09

Forest and Farms: Stories of Sourcing and Food Security

Gubatbp. featuring Mabi David  | April 22, 2022

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Episode Transcript

Bryan: Hello welcome again everyone sa ating pinakabagong episode ng Gubatbp. podcast. I’m actually named after – a quick google search, ang Bryan daw ay galing sa isang old Celtic word ang meaning daw ay noble. Well, I hope I live up to that meaning of the name. Ikaw naman, Onggie. 

 

Onggie: Ako naman ang meaning ng name ko, Jose, at ito ay pinangalan sa ating national hero, i think noong pinanganak ako, medyo mataas ang nationalistic streak ng aking nanay at tatay noong panahon na yon. At hindi lang ako actually. Kaming lahat na magkakapatid ay pinangalan after national heroes. So, Jose comes from our national hero, Jose Rizal.

 

Bryan: Interesting! Ngayon ko lang rin nalaman yan Sir Onggie. But yeah, we’re doing this introduction again, just a quick background sa pinangalan samin, this is primarily because in this episode, we’ll be talking about names.  Particularly, the science and culture of naming species.For example, isa sa mga nadiscover na species is ang pseudogecko o ang pseudogecko hungkag diba. Actually, Philippines lang ang nakikitaan nitong pseudogecko na genus na ito. 

 

Onggie: Yup! Siyempre tulad mo, ako rin fascinated ako with new species. And also new names and one of the places we’ve both been into and we like, actually, may nadiskubre pala doon na bagong land snail. Medyo weird yung pangalan niya, subukan ko kung mababangit ko ng tama – hypselostoma latispira masungiensis. Bago daw yon at nadiskubre siya sa Masungi Georeserve, diyan sa Rizal. At marami rin, isa sa mga medyo nakakatawa para sa akin na bagong species ng begonia ay ang begonia makuruyot. Pero yung makuruyot, sa pagkakaalam ko, ay bisaya or Surigaonon, probably for kulot kulot or wrinkled. So ang assumption ko ay ito ay begonia na wrinkled ang dahon kaya pinangalanan ng ganoon. 

 

Bryan: Actually, 2020 yung sinasabi niyo Sir Onggie, hindi ko lang maalala yung specific scientific name, nung sa Masungi na discover. Yung pseudogecko 2020 rin yon, ang alam ko. It’s really interesting rin how Bikolano, meron ring Pseudogecko Hungkag ang sa Bicolano, yung hungkag translates to “hollow or empty” which is yung common hiding place ng mga very elusive na animals na ito. Actually very interesting how we can learn so much about doon sa species kahit doon palang sa mimsong pangalan nila and may mga additional discoveries rin, for instance yung rafflesia, known for producing the largest flowers in the world, may na-add na two new species sa listahan ng rafflesia, first is yung rafflesia consueloae noon 2016, this is the smallest among the gigantic flowers, and itong rafflesia consueloae related ito sa magiging guest natin for today. 

 

Onggie: Oo, oo. Definitely. 

 

Bryan: So ‘yun. There’s so much to unpack and we’re only even just starting with the names. Madami na tayong nabanggit na pangalan and we don’t want to bombard our listeners with scientific names. Pero for sure, interested rin kayo to know, paano ba nakukuha ng species na ‘to ang mga pangalan nila. Ano ba ang proseso scientifically nung pag-pangalan sa mga species na nadidiscover. There’s this branch of science called Taxonomy ano nga ba ito and para malaman natin, we have our guest, si Professor Edwino Fernando. Hello Doc Fernando. 

 

Si Doc Fernando is the UPLB Museum of Natural History’s (MNH) curator for Palms and other Forest Plants. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources,University of the Philippines Los Baños. He is also a forest botanist and plant taxonomist, specializing in Biodiversity & Protected Areas, Biodiversity Conservation Policy and Planning, and Conservation Biology and Plant Genetic Resources.

Medyo sobrang lawak rin ng expertise ng guest natin for today. 

 

Onggie: Definitely, definitely. And our guest has conducted extensive field work and taxonomic research on Philippine plants and has authored and co-authored over a hundred and probably even more technical papers and books on the fields of plant biodiversity and plant taxonomy. He is a personal idol in terms of passion and commitment to his craft. You mentioned the rafflesia kanina, yung rafflesia consueloae, I know na part siya ng research team na naka-diskubre at nagsulat tungkol dito. And on a personal note, si Dr. Edwino, parati ko yan naalala sa kwento niya tungkol sa tangisang bayawak. I had the privilege of knowing, one of my first forest walks, tree walk, was with Dr. Edwino, at kinwento niya yan. Maybe later ipapakuwento ko rin sakanya ang tangisang bayawak. 

 

Bryan: Thank you so much for being with us today, Dr. Edwino. Sobrang sakto rin po since we’re on the topic of taxonomy and we’re very sure that you can help us understand this better. Hello, Dr. Edwino! 

Bryan: Welcome to the 9th episode ng Gubatbp. podcast I’m your host Bryan And I’m here again with Onggie. Hi Onggie, quick question bago tayo mag start sa podcast natin. Before tayo mag record dito, I’d like to ask if kumain ka na ba?

 

Onggie: Yup certainly. Alam mo naman ako, mabilis akong magalit kapag gutom. So kumain na ako before this. How about you Bryan?

 

Bryan:  Yes Actually ang Medyo marami rin akong nakain kanina parang kailangan natin ng extra energy para sa recording natin today. Kaya ko rin natanong Onggie kasi sa episode natin ngayon, we’ll be talking about food, culture and ecosystem baka marami tayong food for thought dito. We know ‘yung access sa food is a basic human right. Sobrang importante ito globally. Zero Hunger is isa sa mga priorities sa list ng United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Onggie: Agree. I think na, especially itong mga nakaraang mga buwan, I think food and food security has really be at the center of many discussions. But I think on a personal level, many of us rely on it for energy and food is a means of connecting and connection. Diba? Tulad ng marami sa atin, we of often ask, “kumain ka na ba?” and it’s often, “kamusta ka na?” Yan ‘yung meaning. So I think mahalaga na at mabuti rin na mapag usapan natin itong food. But beyond just ‘yung importance niya sa atin kultura, sa atin pangangatawan, at sa kalusugan, maganda pagusapan natin ‘yung food as part of ‘yung priorities of the United Nations and goal nga siya for the UN SDGs.

 

Bryan: You’re right.  Actually ‘yung nabangit mo na “kumain ka na ba?” Di ba parang sa culture natin ‘yung pagaalok na yun. Kapag minsan pag may bisita hindi ko pwedeng aalis ‘yung bisita ko na hindi kumakain at sa mga handaan, sa mga feasts, ‘yung usual natin ay ang pagaalok ng food, pag proprovide ng food sa mga friends, families natin. And at a certain point, parang tinitingnang natin na almost sacred ‘yung pagkain. Diba? So yeah I think sobrang tied ang food dun sa culture natin sa families as Filipinos.

 

Onggie: I think we also have to think about ‘yung diversty, ‘yung variety ng food ng Pinoy. Eh, di ba? Halimbawa, I think isa yun sa challenges din when you talk about food sa Pinoy. Madaming tayong choices available. Marami rin tayong—even yun cuisine natin seems to be a melting pot when it comes to food natin. Maraming nagtratrace ng roots nito to the Spanish period, meron naman Chinese yan. Pero naman may katutubong pagkain pa rin tayo. In many of our site visits, nakikita natin ito. At ‘yung mga kinakain at pinapakain, kinakain din natin at pinapakain ng mga katutubo sa pamilya nila ay masasarap din, but tumutubo sa kanilang lupain at nagpapahiwatid din sa kanilang kultura.

