Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
questsea73

Vegetables, etc. in the P.I.

Recommended Posts

questsea73

I am new to PI--2 months here now.  I am not a vegetarian, but do some cooking in USA, particularly Asian.

 

Some observations:

 

(a. When you go into the supermarket and go to the fresh fruit and vegetables section, be prepared to be shocked at the puny size and sometimes anemic appearance of the vegetables.  I have been in several supermarkets in Cebu and Davao now and they are all about the same, although one SM supermarket in Davao seemed to have better appearance vegetables.  Almost across the board the size of the vegetables could be described as stunted, miniature, midget vegetables.  At least compared to the vegetables common to and grown in the USA.  Here potatoes are slightly bigger in general than large ping pong balls, carrots are stubby 1/3 size normal USA ones, Spanish onions are maybe 1/10 the size of USA ones in supermarkets, lettuce is puny if present, and on and on it goes.  If what I read previously is correct many of these vegetables are imported from China.  Really pitiful tonight: I say a prominently Dole-branded, heat-sealed 1 ear of corn heat-sealed so the package conformed to the shape of this average size ear of corn--this may be a delicacy, premium priced?

 

(b. Very few dishes available in mall restaurants have more than a hint of vegetables....maybe a few slices of red pepper, couple of nicks of carrot, minor onion, no corn, etc.  About the only offering I note is french fry potatoes offered as a side dish for about 40 pesos at fast food places.  There may be some local vegetables I am unfamiliar with names offered however on the menus of some restaurant.  But look around you at what people are eating....puny, crispy skin chicken, dye-enhanced hot dogs, fatty pork....look in the freezer compartments in supermarkets...nothing but meats and ice cream.  .

 

(c. In a today dated Manila newspaper I read an article which noted that a scientist for the local Dept of Technology estimated that the average annual consumption of vegetables per adult in the PI is 39 kilos compared to 250 kilos for the average Chinese adult living in China.  In the same article a Filipino food and nutritional expert estimated that 26% of Filipino children are malnourished.

 

(d. I like the bakery products here...many of the breads/rolls, etc have sugar added (I have a semi-sweet tooth).  I slowed down some on my purchase of the products when I read the contents of one:  it used lard.  Many do not list ingredients.  Those that do usually list coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil.......taken all together these shortenings would shock most USA health advisory boards.

 

The only answer to a fairly healthy eatting regimen here is to avoid most of this bakery stuff and cook/bake "from scratch" at home everything possible.

 

Ken,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canuck Joe

Markets are much better for fruits and vegetables....and fish. Stuff that comes from the mountains above Cebu is awesome.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowdafish

Most veggies are grown using little to no fertilizer, and the same seeds over and over again. Also proper soil preparation is not always performed as it is done mostly by hand. Lastly, they pick too early in order to make money quicker. Why wait an extra week or two when you can have the money now! Yes, it is all short-sighted, but....welcome to the Philippines! 

 

You will NOT usually find U.S. quality type produce in a supermarket here, but.....you may come closer to finding it at one of the many local farmers markets or the central public market found in a lot of Philippine cities. 

 

Contrary to popular belief, I doubt very much that ANY produce in the Philippines is shipped in from China. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
no one

philippinos dont eat vegies 

so you will not find many on plate 

also even in our market here most of it is picked up before mature 

it is my believe that they just cant wait to pick it lol 

i have seen some big size but mostly small and not ripe yet 

and yes most of it is with out poison that we are used to so it takes time to mature and it is small 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

I am new to PI--2 months here now.  I am not a vegetarian, but do some cooking in USA, particularly Asian.

 

Some observations:

 

(a. When you go into the supermarket and go to the fresh fruit and vegetables section, be prepared to be shocked at the puny size and sometimes anemic appearance of the vegetables.  I have been in several supermarkets in Cebu and Davao now and they are all about the same, although one SM supermarket in Davao seemed to have better appearance vegetables.  Almost across the board the size of the vegetables could be described as stunted, miniature, midget vegetables.  At least compared to the vegetables common to and grown in the USA.  Here potatoes are slightly bigger in general than large ping pong balls, carrots are stubby 1/3 size normal USA ones, Spanish onions are maybe 1/10 the size of USA ones in supermarkets, lettuce is puny if present, and on and on it goes.  If what I read previously is correct many of these vegetables are imported from China.  Really pitiful tonight: I say a prominently Dole-branded, heat-sealed 1 ear of corn heat-sealed so the package conformed to the shape of this average size ear of corn--this may be a delicacy, premium priced?

 

(b. Very few dishes available in mall restaurants have more than a hint of vegetables....maybe a few slices of red pepper, couple of nicks of carrot, minor onion, no corn, etc.  About the only offering I note is french fry potatoes offered as a side dish for about 40 pesos at fast food places.  There may be some local vegetables I am unfamiliar with names offered however on the menus of some restaurant.  But look around you at what people are eating....puny, crispy skin chicken, dye-enhanced hot dogs, fatty pork....look in the freezer compartments in supermarkets...nothing but meats and ice cream.  .

