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Vegetables, etc. in the P.I.


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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,

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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

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

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

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Canuck Joe

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

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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. 

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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 

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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
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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. 

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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. 

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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...
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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. 

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"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).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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mikewright

 

I love Ube

 

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

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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

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