 

Bryan: Yeah, you’re right! Actually reflection din talaga ng culture natin ‘yung food. Sobrang anchored sa food ‘yung, tama ka dun sa diversity ng cuisine, at ng food at ng taste, at bawat pagkain na yon ay ‘yung kwento. Pag makain, may mga kwentuhan. So meals are not just meals, but also shared experiences. Sabi nga natin minsan kahit konti lang yan basta magkakasabay din ang mga kwentuhan, sarap na din ‘yung kanin. So it’s like a ritual ng belongingess, nabangit mo yun sa mga katutubo. Kung paano din ‘yung traditional food na pineprepare, at paano nila yon tinatanim, inaalagaan bago mapuntahan sa kainan. It brings us doon sa, if we trace back ‘yung source ng food, it brings us doon sa interconnectedness with the landscape, with the natural world. The food that our farms and forests provide us, as an agricultural country din kasi ang dami din nating talagang choices. Ang dami nating land. For agriculture, pero hindi ito devoid sa mga challenges. Pero baka later nalang pag-usapan yan mga challenges na ‘yon.

Onggie: I think there certainly are challenges pagdating sa food and food security, but I think we can start by identifying ecosystem-wide or landscape-wide where our forests come from, no rather where our food comes from. Natutuwa ako—one of the communities that we visited bago lang, sa San Salvador Island in Masinloc, in the landscape, kinamusta namin ‘yung community doon, at sabi nila nahirapan sila dahil sa pandemya, pero hindi sila nagutom kasi ‘yung mangroves provided them with easy access to crustaceans, easy access to fish. So para sa kanila, malinaw na naging malinaw ‘yung role nung mangroves as a source of food. Para sa kanila, bahagi ‘yung mangroves sa food ecosystem nila. Sa pagiikot mo Bry, meron ba nakita rin na nakahalintulad? Ng mga ganyan? Na kasama, na may bahagi ng buhay o bahagi ng karanasan ng communities ay ‘yung food systems sa paligid nila.

 

Bryan: Actually diba nga ‘yung notion nga natin minsan parang na sinabing ‘forest’ diyan lang yan, sa taas. Pag sinabing ‘agriculture’ sobrang delineated, well in fact, ‘yung nagbi-bind doon sa forest and agricultural lands ay ‘yung food mismo. Not just for human consumption.

 

Onggie: Agree.

 

Bryan: Pero for non-human species. For instance, sa forest, nagproprovide sa atin ng pagkain, pero ‘yun din ‘yung nagsisilbing food para sa mga ibon for instance. Na nagiging responsible para sa dispersal ng seeds, ang kagubatan and all. I think ‘yung isa din na intersection doon sa agriculture and forest ay ‘yung isa sa mga istratehiya na ginagawa din ng ating mga komunidad at tsaka ng mga organizations ay ‘yung tumatawag na “agroforestry.” For instance, ‘yung pinagusapan natin sa isa sa mga episodes natin ‘yung kape diba. So ‘yung pag-grow ng coffee sa shade. So yeah, you’re right. Yung food sources doon sa mga ganitong klase na ecosystems, hindi naman din talaga sila ganun ka-different or well-delineated because they’re not just providing food for the humans, but also doon sa mga wildlife species.

 

Onggie: Definitely. At tingin ko nga sa atin, maraming nag-iisip na food comes from the groceries or from, or worse, from restaurants only. Sa katotohanan ‘yung food natin, lalo na kung paguusapan natin ‘yung gulay, even ‘yung karne hindi yan galing sa shelf ng grocery, galing yan sa mga farms, galing siya sa pastulan ‘yung karne, galing siya sa dagat kung isda yan. And I think maganda rin na pag-isipan kapag pinaguusapan natin ang pagkain, pag-usapan din natin ‘yung mga farmers ‘yung fisherfolk, ‘yung food growers natin around the country kasi bahagi na rin sila. Pag iniisip ko, bahagi sila sa food ecosystem ko. Nakatira ako sa isang urban area, maaring malayo ako sa tunay na mga taniman, sakahan. Pero nakaugat doon kung tutuusin. Nakaugat pa rin doon ang food system ko. So I think pag pinag-uusapan ang pagkain, importante na pag-usapan din natin, or pag-isipan din natin ‘yung ginagawa ng mga magsasaka. Yung hirap na ginagawa ng magsasaka, kung paano natin sila matutulungan or maiibsan yung  kahirapan ng ibang mga kasama natin na nagsasaka sa kabundukan saka sa iba pang lugar sa Pilipinas.

 

Bryan: You’re right. Really great points, Onggie. Minsan naalala ko kapag sa palengke. Yes namamalengke din ako paminsan-minsan. Oh itong gulay nito, galing itong Baguio. And ‘yung usapan natin mas palawakin natin or mas palalimin natin dahil meron tayong guest for today. Someone who’s been working really close at tinutulungan din sila to distribute ‘yung organic produce from various provinces to customers, even sa Metro Manila. May online platform din sila na very convenient para doon sa mga buyers. 

 

Onggie: Exciting iyan. I think isa sa mga natutunan ko ngayong pandemya is to eat a lot more veggies. Nakaka bhala na parati kang nakaupo or hindi nakakapag-field. Or in my case di ako masyado nag-field. Isang way of becoming more healthy is I started to eat a lot more vegetables. And certainly na mapag-usapan, and organic was one of the key criteria in looking for food. So excited ako para sa ating guest. May karanasan siya doon sa sinasabi mo na community na tumutulong magdala ng organic vegetables or other crops dito sa Manila. Ipakilala mo na. 

 

Bryan: Alright sige. I’m very excited din. Para sa ating mg listeners sa episode na ito we are excited to introduce our guest for this episode, Mabi David. Mabi works in relocalizing food systems and advocates for agroecology and food sovereignty, Later tatanungin natin sa kanya kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng mga ito. She also teaches fermentation and miso making. Mabi is also a certified vegan cook with training in whole foods, plant-based cooking and with interest in health-supportive recipe development. She has extensive exposure to sustainability practices and finds inspiration in creating recipes that promote health, minimal waste, sustainable food ecosystems, social justice, and animal rights. Hi, Mabi.

Onggie: Welcome Mabbi!

 

Mabi: Hi Bryan, hi Onggie! Thank you for the invitation.

 

Bryan: Thank you din for joining us sa episode na to. Siguro Mabi we’d like to ask, how did you start with cooking, ano ‘yung naging inspiration mo for this one. 

 

Mabi: Actually dati, hindi talaga ako mahilig magluto. But when I decided to shift to veganism for health reasons, for animal rights reasons, social justice reasons, the environment of course, I realized I needed to learn how to cook plants with tons of flavor kasi di ba pag sinasabi mukhang lasang healthy ‘yung gulay, ibig sabihin hindi masarap. Parang, kung magsistick ako sa desisyon na ‘to, I think mahalaga na pasarapin ko ‘yung lulutuin ko. So it was talagang a deliberate effort to learn how to cook plant-based. Naalala ko dahil ang favorite ko ay Indian cuisine, so ang ginawa ko namili talaga ako ng spices and downloaded free Indian cuisine, dishes and recipes so that I can learn, just so I can motivate myself. So don ako nagsimula kung paano ako natuto magluto. Umattend din ako sa isang tulad ng sinabi ni Bryan, ‘yung professional plant-based cooking course, dahil nagustuhan ko ‘yung pagluto ng gulay. Parang napaka-creative niya. Then, I apprenticed in a plant-based kitchen. Tas ngayon sa Good Food, isa ako sa mga nagluluto para sa team.

 

Onggie: Curious ako dito sa Good Food community. So what’s the Good Food community?

