lead the Halal revolution.

As the late US President once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” And was the undertone of the summit.

“The truth is that people around the world; rich people, American people, European people, non-Muslim people, are dying because of their food. -Not their lack of food, but on the contrary, from the lack of morality in their food.” -Kareem Jackson speaking with Mr. Muhammad Fahim, and Malaysia Ambassador, Abdul Anthony.

Halal is not just an opportunity for the Philippines; it’s a responsibility—a chance to serve Muslim and food-conscious communities worldwide.

And for all you healthy foodies out there, here is “Kareem’s TOP 10 Personal Halal Favorites Menu” of his most beloved Halal dishes:

  1. Hummus: We all love Hummus, but did you know it’s Halal? Hummus is a creamy dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and spices, enjoyed with pita bread or vegetables as a flavorful appetizer or snack.
  2. Biryani: A fragrant and flavorful rice dish cooked with aromatic spices, herbs, and tender meat (such as chicken, lamb, or beef), often served with yogurt or a side salad, cherished for its rich taste and complexity.
  3. Kebab: Grilled or skewered pieces of marinated meat (usually lamb, chicken, or beef) cooked to perfection, served with rice, salad, or wrapped in flatbread, offering a delightful blend of smoky flavors and tender texture.
  4. Falafel: Crispy and savory chickpea patties seasoned with herbs and spices, typically served in pita pockets or as part of a platter with tahini sauce, salad, and pickled vegetables, beloved for its crunchy exterior and soft interior.
  5. Nasi Goreng: A fragrant and spicy Indonesian fried rice dish cooked with meat, seafood, vegetables, and aromatic spices like garlic, ginger, and chili, often garnished with fried egg and served with prawn crackers, renowned for its bold flavors and comforting appeal.
  6. Halal Cart Chicken and Rice: A beloved street food staple consisting of tender, marinated chicken served over aromatic rice, accompanied by a tangy white sauce and spicy hot sauce, offering a satisfying and flavorful meal on the go.
  7. Gyro: Thinly sliced, seasoned meat (typically lamb, beef, or chicken) wrapped in warm pita bread with fresh vegetables, tzatziki sauce, and sometimes French fries, providing a delicious and filling handheld meal.
  8. Cheeseburger with Halal Beef: A classic American favorite featuring a juicy beef patty topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments, served on a sesame seed bun, delivering a comforting and indulgent dining experience.
  9. Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce tossed with garlic-infused croutons, Parmesan cheese, and creamy Caesar dressing, offering a refreshing and satisfying salad option with a hint of indulgence.
  10. Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Plump and succulent shrimp marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and herbs, skewered and grilled to perfection, served with lemon wedges and a side of garlic butter or dipping sauce, showcasing the natural sweetness and delicate texture of shrimp in every bite.

In the world of Halal cuisine, it’s all about keeping it real. You know, sticking to the script, honoring traditions, and keeping things pure. Halal food ain’t just about what tastes good—it’s about what’s right.

Halal is like a morality code, man, a set of rules that we -should- live by.

Did you know that The (US) CDC estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the United States?
See for yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/index.html

So, when it comes to what’s allowed on our plates, we gotta wake up, and be strict. No room for games, no compromises anymore. From steering clear of alcohol and pork to making sure that meat is handled the right way, Halal food is all about respect, integrity, and staying true to our roots.

Let’s break it down—here are 5 things you won’t find in Halal food, each one representing a piece of historic culture and a commitment to doing things the right way.

A. Alcohol: Beverages containing alcohol or derived from alcohol are prohibited in Halal food, ensuring that dishes remain free from intoxicating substances.

B. Gelatin from Non-Halal Sources: Gelatin derived from non-Halal sources, such as pork, is not permitted in Halal food products, maintaining purity and adherence to dietary guidelines.

C. Pork and Its By-Products: Pork and any food products derived from pigs are strictly forbidden in Halal cuisine, promoting respect for dietary restrictions and cultural beliefs.

D. Ritually Slaughtered Meat: Only meat that has been ritually slaughtered according to Islamic principles is considered Halal, ensuring humane and ethical treatment of animals.

E. Unspecified Ingredients: Any food product containing unspecified or questionable ingredients that may compromise its Halal status is avoided, emphasizing transparency and confidence in food choices.

You may have missed it, but there is a respectful, quiet revolution brewing around the world.

Millions of health-conscious individuals worldwide are rising in demand to end the discrimination against Halal foods -and, the subsequent exposure of fake, non-holistic, deadly food.

Savvy healthy foodies, clamor for access to certified, healthy Halal foods and medicine choices, recognizing the unparalleled standards of purity and integrity they offer in an industry riddled with deception and compromise.

Bad Food Kills.

We all now know, that in a world where dietary choices have profound implications for health, the demand for Halal foods transcends religious boundaries. Millions worldwide are recognizing the inherent benefits of Halal food choices, not just for adherents of Islam but for a diverse range of individuals with health concerns. From digestive disorders to food allergies, hypertension to chronic illnesses, Halal food offers a path to purity and integrity in an increasingly complex food landscape.

Halal is Wellness for:

  • Individuals with Digestive Disorders: Halal foods, which are prepared without the use of prohibited ingredients such as alcohol and pork, can be easier on the digestive system for individuals with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastritis.
  • Those with Food Allergies: Halal food practices often involve meticulous ingredient sourcing and transparency, making it easier for individuals with food allergies to identify and avoid allergens such as pork derivatives or alcohol.
  • People with Religious Dietary Restrictions: For individuals adhering to religious dietary restrictions, such as Muslims or Jews, Halal food provides a guaranteed option that meets their religious dietary requirements, offering peace of mind and adherence to their faith-based dietary guidelines.
  • Individuals with Hypertension or Heart Disease: Halal food, which excludes the consumption of pork and adheres to specific slaughtering practices, may offer health benefits for individuals with hypertension or heart disease by providing leaner meat options and promoting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Patients with Chronic Illnesses: Halal food, prepared according to strict standards of cleanliness and ethical slaughtering practices, may be beneficial for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, as it offers a more controlled and wholesome dietary option to support their overall health and well-being.

In conclusion, Halal cuisine isn’t just about food; it’s about power, wellness, and unity.

As we embrace Halal practices, take certification seriously, and unify our efforts to ensure Halal standards, we harness the inherent strength of diversity and pave the way for a healthier, more inclusive future.

So let’s raise our forks and toast to the culinary marvel that is Halal—it’s about time the world takes a bite.

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