Utilizing Indigenous Food Resources: Mission Possible

Being one of the participants and representing the country (Philippines) for a one (1) month training course entitled Utilizing Indigenous Food Resources for Food Security in Thailand is a bit far from my expectation. When this scholarship was given to me last February, all I did is to comply because this is what the management want me to do - not thinking that it could be possible. Well, it seems that nothing is really impossible.

Now, talking about the course, every country has its own indigenous food. In everyday discussion, I learned that most of the foods that Thailand utilizes are also available in the Philippines. But the thing is, these foods are popular and very useful for them but not for us (Filipino).

Some of the foods that I am talking are the following:

Lotus Seeds

In the Philippines usually found in the river and uses its flower as decoration. But did you know that the seed is edible and eating it fresh benefitting the kidney and heart? Inside the seed there is a green embryo that is quite bitter; it is usually removed before the seed is provided as a food product. The embryo is classified as bitter and cold and benefiting the heart.

Cricket and other edible insects

These are rich in protein, less in fat and good alternative to meat. The demand in market is very high because most of the countries around the world are now recognizing the potential of edible insects. It is also use as feeds for fish, for textile silk among others. In the Philippines they are only known in Region 2 (Ilocus region) but not that as popular as in Thailand.

Corn cob juice

This is my first time to taste this kind of juice and it’s very refreshing. The purple color adds more value and attraction but I think yellow and white corn is also good (must try). Maybe it is more healthy and safe if use organically grown corn. What matter here is the health benefit that will get on the juice coming from the boiled corn cob.

Other value added products of purple corn are mixed cooked corn kernel, processed corn nut and cookies.

There are plenty of indigenous foods that we have in the Philippines. All we need is to identify it, preserve it, learn its health benefit and uses and know how to eat it. Because food is our medicine; do not let the medicine be our food.

Going back to my home country takes a little pressure. But for sure, one by one, I will try to duplicate some of the learnings I gained in this course to be piloted in some of the Learning Site of ATI Region 8 until it reaches all the regions in the Philippines.

I believe that utilizing indigenous food resources for food security is a mission very possible.