 

(c. In a today dated Manila newspaper I read an article which noted that a scientist for the local Dept of Technology estimated that the average annual consumption of vegetables per adult in the PI is 39 kilos compared to 250 kilos for the average Chinese adult living in China.  In the same article a Filipino food and nutritional expert estimated that 26% of Filipino children are malnourished.

 

(d. I like the bakery products here...many of the breads/rolls, etc have sugar added (I have a semi-sweet tooth).  I slowed down some on my purchase of the products when I read the contents of one:  it used lard.  Many do not list ingredients.  Those that do usually list coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil.......taken all together these shortenings would shock most USA health advisory boards.

 

The only answer to a fairly healthy eatting regimen here is to avoid most of this bakery stuff and cook/bake "from scratch" at home everything possible.

 

Ken,

i am guessing because of the weather the veggies dont grow well in MOST of the philippines but in baguio they look pretty good
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowdafish

i am guessing because of the weather the veggies dont grow well in MOST of the philippines but in baguio they look pretty good

True, but there is a dry season and a wet season in most of the Philippines so if it is timed right they can grow almost anything. 

 

Most, but not all, are not willing to do what it takes to grow outstanding produce. They either don't want to work that hard, don't have the capital to do it right, or aren't willing to learn to do it "right". The Philippines government has spent a lot of money to educate students and farmers in the best way to grow a lot of different crops. The younger generation learns it and agrees with it, but in most cases can't convince dad or uncle to change their ways. They are too scared they might not get a good return on their investment, so they continue to do things the way they have always done them. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BFHammer

I do enjoy good produce, yet it has been a long standing fact humans survive and even thrive without a single veggie or carb.

 

Of course I have had one plant survive in the last 20 years and the fully grown tomato plant I just bought is already wilting so apparently hunter/gatherer is possibly genetic. 

 

Getting pesticide free veggies would be worth it even if they are not as pretty or smaller. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

True, but there is a dry season and a wet season in most of the Philippines so if it is timed right they can grow almost anything. 

 

Most, but not all, are not willing to do what it takes to grow outstanding produce. They either don't want to work that hard, don't have the capital to do it right, or aren't willing to learn to do it "right". The Philippines government has spent a lot of money to educate students and farmers in the best way to grow a lot of different crops. The younger generation learns it and agrees with it, but in most cases can't convince dad or uncle to change their ways. They are too scared they might not get a good return on their investment, so they continue to do things the way they have always done them.

well my wife tried farming and it was a real looser in quality and profit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill H

I am new to PI--2 months here now.  I am not a vegetarian, but do some cooking in USA, particularly Asian.

 

Some observations:

 

(a. When you go into the supermarket and go to the fresh fruit and vegetables section, be prepared to be shocked at the puny size and sometimes anemic appearance of the vegetables.  I have been in several supermarkets in Cebu and Davao now and they are all about the same, although one SM supermarket in Davao seemed to have better appearance vegetables.  Almost across the board the size of the vegetables could be described as stunted, miniature, midget vegetables.  At least compared to the vegetables common to and grown in the USA.  Here potatoes are slightly bigger in general than large ping pong balls, carrots are stubby 1/3 size normal USA ones, Spanish onions are maybe 1/10 the size of USA ones in supermarkets, lettuce is puny if present, and on and on it goes.  If what I read previously is correct many of these vegetables are imported from China.  Really pitiful tonight: I say a prominently Dole-branded, heat-sealed 1 ear of corn heat-sealed so the package conformed to the shape of this average size ear of corn--this may be a delicacy, premium priced?

 

(b. Very few dishes available in mall restaurants have more than a hint of vegetables....maybe a few slices of red pepper, couple of nicks of carrot, minor onion, no corn, etc.  About the only offering I note is french fry potatoes offered as a side dish for about 40 pesos at fast food places.  There may be some local vegetables I am unfamiliar with names offered however on the menus of some restaurant.  But look around you at what people are eating....puny, crispy skin chicken, dye-enhanced hot dogs, fatty pork....look in the freezer compartments in supermarkets...nothing but meats and ice cream.  .

 

(c. In a today dated Manila newspaper I read an article which noted that a scientist for the local Dept of Technology estimated that the average annual consumption of vegetables per adult in the PI is 39 kilos compared to 250 kilos for the average Chinese adult living in China.  In the same article a Filipino food and nutritional expert estimated that 26% of Filipino children are malnourished.

 

(d. I like the bakery products here...many of the breads/rolls, etc have sugar added (I have a semi-sweet tooth).  I slowed down some on my purchase of the products when I read the contents of one:  it used lard.  Many do not list ingredients.  Those that do usually list coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil.......taken all together these shortenings would shock most USA health advisory boards.