 

Mabi: Good food community is a social enterprise and we try to build a connection between farmers and consumers. What we’re trying to say is that the goal of community health, planetary, health, of course individual health, is a goal that has to be shared by the entire community. It’s not something na farmers lang ay may responsibilidad or individual lang ay may responsibilidad. The community has to come together around the goal of supporting health, of supporting social justice through food. So, Good Food community does that through farm share subscription. So tulad ng nabanggit ni Bryan kanina, we consolidate organic produce from different smallholder farmers all over Central Luzon and Northern Luzon. And we put together a farm share, like a weekly harvest of local, seasonal, and diverse produce. And our customers are actually subscribers, so they pay ahead a subscription for the produce. So they’re guaranteed weekly supply of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, while the farmers don’t have to worry about whether or not they will be able to sell. Kasi di ba, nag advance na ‘yung consumer, sinabi nya na yes. We like your organic production. We’re here to support smallholders. And therefore we share not just in the rewards of food production here in the country, but we also share in the risks and responsibilities with the farmers. So, yun ‘yung modelo niya.

 

Onggie: Curious lang ako kasi especially when you talk about organic food. Parati dyan may concern on pricing. If you go to a grocery, pag organic, pag organic mas mahal, parehong kamote lang naman ito. Pareho lang naman siyang kamatis. What goes into, what makes it. I don’t know if more expensive ‘yung nasa Good Food community. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the experience nang pag join sa Good Food community. Is it similar ‘yung experiences sa pricing, or what goes into the pricing?

 

Mabi: Sige, ang goal ko mapa-subscribe ka by the end of your podcast, Sir Onggie. Ganon ba. I guess we start with the practices of the farmers, kasi ‘yung Good Food, is an invitation to expand on the notion of goodness in food. So, it’s not just pleasure. So, does your food contribute to your well-being, the farmer’s well-being by not using pesticides? How was it grown? Were the producers treated fairly? Out of the price like you said,  let’s say that’s 100 pesos a kilo. Ilan don, ilang porsyento talaga ang napupunta sa farmers? Or naka distribute siya throughout the long supply chain. Talagang wala nang natitira sa farmers. Are the farmers able to eat what they grow? Kadalasan kasi dito sa Pilipinas, parang ‘yung hunger is such a reality for a lot of food producers, which is so ironic. Are the water sources, the community soil, are they protected from pesticide run-off? So all this, this is how we define Good Food. So in the tampipi, we make sure that these fruits and vegetables are ecologically grown and fairly traded. But what does that mean in terms of value to the farmer at ano ‘yung pricing namin? Unang-una, kasama namin ang farmers sa presyo, pagdating sa pag-define ng presyo. Hindi sila mere price-takers, hindi sila binabarat. So kino-consider kung ano ang expenses na pumasok sa production at what they consider fair price for their labor. So it’s a dialogue that we enter into with them. And then, may negotiation in terms of volume, kung ganito karami ang i-aabsorb. Kasi we also need to bring in the interest of the consumers when we absorb the produce. But we always make sure that they are fairly paid. I think Good Food is quite, some of the produce medyo competitive ang pricing. Some naman ay mas mahal, pero I’d like to think ‘yung tanong na parang minsan parang bakit mahal ang organic? I think mas mahalagang tanungin na parang were the farmers paid fairly.

 

Onggie: You’re right, oo.

 

Mabi: Kasi parang pwedeng tanungin, pwedeng sabihin na mura nga ‘to pero may mga nadehado, okay lang sayo yon? Parang ganon. Because of the purchase guarantee, we have a purchase guarantee with them, so they calculate the costs of their production and we commit to absorbing produce that makes sure na hindi sila that cover these costs of production, kunwari sa inputs nila, sa paggawa ng fertilizer, ‘yung kanilang labor, so nacocover yun ng pricing. So I think competitively priced, sometimes mas mahal, but the consumers are guaranteed that the farmers are paid fairly. May mga farmers kaming nakapagtapos ng mga anak na hindi nag-uutang, hindi sila nababaon sa utang. Tapos, we just visited Bugyas and nag testimonial ang isa naming farmer-leader na hindi rin sila nagkakasakit  kasi hindi sila exposed sa pesticide. So may savings sila from not spending.

 

Onggie: Right, rather than spending on health.

 

Mabi: Oo, di ba. Tapos, may stability of income. Titingnan mo rin parang fair to, tapos dahil naka subscribe ang consumer guaranteed weekly na may kikitain ang farmer natin. Hindi sya ‘yung boom-bust cycle that some farmers endure na parang ang laki ng kita pero pagkatapos may mga panahon na nag-surplus so luging-lugi sila. So they take themselves out of that system, of that cycle. Cycle of debt, the boom-bust cycle. It’s stable so there’s regular income, and they participate, there is dialogue when it comes to arriving at the price. All these are factored into how we price our food for Good Food. And sometimes kasi people don’t realize that some food are cheap because it’s subsidized by government. Sometimes hindi naka factor-in ang externalities. Ano ang cost nito sa environment, all that plastic di ba? Hindi pinasok ang cost na yon. Tas syempre the big industry are able to achieve such economies of scale. That’s why part of the goal of Good Food is to focus on ‘yung kanina sinabing relocalizing food systems. Yung talagang local community, your immediate community, or domestic needs versus international markets. Yun ‘yung priority ng Good Food and the organizations that we align with. 

 

Bryan: I think it’s a very interesting and innovative social enterprise model. Yung subscription as purchase guarantee tapos ‘yung philosophy sa goodness ng food. Yung pag shift  ng perspective, ‘yung very direct lang, bakit ang mahal ng organic? Were the farmers paid fairly? I think those are interesting points that you’ve made. And I’d like to ask kung ito rin ba ‘yung mga elements ng tinatawag na food sovereignty? Can you tell us more about the idea of food sovereignty and how this is different doon sa mas madalas natin na naririnig na food security?

Mabi: So, ‘yung food security nga ang madalas natin marinig at mahalaga yan di ba kasi kailangang kalabanin ang gutom. Ang inaadvance ng food sovereignty movement ‘yung meron tayong independence, meron tayong control at kasarinlan don sa food production. One example, seeds. If you keep buying seeds, then you might be able to grow food. Pero for instance the hybrid seeds, you can’t collect the seeds from the fruit, lalo na pag tumubo, to plant it again. It won’t grow through p-type, wala na. Kumabaga sterile na siya. Dahil may access ka sa food most of the time, let’s say tapos pero wala ka nang seed, pwedeng gutom kung wala kang pambili ng seed. Kasama, kakabit diyan ang mga input. 

 

Ang food sovereignty sinasabi na dapat ‘yung means of food production nasa kamay ng citizens, nasa kamay ng farmers. So the farmers are not penalized for collecting seeds. Saving seeds, and then planting it again. Kasi ngayon ang nangyayari, pwede i-criminalize when you collect seeds because these are patented, ‘yung mga hybrid seeds, lalo na ‘yung mga GMOs. When you accidentally collect it, or let’s say may drift and nalipat sa farm mo. There have  been incidences na hinahabla ang farmers kasi the seeds are now in their farms accidentally, inadvertently. So what food sovereignty is saying is that we should have, the people should have the power and control over their resources when it comes to producing food. So you are secure throughout. You can keep growing food the way you want to, the way that protects the environment, the way your ancestors taught you if you are part of indigenous groups. Kasi minamaliit minsan ‘yung production ng IPs, parang backward not progressive. So yun ‘yung food sovereignty, it’s a food movement the recognizes the political, social aspect of food production and recognizes that there are power structures in it, and may power structures, who holds the power? 

