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peterfe

No vegetables?

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I'm a bit surprised there's no forum for Filipino food. I could say a few things about the excessive sugar in the diet here, but this post is about vegetables. When I was a little boy in the UK, my parents told me to eat up my vegetables, so I would grow up big and strong. And I imagine most UK parents still say that today. Well, I did grow up big and strong...  From what I have observed here, it's a quite different story. Firstly, many meals don't include vegetables. Secondly, if they do, the children don't eat them and are not told to. Thirdly, children will sometimes be allowed to eat some snack instead of eating the meal at all. I asked about this non-veg diet and was told that children often never ate vegetables, but that they started to eat them when they became teenagers or adults.

And yet the children here (apart from some of the poor ones) look perfectly normal and healthy, so maybe you can go through the first, say, fifteen years of your life without ever eating a vegetable. Any thoughts on this?

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Rice, meat and fish including, sugar, salt and Magic Sarap ( monosodium glutamate) is the staple diet. I think to a lot of locals vegetables are an expensive addition plus they don't appear to be taught about nutrition.

My partners Daughter had to be coerced into eating vegetables but fortunately now they are in every meal. 

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I tried to talk about this before (on the dreaded Facebook) and people came back 'there are tons of veggies at the wet market'.  Yes, yes there are  - BUT there is very little veggies on the dinner plates.  Even most adults rarely eat veggies. other than some cabbage in the bihon. A big pot of fish soup, with one cabbage leaf, and a single green bean, is called a vegetable dish.

I make my own mixed veggies and freeze them.  I get 1 cup of veggies with lunch and 1 with dinner.  My wife still eats plates full of rice with scraps of meat for flavoring. 

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2 minutes ago, Tukaram (Tim) said:

BUT there is very little veggies on the dinner plates

Chop Suey is a served often, I know it's not originally a Filipino dish but it is common and it does have vegetables in it.

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13 minutes ago, GeoffH said:

Chop Suey is a served often, I know it's not originally a Filipino dish but it is common and it does have vegetables in it.

My gf makes a mean Chop Suey. About 80% veggies and the rest chicken. She says she would make it more but that the veggies are too expensive. I could care less about the price but she has her mind set. She grew up dirt poor so she likes the plants that she can get for free like Malunggay, Kang kong if that's how it's spelled, Pichay and other free or cheap stuff. It's her comfort food that she likes to cook up with the dried fish that stinks up the whole house. I don't mind it though cuz it makes her happy.

If only she was that thrifty when she buys clothes.:wink: 

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3 hours ago, peterfe said:

I'm a bit surprised there's no forum for Filipino food. I could say a few things about the excessive sugar in the diet here, but this post is about vegetables. When I was a little boy in the UK, my parents told me to eat up my vegetables, so I would grow up big and strong. And I imagine most UK parents still say that today. Well, I did grow up big and strong...  From what I have observed here, it's a quite different story. Firstly, many meals don't include vegetables. Secondly, if they do, the children don't eat them and are not told to. Thirdly, children will sometimes be allowed to eat some snack instead of eating the meal at all. I asked about this non-veg diet and was told that children often never ate vegetables, but that they started to eat them when they became teenagers or adults.

And yet the children here (apart from some of the poor ones) look perfectly normal and healthy, so maybe you can go through the first, say, fifteen years of your life without ever eating a vegetable. Any thoughts on this?

It's amazing how good the chicken or pork Adobo tastes with rice. Just a tiny bit of the Adobo with a big spoon of rice. Must be the soy sauce but it sure stretches the meal for the families that can't afford much else.

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2 hours ago, Arizona Kid said:

It's amazing how good the chicken or pork Adobo tastes with rice. Just a tiny bit of the Adobo with a big spoon of rice. Must be the soy sauce but it sure stretches the meal for the families that can't afford much else.

More likely the msg that brightens the taste

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I cook my own food and eat almost exactly the same as I do in the UK, barring the addition, on top of the fresh potatoes, carrots ,tomatoes, and beans,  a few local veggies from our (large) garden.

Yes, I do sometimes nag the Mrs about including plenty of veggies in our youngster's meals... and MUCH less sugar. 

It is my experience that the majority of locals have no real knowledge of 'nutrition'.

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"It is my experience that the majority of locals have no real knowledge of 'nutrition'. "

Nutritional knowledge is a very middle class consept. You can see it in the poorer working class here in the UK who eating choices can be very poorly. To eat well takes money.

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It is okay to consume vegetables in the Philippines so long as it is not raw or fresh. The reason, unless you personally know the source, is small farmers still use night soil and unprocessed animal waste as fertilizer. The problem is similar to the e-coli found in US Romaine lettuce. The suspicion is wild animals wander into the fields at night and their droppings include the e-coli bacteria. You may have observed that most vegetables consumed in the Philippines is part of a soup dish or stir fried. The heat hopefully destroys any bacteria. The lower middle class and up have moved towards a western diet, but the poor still rely on dried fish and vegetables. Physical size and height probably comes from the consumption of plant and animal protein rather than vegetables. You can see that many young Filipinos and Filipinas are growing taller compared to their parents as their diet mimics the West. Same thing in Japan and now China.

Edited by JJReyes
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