 

The only answer to a fairly healthy eatting regimen here is to avoid most of this bakery stuff and cook/bake "from scratch" at home everything possible.

 

Ken,

 

Sir, you are going about this all wrong!  Don't go to the supermarkets for veggies and meats/fish.  Go to the local markets, that is where you will find not only better produce, but the price will be much less than supermarket prices.  Some Pinoy's eat a lot of veggies, the markets are where you find the best fresh food, not the supermarkets.  Better yet, get out of the big City and join us here in the Provinces.  The living is better and costs much less. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mariel

"Some Pinoy's eat a lot of veggies, the markets are where you find the best
fresh food, not the supermarkets.  Better yet, get out of the big City
and join us here in the Provinces.  The living is better and costs much
less. " 


Thank you Bill! :good:   Most Pinoys do eat more vegetables out of necessity (i.e. cheaper to buy, more to choose from and most are grown in the home gardens). I do know what the OP mean about small, poor quality vegetables. I have seen them in the rural areas. My guess would be that they were grown locally. The carrots, beans and cabbages from Baguio for example are of better quality vegetables and comparable to what we see in western supermarkets.

 

That's not to say Pinoys don't love their fried food when they can afford it. I was amazed to see them buying COLD fried chicken from vendors last time I was there (which was only 2 months ago).

Edited by Mariel
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mikewright

If your main concern is eating healthy veggies, try some of the local ones, which are plentiful, cheap and apparently very healthy.  The leafy ones we use are kangkong, which is treated as a weed back home, good in soups and stir-frys; camote tops, good in soups. Pechay is a pretty versatile, we usually have it in soups or stir-fry. Bitter melons, they take a bit to get used to but are supposedly very healthy. Cooked with bagoong, an acquired taste. Okra is readily available, but not one of my favourites. We also eat "elephant ear" from the taro plant, toxic when raw but OK when cooked in coconut milk by a cook who knows what she's doing.  The eggpants are small but full of flavour, Mulanggay, good in soups, supposedly very healthy but in excess is reputed to have a laxative effect.

Edited by mikewright
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canuck Joe

If your main concern is eating healthy veggies, try some of the local ones, which are plentiful, cheap and apparently very healthy.  The leafy ones we use are kangkong, which is treated as a weed back home, good in soups and stir-frys; camote tops, good in soups. Pechay is a pretty versatile, we usually have it in soups or stir-fry. Bitter melons, they take a bit to get used to but are supposedly very healthy. Cooked with bagoong, an acquired taste. Okra is readily available, but not one of my favourites. We also eat "elephant ear" from the taro plant, toxic when raw but OK when cooked in coconut milk by a cook who knows what she's doing.  The eggpants are small but full of flavour, Mulanggay, good in soups, supposedly very healthy but in excess is reputed to have a laxative effect.

and squash, cooked with coconut milk and lemon grass yum!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thebob

Exactly what mikewright said, eat local and stop trying to find western food and everything will make sense.

 

I found some bananas that taste just like custard creme with raspberries and a tang of kiwi. I like them so much that I bought the tree and now grow them myself. I love Ube and yams, some of the leafy veg is perfect for soups and noodles.

 

I'm fed up with people who discount Philippine food but have no idea what it is. Unfortunately it is a hard sell in any resto because customers just aren't adventurous.

 

Monitor lizard braised in coco milk with rock baked yams. My GF is very good at pointing out tasties when we go for a walk.

 

It drives me bonkers when people keep complaining that they cant find their favorite supermarket food, or raving about some processed product that they miss.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mikewright

 

I love Ube

 

Same here. Believe it or not, we can now buy ube ice-cream in Oz. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

[

Exactly what mikewright said, eat local and stop trying to find western food and everything will make sense.
 
I found some bananas that taste just like custard creme with raspberries and a tang of kiwi. I like them so much that I bought the tree and now grow them myself. I love Ube and yams, some of the leafy veg is perfect for soups and noodles.
 
I'm fed up with people who discount Philippine food but have no idea what it is. Unfortunately it is a hard sell in any resto because customers just aren't adventurous.
 
Monitor lizard braised in coco milk with rock baked yams. My GF is very good at pointing out tasties when we go for a walk.
 
It drives me bonkers when people keep complaining that they cant find their favorite supermarket food, or raving about some processed product that they miss.