 

So sa food sovereignty movement, parang ‘yung power has to be in the hands of the people, of the food producers. Parang may control tayo sa pagkain natin. Ang liberalization, kinakalaban yan ng food sovereignty activists, kasi magiging dependent tayo sa import. Remember the early days of the pandemic, nung nagtatakot na kasi sa rice liberalization, nababawasan na ‘yung production natin pero ‘yung mga Thailand and Vietnam we have to feed our countries first, hindi kami mag iimport muna. Nakakatakot yun di ba? We are at the mercy, our food supply is at the mercy of other countries, other regimes of industry kasi na surrender natin ‘yung arting food freedom, ‘yung ating food sovereignty. So that basically is a nutshell, it recognizes the political and social underpinnings of food production. 

 

Onggie: So for us na makain, how can consumers contribute to food sovereignty na ito?

 

Mabi: Well, support organic production. Lalo na ‘yung, tulad nung example shinare ko kanina ‘yung mga open-pollinated seeds. These are used in a lot of organic production. So the farmers are able to save the seeds from that. Hindi na bibili ‘yung farmers ng binhi. Magtatanim na sila tas aanihin na nila ‘yung seeds. Some of the fruits i-seset aside nila para yun ‘yung kokolektahin nilang binhi. Pag alam ng farmer na may magsusuporta sa kanilang consumer, may bibili, magpapatuloy ‘yung cycle na yun. So that as a consumer, that’s one. If you’re a plantito or a plantita, look out for such seeds as open-pollinated seeds. There’s an organization called Benguet Association of Seed Savers. They sell open pollinated seeds that you can use for generations. And it preserves, protects our biodiversity. But mahalaga din na makita ng consumer na hindi ka lang consumer, so part of what we do at Good Food is transform consumers to co-producers. So you see yourself not at the end of the food chain na naghihintay lang kung anong lalabas sa merkado, sa palengke, sa supermarket, tapos wala ka nang say. Tapos ang say mo lang, ang sinasabi sa atin as consumers sa ganong pagtingin, ang sinasabi lang satin ay you vote with your peso. Bilhin mo kung ano ‘yung gusto mong suportahan, pano kaming mga walang pambili? So hindi sila nakaka participate sa pag-change ng food system. So itong pagtingin sa co-producers, sinasabi throughout the different stages, meron tayong ambag bilang citizens. Meron tayong ambag para makatulong sa food production, at may say tayo. At hindi lang consumption, hindi lang pagbili ang power natin. Pwede din tayo sa pagboto, pwede din sa pag rally. Sa pagsuporta ng mga maliliit na magsasaka at mga maliliit na farmer’s market. Yung making sure you buy directly from the farmer that you know, or suki. May suki ka. Nagluluto ka ng pagkain sa bahay, at hindi ka laging nag tatakeout. Mahalang suportahan ang SMEs, pero mahalaga rin to buy directly from our local farmers. 

 

Onggie: Na intriga ako doon sa sinabi mo ‘yung pagluluto. Papano bilang nagluluto ka lang ng ula, nagluto ka ng pagkain na masarap, pero pwede ka palang, nakakatulong ka na pala, nakikilahok ka na pala. Paano yun? Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

 

Mabi: Nangyayari yan kasi maskinikilala mo ‘yung pagkain. Namimili ka na, meron ka nang desisyon at that stage, sa sourcing. Pwede mo nang, pwede ka nang mamili ng mas matinong supplier, mas matinong grower. Tapos di ba pag nagluluto tayo, titikman mo kung masarap. So sa pagtikim mo, nakikilala mo na parang mas masarap tong gulay na to. Like kami sa Good Food, natitikman namin na mas matamis ‘yung gulay namin. Kahit ‘yung mga subscribers nagsasabi na mas matamis talaga ‘yung gulay, the carrots, ‘yung sayote. May lasa  ‘yung sayote, hindi lang siya tubig. So balikan mo ‘yung, bakit kaya ganon? Bakit sa iba hindi? They are grown for size, they are grown for shelf stability. Mapapaisip ka kasi ‘yung farmers na to, pinipili nila kung pano sila magtatanim. Pano nila aalagaan ‘yung pagkain kasi iniisip ka rin nila. Tapos dahil narerecognize mo na ‘yung, sa pagluluto ‘yung naiisip  mo sila, tas alam mo na inisip ka nila, makaka-establish ka ng connection na parang nung naalala ko nung nabisista ko sila nung 2020 nago mag-pandemic. Ang saya saya ko na nasabi ko sa kanila na ang tamis tamis ng kamatis. Tapos makita mo sa mukha nila, deliberate ‘yung, atalagang inalagaan po talaga namin kasi gusto namin na masarapan ‘yung customers ng Good Food. So kahit across the miles, hindi man tayo nagkita-klita, pagkain ‘yung connection natin. So maaring makilahok dahil, nagluluto ka lang, nagiging attentive ka don sa mga desisyon ng mga farmer kung pano nila pinalaki ‘yung food natin. Actually, sinusubukan nilang hindi gumamit ng plastic. So ipa-pack nila yun, maingat na maingat. Pero sa mga carton, kasi alam nila na ayw namin ng single-use plascitc. Tapos na appreciate ng consumer na dumating ito, tapos wala akong itatapon na plastic. Tapos na susuportahan, nare-recognize ng supporter, ah alam nila kung anong mahalaga sa’min. So naco-connect siya sa farmer, kumbaga meron ding ambag ‘yung farmer don sa lifestyle nung consumer. Kaya mahalaga magluto I think, matutong magluto.

 

Onggie: Well said. Actually habang kinukwento mo yun, yun ‘yung oo nga noh, parang ang daming light bulbs na sumindi sakin kasi habang nagluluto ka, syempre gusto mo na masarap, syempre gusto mo na malasa, at pipiliin mo ‘yung pinakamalasa. Sa paghahanap, malamang kung ako yun, maghahanap ako ng malasa, mapupunta ako most likely sa nag-alaga nung halaman, nag-alaga nung prutas nang maayos. At to bring out the flavor, not necessarily the biggest one, the one to last the longest, we need to taste as much as we can. Wow, that’s a great, great point.

 

Bryan: Actually, yun ‘yung ganong consciousness nakakadagdag doon sa how we perceive how we taste ‘yung food, and speaking of power brought by food, brought by ‘yung co-production ng farmers at ng consumers, isa sa mga nabasa namin na libro na edited book mo with Carla Ray ay ‘yung Makisawsaw Recipes and Ideas published ng Gantala Press, I’ve read parts of it. I browsed ‘yung mga precipes, and si Onggie for sure nabasa na rin niya ‘yung mga pages ng book na yun. And we’d like to ask lang din sana kung parang, can you tell us more about that book, kasi we understand different women advocates and activists ‘yung nag-contribute doon sa book na yun. And speaking of stories ng farmers and napag-uusapan na rin kanina ‘yung mga sangkap. Baka pwede ka rin mag-share sa amin kung anong mga pwedeng recipe na pwedeng magawa ng mga listeners namin na organic din ang mga sangkap.

 

Mabi: Yung Makisawsaw, dalawang libro na siya. Cook book, but kakaiba kasi may mga binabahaging ideya tungkol sa pagkain, ano ‘yung mga issues na nakapalibot sa ating pagkain. At natutunan ko ‘to kasi for the longest time before joining Good Food, subscriber ako ng Good Food, at pinapakilala nila ‘yung mga farmers, tas nag-uusap with the farmers, ano ‘yung mga issues nila. So namulat ng Good Food ‘yung pagtining ko sa social dimension ng ating pagkain. 

 

And then ang impetus nitong Makisawsaw 1, ‘yung strike ng laborers of one of the biggest makers of condiments, one of the leading makers of condiments here in the country. Parang wow napakalaking kumpanya tapos hindi bayad na matino ‘yung mga empleyado. Makikita mo yun against the backdrop of our producers, our food producers are the hungriest, are the poorest. They suffer these indignities, napaka-vulnerable. May power eh, pero parang hindi nirerecognize ‘yung power, tapos aping-api. Tapos nakita namin nung dinsesperse ‘yung strike, na talagang may mga picture nung isang lola na duguan, talagang na-antig, na-horrify kami sa image na yun. 

 

Ang hinihingi lang naman nila ang matinong, hindi naman sila humihingi na yumaman. Matinong sweldo, hindi mahabang-mahabang overtime na halos pagod na pagod na sila, tapos walang occupational health and safety sa mga factories. Naisip namin na mas mahalagang malaman ng mas maraming tao ‘yung issue na yun, na actually common siya sa ating food system. Maraming nagugutom na food producers, maraming issues tulad ng landlessness, ‘yung kagutuman na seasonal. Women activists came together, we decided to put together this recipe book ng sawsawan. Pero nagsimula siya sa, we wanted more people to know more about what happened, so we hosted a sawsawan making workshop, tapos patikim. Pero dumating ‘yung members ng union nung malaking kompanyang to, at nagbahagi sila kung anong mga karanasan nila, kung anong mga pinaglalaban nila. Tapos nakita namin na sobrang diverse na na-attract na crowd nung sawsawan-making workshop. 

 

Ito ‘yung sinasabi nyo kanina, Onggie and Bryan, how food bridges us. Parang when you sit down together, may mga sectors na hindi nagtatagpo for numerous reasons, pero dahil sa pagkain, nagkaroon ng pagkakataon to come together and to hear each other out and to listen. So sabi namin, mukhang effective ‘yung recipe book, to develop a recipe book. Tapos samahan natin ng mga essays, magsingit tayo. That’s how Makisawsaw was born. It’s a slim volume pero natutuwa kami na nasundan sya ng Makisawsaw Community Gardens Edition. Ito naman, nagsulputan ang community pantries, community gardens. Naging mas malala ang kagutuman sa urban poor sector. Ang daming mga naglabasan na kusinang bayan, nagsasama-sama ‘yung iba-ibang cooks. Ako nakapag-participate ako sa isang kusinang weekly food relief project, volunteer cooks and volunteer bikers coming together. So the volunteer cooks cooked together different dishes, tapos the bikers go to the different parts. Ito ‘yung talagang lockdown pa, walang makalabas pero ang daming nagugutom sa daan, tapos nag-distribute ng food. 

 

So mula doon sa mga initiatives na yun, we decided to collect. Andami kasing mga evidence of solidarity and mutual aid through food, through recipes. Kinapture sila. So makikita niyo dito sa mga volume, ito ‘yung mga recipes na mga niluto ng mga nag-volunteer from urban gardener na nakapartner namin sa Payatas, to Jordina Bara of Toyo and Chele. So nakikita mo talaga na food cuts across sectors. Everybody wanted to help. Yun ‘yung Makisawsaw, imbitasyon sya, makisawsaw ka naman sa issue ng pagkain sa Pilipinas. Natutuwa kami na well-received siya.   

 

Bryan: What a great discussion about food security, solidarity, and sovereignty! Before we move on to the next part of our episode where we’ll feature some recipes, let’s have a quick break and listen to Umaapaw by Ang Bandang Shirley.

Byan: Wow! Thank you for that great song Ang Bandang Shirley! Hello again everyone!

 

Bryan: Thank you sa pag-share nung idea behind doon sa Makisawsaw na book. And we greatly appreciate if you could share doon sa ating listeners, kung parang ako, gusto ko mag-start ng organic na condiment or organic na dish. 

 

Onggie: Madali lang ba siya? Isa ‘yung sa mga, I think lalo na sa ating kultura, madalas ‘yung proof, katibayan na pagkain. I think maraming sa amin, ako lalo na certainly, pagkatapos kita marinig, pagkatapos ko marinig ‘yung essays sa mga libro na Makisawsaw, naniniwala ako na we can change the world with food. Iyon ‘yung tanong ni Sharlene Tan dito. Pero inaamin ko rin na hindi ko masyadong na visualize, kinuwento ko to kay Bryan. Ang galing ng mga essay, pero pagdating sa mga recipe, hindi ko maisip na kaya kong gawin. Meron ba ditong simple lang. Dalawang kaliwa ang kamay, takot sa kutsilyo.

 

Mabi: Masusunog ‘yung tubig. 

 

Onggie: Nako!

 

Mabi: Actually, napakadaling magburo. Ako mahilig ako sa fermentation, at nagtuturo ako ng fermentation. At isa sa mga pinakamadaling paraan para mag preserve ng food at magbigay ng flavor ay ‘yung buro. So ang favorite namin ngayon ay ‘yung burong kalamansi. Pero kailangan mo ng konting tiyaga sa pagburo. Mamaya may second recipe ako na ishe-share. Yung burong kalamansi, hihiwaan mo lang ‘yung kalamansi into quarters, pero hindi mo sasagarin, so parang magiging bulaklak siya, bubuka siya. Maghiwa ka ng kalahating kilo ng kalamansi. Kumuha ka ng asin, siksikan mo ng asin ‘yung gilid-gilid ng kalamansi. Tapos ilagay mo sa jar. Maglalabas, magkakatas na yun dahil nilagyan mo ng asin, Pag nagkatas na yun, pwedeng itabi mo yun. Konting pasensya, nga two weeks to three weeks. Ibuburo mo talaga siya. 

 

Pagkatapos ng panahon ng pagburo, makikita mo na nag-iba ‘yung kulay. Makikita mo na naging dark green na siya. Naghihiwalay na ‘yung flesh and pulp and matitira nalang ‘yung balat na napakabango and maalat siya. At ginagamit namin yun sa sinangag. Chinochop namin ‘yung burong kalamansi, tapos with garlic, tapos amoy na amoy ‘yung kalamansi sa sinangag. Siya ang magiging part ng malalim na flavor pero salty kasi andaming salt. Ang fermentation isa yan sa mga tinuturo naming paraan para, kahit gaano ka simple, gaano ka konti iyong ingredients, may paraan para gawin siyang mas malasa.

 

Onggie: At saka maganda rin yun kasi maisasantabi mo ‘yung kalamansi. Isa sa mga, may naalala ko. Minsan nagpunta kami ng Mindoro, tapos nakita namin na andaming kalamansi sa tabing daan. Nagulat kami bakit ganon? Sabi sa amin, hindi pinik-up ng jeep. Tapos hinahayaan nalang nila doon.

 

Mabi: Sayang di ba? Kaya noong nagturo kami, nag talk kami ng tungkol sa fermentation sa Philippine Permaculture Association, ang daming interesado kung paano gumawa ng burong kalamansi. Ito ‘yung ginagamit sa Vietnam na preserved lime na drink. Itong buro pala, maglipat ka lang ng ilan sa isang baso, tapos dikdikin mo, imumuddle mo. mojito, dikdikin mo yun. Tapos lagyan mo ng soda water. Tapos parang meron ka nung, parang, I don’t want to say the brand.

 

Bryan: Actually nakuha niyo na ako don sa parang mojito.