 

your gone native but in a good way

Edited by Headshot
Fixed quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thebob

[

 

your gone native but in a good way

 

It isn't going native Smokey, it is adjusting my lifestyle to local conditions, rather than clinging blindly to old habits.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mariel

Many of the native Philippine vegetables are considered medicinal also. Malunggay (Kamunggay in Visayan) are used for several ailments. Sweet potato tops have been rumoured to have anti-dengue properties. Bitter melon (ampalaya) are supposed to help balance blood sugar levels. I see them in health food shops here in Oz in capsule form! Lemon grass and garlic are supposed to be good for hypertension. Those are just a few of the vegetables that Pinoys eat daily and grown in the back garden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Contango

The only answer to a fairly healthy eating regimen here is to avoid most of this bakery stuff and cook/bake "from scratch" at home everything possible.

 

 

Yep that's about it, i love veggies and really miss them when i visit the Philippines, last trip i rented a condo so got to do some decent cooking, my GF ate vegetables for pretty much the first time in her life...showed her how to prepare and steam carrots and cooked real (unsweetened) Pasta for her, she had never sliced an onion before or knew tomatoes came in cans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
liquido

Exactly what mikewright said, eat local and stop trying to find western food and everything will make sense.

 

I found some bananas that taste just like custard creme with raspberries and a tang of kiwi. I like them so much that I bought the tree and now grow them myself. I love Ube and yams, some of the leafy veg is perfect for soups and noodles.

 

I'm fed up with people who discount Philippine food but have no idea what it is. Unfortunately it is a hard sell in any resto because customers just aren't adventurous.

 

Monitor lizard braised in coco milk with rock baked yams. My GF is very good at pointing out tasties when we go for a walk.

 

It drives me bonkers when people keep complaining that they cant find their favorite supermarket food, or raving about some processed product that they miss.

Are the bananas you are talking about those stubby kind of red in color ones?? If not what is the variety?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mabutiman

Yep that's about it, i love veggies and really miss them when i visit the Philippines, last trip i rented a condo so got to do some decent cooking, my GF ate vegetables for pretty much the first time in her life...showed her how to prepare and steam carrots and cooked real (unsweetened) Pasta for her, she had never sliced an onion before or knew tomatoes came in cans.

 hmmmmm .... hello ... mine come from a vine ...try them sometime ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thebob

@ liquido They are smallish bananas and very thin skinned. They ripen slowly and only stay ripe for about 2 days. They do ripen yellow but have a reddish tinge. The trees aren't very productive but that may be down to the poor soil on our land. I have no idea what variety they are. I ate some in a carenderia, and when I commented on the taste and asked about them I was given 4 trees. I have about 10 trees now. I eat the bananas and my turkeys eat the rest. You wouldn't believe how much turkeys like banana leaves and stalk.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rainymike

Vegetables do tend to be smaller, but for most dishes I prepare ... size is not really relevant. Smaller is also sometimes better. Back home the drawers in my refrigerator was a place for vegetables to rot - not stay crisp. Always purchased more than I needed. And a decent portion of that was tossed.

 

On the other hand, smaller vegetables fit it nicely with a 'just in time' approach to meal preparation. You shop frequently. You buy what you need for that meal. Not much to refrigerate. Less waste. You get by with a smaller refrigerator. You consume less electricity refrigerating vegetables that will rot.

 

Some types of vegetables I've given up on - like broccoli or cauliflower. In Davao, not so good.

 

On the other hand, carrots, romaine lettuce, head lettuce, tomatoes, corn are fresh and tasty and make a decent salad. Bell pepper, potatoes, pumpkin, taro, sayote, long beans, okra, long eggplant, japanese white radish, mustard/Chinese cabbage, various types of squash are commonly used vegetables in local style soups, stews, and stir frys.

 

Dried beans and rice come in a variety of forms.

 

Ginger, bell pepper, garlic, lemon grass are plentiful and fresh. Other condiments are dried and powdered and available.

 

If you don't like cooking and want veggies - dodge the malls. Try the local eateries. Vegetables are common in filipino food. Meat is a luxury for the poor. Vegetables often is the protein substitute.

 

We buy some veggies at the mall supermarket. But mostly, my partner or I buy on a daily basis from small markets in the neighborhood. Try also looking at your neighbor's yards. Lots of veggies and plant products may be found there.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

i too like small veggies they are so much easier to carry then all that bulky large amounts and if you go to the mall they cost twice as much so your wallet gets lighter and it to becomes easier to carry so its a win win ... less food,, less money , less weight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BobX

I do enjoy good produce, yet it has been a long standing fact humans survive and even thrive without a single veggie or carb.

 

After doing organic chemistry at university, I'd have to dispute that.  So many chemicals are in veges that aren't anywhere else.  If a particular nutrient isn't available to a chemical reaction, it doesn't just slow down and take longer to happen.  The chemical reaction doesn't occur.  Multiply that by a billion billion and you may develop health problems.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellenbrook2001

then why in THAILAND  they have so beautiful veg  what wrong here very expensive quality crap???????? cannot wait we have soon a very good quality of imported frozen veg we have some but not yet a full choice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Sailfish Bay Fishing Charters

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..