 

Mabi: Tapos pwede na ‘yung ang init-init, so parang meron kang cooler. Kalamansi cooler. Tapos dahil fermented siya, may probiotic siya. So that’s one. Dito sa Makisawsaw II, meron kaming recipe para sa isang umami paste. Kung ayaw mo gumamit ng processes na blank sarap. Meron kaming tinuro dito na didikdikin mo lang, or ibe-blender mo, or ifofood processor mo apat na garlic at eight pieces ng red onions, isang pirasong siling labuyo, six tablespoons brown sugar, one tablespoon salt, three tablespoon tausi, five tablespoons coconut oil. Pag ilagay mo lang yan sa dikdikan or food processor, i processor mo hanggang maging paste, pwede mo na siya itabi sa ref at gamiting pang gisa. So wala ‘yung mga maraming MSG na pang gisa. Tinuro din namin ito sa Payatas, patok naman ito sa community. Para masarap ‘yung kanilang mga gulay dishes na hindi gumagamit ng MSG. 

 

Bryan: Iyon pong product po na yun, gaano katagal ‘yung shelf life non if nasa fridge?

 

Mabi: If nasa fridge, siguro mga two to three weeks. Tapos ang ginagawa ko, gagawa ako ng marami tapos hahatiin ko, ‘yung iba ilalagay ko sa freezer so mas matagal, mga two months. Tapos kuha ka lang nung, defrost mo lang. Tapos ang sarap din niya sa gata. Gamitin mo siya bilang curry, pero hindi siya ‘yung the usual curry that we know. Nagwowork siya don. Gumawa ako ng ginataang ampalaya at buko, gamit itong paste na ‘to. Napakadali lang. I-on mo lang ‘yung prcesor mo, or magdikdik ka lang and meron ka nang pang gisa. Blank sarap.

 

Bryan: Interesting. Balikan ko po kayo, ako po ay mag-eexperiment sa recipe.

 

Onggie: Ako gusto ko subukan ‘yung dinidescribe, parang aha! 

 

Mabi: Mahilig ba kayong magluto

 

Onggie: Nagluluto ako noon, pero hindi na ngayon. Nakick out na ako sa kusina dahil makalat daw akong masyado. I think.

 

Mabi: Andaming hugasin.

 

Onggie: Tama! Yan ang reklamo sa akin. Masarap nga andami mo namang kinalat, so na kick out na ako. Taga ihaw nalang ako ngayon, yan ang medyo assignment ko. But maraming applications ‘yung kalamansi. Nakikita ko kung pwede siya sa sinangag, pwede siyang toppings sa kung ano-ano, di ba? Certainly ‘yung drink, wagi yun di ba?

 

Mabi: Oo, ‘yung cooler. Okay yun. Lalo na’t ang init na.

 

Bryan: Yes, lalo na’t tag-init. 

 

Mabi: Lagyan mo ng mint, it’s like a virgin mojito di ba? With local lime. Lagyan mo ng tanglad.

 

Bryan: Masaya. Nakaka-excite mag-explore. Sige po, thank you so much Mabi for sharing your recipes na yun sa amin. Kapag pag gusto ba namin ng recipes, may available na non sa Good Food website, or sa Makisawsaw book nalang din tayo mag tingin? Baka kasi may interested mag-explore ng iba pa.

 

Onggie: Available pa ba ‘yung Makisawsaw book. Sorry, I jumped. Available pa siya?

 

Mabi: Yung volume two po available pa, pero ‘yung volume one, I think ‘yung kopya non wala na.

 

Bryan: I think pwede yatang makabili ng e-copy sa Gantala Press?

 

Mabi: Yes, that’s right. Maraming recipes, kahit itong burong kalamansi, nasa Good Food na website. So pwede makita ang exact recipe. Every week we publish. Kahit ‘yung mga socials ng Good Food, maraming recipes doon na binahagi pagdating sa gulay. Meron kaming mga sigarilyas tempura.  

 

Onggie: Mukhang masarap ‘yan ah! 

 

Mabi: Sayote tempura

 

Onggie: Isa lang ang alam ko na luto ng sigarilyas.

 

Mabi: Di ba? Pwedeng tempura na napakasarap.

 

Onggie: Galit na ‘yung mga anak ko sa lutong yon.

 

Bryan: Wait lang po, parang nagugutom na po ako.

 

Onggie: Oo nga.

Bryan: But thanks sa pag share. Napag-usapan din natin kanina ‘yung food waste, food scraps. Tapos kung paano din natin ma avoid yun doon sa pagbuburo. Meron pa bang ibang practices to make the most out of doon sa food scraps para ma minimize natin ‘yung ating food waste?

 

Mabi: Right now, ‘yung Good Food meron siyang partnership with Green Space. Diverting ‘yung food waste from landfills to urban gardens. So merong kaming partnership with Green Space so that ‘yung mga food waste ng different households from Manila are actually composted in urban garden that we have with the Payatas farmers. Ang taba-taba ng lupa nila dahil sa programang ito. Tapos parang nagiging soil bank na rin siya. Dahil nagcocompost na siya don solidarity garden sa Bagong Silangan, pag pwedeng mag-withdraw ‘yung subscribers ng Green Space ng aming partner, tapos kumukuha don, tapos binibigay sa mga household., So parang nagiging close loop. There’s that. At talagang mahalaga na ‘yung customer support, customer education and lifestyle support pagdating sa pagluluto, kaya din laging kaming naglalabas ng mga posts, tips, sa storage para hindi masayang. Yung organic, kung pwede mong kainin ‘yung peels. Dahil hindi naman na sprayan for some fruits. So nagbabahagi kami ng ganong kaalaman sa aming subscribers. Kasi sila rin, nakikita namin na talagang, there’s a growing need sa consumers to minimize their food waste. Mulat na sila sa contribution nito sa pollution, pagdating sa greenhouse gases, lalo na sa mga landfills. Meron nang desire that we try to meet with our educational posts.

 

Onggie: I think mahalaga din itong usapin na ito, lalo na kung closed system. Close na close sa ating root. Doon sa ating mga small island ecosystem. Ngayon sa pagkakaalam namin, meron kaming mga tinutulungan, nahihirapan sa pagkain. Paggawa, pag-produce ng sariling pagkain. Pagluto ng masustansya, pero hindi nakasawang pagkain. Yan ang challenge. At ano ang gagawin doon sa tira-tira, sa scraps. Mukhang andaming aral na pwedeng pulutin sa experience nitong Good Food community. Doon halimbawa sa pagproduce ng food, may mga kaalaman ba na naibahagi ang mga farmers sa inyo, na mas madali pag ganito, or kaya mas menos gastos sa kalikasan pag ganitong paraan?

 

Mabi: Ang isa pong na emphasize ng partner farmers at Good Food ay ‘yung diversity pagdating sa food production. Lalo na kung local food systems na gusto mo nang patibayin. So ang practice ng farmers ng Good Food, lalo na ‘yung mga na devastate ng Odette, to plant diverse food. Mag intercropping. Kumabaga, nakita namin sa farmers namin. What you grow is lettuce, di mo naman pwedeng kainin ang lettuce araw-araw. Some people try but majority parang gusto natin ng iba-iba, sari-sari. So nakita namin sa farmers na because of this model that emphasizes diversity in crop production, ‘yung farmers hindi nagutom talaga during the pandemic. Nagpamigay pa sila, angbopen up pa sila ng kanilang farms to be able to share their produce. Kasi kung baga, there are 5, 7, 10 vegetables in a small farm. Sagot na ‘yung pagkain mo, food secure ka na. Isa yan sa mga inemphasize ng Good Food kasi binuo ‘tong social enterprise in reaction to the persistent hunger that our small farmers face. So napakahalaga na diverse, to protect the diversity of the agroecosystem. And of course, soil health. Talagang ingatan ang soil health through regenerative practices, crop rotation, composting. Napakahalaga, Onggie I think you mentioned this, ‘yung state ng soil, sobrang nakakabit to hindi lang sa food security but water efficiency, water access, carbon sequestration. To start production methods that are regenerative, that are ecological, kasi ito ‘yung mag-iingat, magsusustain ng ating food security and food sovereignty for generations. 

 

Onggie: Wow, medyo maraming directions yun for us, in our support and in our programs. And I think para sa akin, it makes best sense, it makes real sense. If we are looking at production, pagpaparami ng makakain, hindi lang siya ‘yung kinakain at present, but rather ‘yung means of production. Yung lupa. Madalas, makakalimutan ito. Ang focus would be grow as many as you can, but madalas isa lang yun. So maganda ‘yung tip na grow 5 to 7. Nice! 

 

Mabi: I think mahalaga rin for the community to be involved. Kasi naalala ko, I think we were recently in a call lang with people trying to study client resiliency in the Philippines, tapos tinanong kami, paano masisiguro ang climate resiliency kung kunwari wala ang Good Food? Paano magiging resilient in times of disasters kung wala ang Good Food and wala ang model? Mahalaga ‘yung community. In place of Good Food, it’s the people around in food production diba, ecosystem, that need to step up and say, “Ano nga ba ang mahalaga sa atin? Paano natin matutulungan ang ating komunidad para masiguro ang pagkain?” Hindi kailangan ng social enterprise, I mean, we welcome all the support, pero hindi kailangan magtayo ng social enterprise to address food security and food sovereignty. If citizens come together and say “You know, this is a shared problem.” Hunger is a shared problem and therefore we need to come together and find solutions. Masasagot ‘yan eh. And we’re seeing that in the communities affected by Odette diba. Grabe ‘yung mutual aid na lumabas from the citizens. Grabe ‘yung solidarity. The different forms of solidarity. ‘Yun eh. ‘Yun ‘yung kailangan. Nakakatakot ‘yung climate emergency, pero ang dami ring examples of people coming together and creating solutions outside of the corporate set up and these are small communities, indigenous peoples, ordinary citizens saying they have a role, they have a responsibility diba. They can actually create solutions. ‘Yun ‘yung kailangan marinig natin eh. Para ma-empower ‘yung iba, mainspire ‘yung iba. “Ah kaya rin namin, hindi kailangan ng specialization.” 

 

Onggie: Great point! Hindi lang tayo magnu-nurture ng plant systems but also community systems. For cooperation, collaboration, collaborative effort for empathy, for partnering. That’s a great point. Naisip ko lang baka naka-focus, lalo na kami, minsan technical ang approach namin. Magpalago tayo nito. Palakihin natin ito. Ayusin natin ito. Lahat nakatingin palabas. Actors sila pero hindi rin nakatingin sa systems nila. Sa pinagdaraanan nila at sa kakayahan nila. Great point. 

 

Bryan: Sobrang inspiring and powerful nung perspective na ‘yon. Food security, food sovereignty, food solidarity. Sobrang complex, hindi lang siya doon sa biophysical aspects nung farms, nung forest natin, nung ecosystems, but also ‘yung pag merge nun sa social systems natin. You’ve mentioned Mabi ‘yung sa communities, ‘yung stories, ‘yung mga kwento nila. And isa ‘yung Makisawsaw, ‘yung platform niyo sa Good Food Community, to tell ‘yung stories na ‘yon and we know na isa kang artist-poet rin na gumagamit ng poetry to tell stories. I’d like to ask what other forms of storytelling can we nurture toward food sovereignty, security, and solidarity. 

Mabi: I think malahalaga to tap into our memories of how food plays a role in our health, in our well-being. At mahalaga na ikwento ito. Kasi ito ‘yung pinapasa natin sa next generation. Kahit ‘yung simple lang na pag ikaw nagkakasakit, anong ginagawa ng nanay mo, ng tatay mo, ng lola mo, diba? Tapos ‘yung pag kwento nun, it’s a way of carrying it over for the next generation. At ‘yun ‘yung, nadiscover namin ‘to kasi, I’m part of a group that talks about climate resiliency and food sovereignty. Tapos talagang nakita ‘yung halaga ng stories, ng memory, but also ng history and sometimes how history traumatizes us. Sometimes to the point na nasisira ‘yung relationship mo with food. Whether you were teased or given support or you went really hungry growing up. These forms of trauma shaped our relationship with food. Napakahalaga ng storytelling. Napaka-halaga na balikan ‘yung memories natin, tapos hindi siya huhusgahan na hindi progressive, na may mas modern na. Tapos titingnan rin, mahalagang tanungin ‘to sa mga nag-migrate from rural to urban areas. These ones, often, they are more vulnerable and don’t have access to health food, don’t have access to medical resources sa well-being, and mahalaga na itanong ba sakanila, ‘nung nasa probinsya kayo, ano ‘yung kaalaman pag-dating sa — paano pag nagkaksakit, paano kayo gumagaling, anong kinakain niyo? Kasi it allows them to reconnect with that. Rather than keep resorting to processed food or thinking na hindi sila empowered to do something. So ‘yun. Any form of story, diba, storytelling, thank you for raising that. Any form of storytelling that will tap into those practices, kailangan marinig and mag resurface uli. 

 

Bryan: Actually when you search the term “food” nga sa Google, majority ng food na lalabas ay puro processed foods. At I think ‘yung stories ay very important nga to reconnect and siguro break ‘yung intergenerational trauma, na nabangit mo, and also to progress to not not remember, sa ancestry ng land. Baka maganda po yang next project. Memories of food, land, something like that. 

 

Mabi: Actually gusto kong mag-investigate, lalo na ‘yung, specifically sa rice. Dahil nile-liberalize ‘yung rice natin. So mas imports ang nakakain ng karamihan tapos may dumarating na threat ng GMO rice. So biglang ‘yung traditional local varieties are under threat. So gusto ko magkaron ng project under that. Exploring rice throughout the islands. 

 

Bryan: Thank you so much, Mabi. Onggie, baka meron kang other questions kay Mabi. Ako sobrang, wow. 


Onggie: Ako sobrang, wala narin akong maisip maitanong. Maliban nalang sa papano umorder or sumali doon sa Good Food Community na ‘yan. At siguro armed with recipes sa Makisawsaw 1 or doon sa available sa website. Eh makapag-luto rin ako ng ibang sina-suggest ninyo. Of course ‘yung pun here would be, andaming “food for thought.” Andami natin narating sa usapin na ito. Pero I think mahalaga na para sa akin na naibalik natin sa halaga ng komunidad, ‘yung halaga nung mga farmers na nagtatanim. So, marami akong natutunan. Maraming salamat. At papaano ba ako makakasali sa Good Food Community? Baka may iba pang nakikinig dito, paano sila magiging bahagi ng Good Food Community na ‘yan? 

 

Mabi: Punta lang po kayo sa bit.ly/goodfoodorder tapos makikita niyo ang iba’t-ibang farm shares na tinatawag namin. So kung malaking pamilya o mahilig sa gulay, pwedeng gulay pambahay. Pwede kung gusto naman na baby steps or maliit lang ‘yung household, pwedeng small tampipi. Tapos meron rin kaming salad share, sa mga mahihilig sa salads, combination siya ng salad greens and different aromatics and fruits. Tapos there’s the, seasonal fruit share, one of the best-selling. We try to diverse the fruits talaga. We have the best papaya, I think. Anti-oxidant gulay pack. Ito ‘yung malakas sa anti-oxidant, polyphenols. ‘Yung mga nutrients, plant nutrients dito. For those who are more creative and experimental in the kitchen, natututwa sila dito sa kulay pack. Napaka-kulay and very diverse. Depende sa kung ano ang gusto mo lutuin. Tapos we have our Gulay Board, bit.ly/gulayboard so that people will know what will go into their weekly farmshare ahead of time, so they can plan. 

 

Onggie: Oh, so you can plan? Halimbawa padating ‘yung isa, you can plan ‘yung menu mo. ‘Yung coverage nito, ako taga-Paranaque, aabot ba ito sa akin? 

 

Mabi: Yes! At kung subscriber ka, mas mura ang delivery fee mo. Mostly Metro Manila pero aabot ng Paranaque. 

 

Onggie: At seasonal ito. Kasi ‘yung, I think, ‘yun ‘yung, napa-”aha!” agad ako kasi ‘yan ‘yung karanasan ko sa prutas. Seasonal siya. Laking Bicol ako, seasonal eh. May panahon as taon ito ‘yung marami, may panahon na wala kang mahahanap niyan. So, ‘yun ‘yung tingin ko is isang attraction nung Good Food package. So magsa-sign up ka and then you receive, you buy it, you can plan ahead, at most a week, and then it’s delivered to you. 

 

Mabi: Yes, tama. 

 

Onggie: Kahit na may bagong pagbabawal bumyahe, makakarating parin. Or dahil nagtitipid ka na sa mahal ng gas, makakarating sayo ‘yung pinamili mo. 

 

Mabi: Ngayon excited na kami kasi nag-appear na ‘yung avocado sa seasonal fruit share. Ang ganda rin nun, diba. Naeexcite ka kasi in season. Tapos ‘yun ‘yung matatamis talaga ‘yung prutas. 

 

Onggie: ‘Yun ‘yung the best! I think ‘yun ‘yung namimiss out ng karamihan na akala nila parating available ‘yan. Iba ‘yung lasa eh. Nung ‘in season talaga.’

 

Mabi: Oo, iba talaga. 

Bryan: Excited narin ako. Alright, so maraming salamat Onggie and Mabi. Sa akin isa na namang pagmumulat itong bagong episode ng Gubatbp. Podcast sa intersectionality ng usapin ng food and society. Siguro Mabi apart from doon sa details na shinare mo samin about Good Food Community, meron ka ring recently published na poetry book. Very happy na naka-secure kami from the pre-order. We would like to share more about it sa interested listeners natin. Isa sa mga episodes na tinackle namin dito sa Gubatbp. is ‘yung  literature for climate change and environment. Baka may details ka rin about it. 

 

Mabi: It’s a poetry book entitled You Are Here, reprint na siya, it was first published in 2009, nilabas uli ngayon. And it’s really, it’s how the individual is affected by, shaped by history. 

 

Onggie: Before Bryan wraps up, a couple of realizations from me, kanina tinanong ko si Mabi, bakit mahal ‘yung organic, dapat ‘yung tanong base sa sagot niya would be, “makatarungan, makalikasan, maka-farmer or maka-local community ba ‘yung presyo ‘nung mas mura na kamote, mas mura na kamatis. Kasi mas mukhang ‘yun ‘yung nakakalimutan natin sa pagpapahalaga natin doon sa binibili natin na pagkain, prutas, or sangkap. So, para sa akin, baka ‘yun dapat ang tanong. Hindi ‘yung bakit mahal ‘yung organically grown. Itong isang binibili ko, makatarungan ba, maka-kalikasan ba ‘yan, maka-farmer ba ‘yung presyo nyan. ‘Yung last na food for thought ko siguro ay ‘yung, sa hangarin natin to grow the food systems, I think maganda rin na we grow the systems within, ‘yung community. ‘Yung linkages ng family, ‘yung partnering nila. ‘Yung cooperation mechanisms. And it can even be through stories, storytelling. Nag-strike ng chord sa aking ‘yung kinikwento ni Mabi na you know, one way of growing food systems is also sharing stories. And stories of food. Mabahagi ko lang, as a way of sharing stories. Lumaki ako sa Bikol, sa Pamplona, Camarines Sur, in fact, at madalas ang bagyo. So noon tuwing padating ang bagyo, vivid na vivid ito na memory ko, ang gagawin ng lola ko, maglalabas siya ng malaking kaldero niya at magpapa-kulo na siya ng luya. Ang tawag namin don, hinulog-hulogan. Magpapakulo na siya ng maraming luya, maglalagay siya ng sangkaka, molasses ata ‘yoon, and then maghuhulog kami ng, malagkit na binibilog lang. And kasama ‘yon sa soup mo. Bola-bola siya. And ‘yun na ‘yun. Tamang tama pagdating ng bagyo, lilikas ‘yung katabing bahay namin. Magsasama-sama kami doon sa bahay. ‘Yun ‘yung pagkain naming lahat habang brownout, kalagitnaan ng bagyo. ‘Yun ‘yung pinagsasaluhan. Malaking kawa ng hinulog-hulogan. Going lang ‘yon, the entire time, 3 days siya umaandar, hulog ka lang ng hulog ng binilog mo na sticky rice and it’s warm. It’s filling as well. Of course, may naalala ko, may nasisira. May namatay, loss of property. If you ask me my bagyo story, ‘yun ang bagyo story ko. ‘Yung hinulog-hulogan na ‘yon. 

 

Bryan: That’s a very interesting story ‘no. Kasi I think, parang pag naiisip mo ‘yon, ‘yun ‘yung home. Na-associate mo sa home ‘yung ganong experience. That’s a very interesting story. Thank you for sharing, Onggie. Maybe Mabi? If you have a final message to our listeners?

 

Mabi: First, thank you for the invitation and sa napaka-sarap na free-wheeling na kwentuhan. Nag-sanga-sanga siya like a forest. Very diverse. Nagsanga-sanga kung saan-saan. Talagang nakapa-rich ng food, memories, how it comforts. So ‘yun, gusto ko lang imbitahan ang mas marami na kilalanin ang ating pagkain, to keep cooking at home, ngayon na nago-open na ang economy. Nasuya siguro ang lahat sa pagluluto sa bahay pero it’s one of the most empowering things we can do and it connects us with the people who grow our food. It’s a testament to how they care for the food they grow because they know that we will eat it. Nakita ko ‘yon. Na-witness ko ‘yon sa farmers that we work with and the farmers always keep us in mind. So just keep on cooking, keep building communities, share the gulay love and the gulay gospel. 

 

Bryan: Thank you so much! 

 

Onggie: Let’s visit the Good Food subscription page. I’ll do it a little bit later. I’m keen to get my hands on those in-season avocados. So, thank you, Mabi. 

 

Bryan: Thank you very much, Mabi, sa pag-accept ng invitation namin at sa sobrang rich na discussion for this episode.

The Good Food Community works hand-in-hand with local farms and groups of farmers. Zoom in to see where the different farms are located.

Forest and Farms: Stories of Sourcing and Food Security

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Gubatbp. featuring Mabi David  | April 22, 2022

About the guest

Mabi-David-modified

Mabi David

Mabi David is a certified vegan cook with training in whole foods, plant-based cooking, and an interest in health-supportive recipe development. She has extensive exposure to sustainability practices and finds inspiration in creating recipes that promote health, minimal waste, sustainable food systems, social justice, and animal rights. Mabi works in relocalizing food systems and advocates for agroecology and food sovereignty. She also teaches fermentation and miso making. 

 

Mabi has been working closely with local farmers to help them distribute their organic produce to nationwide customers through Good Food Community. 

Featured musician

Ang Bandang Shirley is a Filipino pop-rock band. Their catchy beats will have you sing your hearts out may it be due to its relatability or just the infectiousness of the tune. The band is composed of Owel Alvero, Emmanuel Aguila, Debb Acebu, Selena Salang, Joe Fontanilla, Zig Rabara, Kathy Gener, and Paolo Arciga.