The Fight Against Bt Eggplant

Bt eggplant has Bt gene intended to fight fruit and shoot borer. It is the same Bt gene inserted in popular BT corn. The GE plant is expected to lower pesticide inputs, increase yield and give more income to farmers. I cannot include “helps stabilize food security” cause it is not considered as staple food. Corn is considered as staple food, good rice alternative.

According to Greenpeace Bt eggplant: 1) Can be an aggressive and problematic weed, threatening to overpower similar varieties. Other varieties might get contaminated through cross pollination. 2) Is not proven safe and pose risks to human health.  Rats fed with Bt eggplant showed signs of kidney and liver toxicity after 90 days.

I found this image on Facebook. A poster created and shared to Facebook users. It tells, bt eggplant has negative effects on liver, kidney and blood or rats; liver and blood of rabbit; blood of goat and udder of cow.

from green peace bt eggplantGreenpeace won the case against field testing of BT eggplant here in the Philippines, See “Greenpeace wins landmark GE eggplant court case“. The said plant may be banned permanently, see “Group optimistic ‘BT’ talong to be permanently banned”.

For GMO promoters, farmers, sellers and buyers – anything not proven harmful is safe. On the point of view of environmentalist and anti-gmo – anything not proven safe is harmful.

How To Make Tawge / Tawgi / Toge / Balatong / Mung Bean Sprouts

tawge in recycled ice cream container

Soak mungbean / mungo in water for 2-3 hours or until swollen. The seeds will absorb water, will almost double its size and will become soft. Remove any floating munggo.

soaking mungbean in water

Wrap the soaked seeds loosely in towel.

Get a basin. Fill it with water, one-inch depth only. Get a wooden block and place it in basin, only half of the block should be submerged in water and it should be wide enough to support the wrapped seeds. The water and towel will keep the seeds moist.

Place the wrapped munggo in basin setup. Cover and let stand for two days.

wrapping monggo beans
Remove  the mungbean sprouts from towel and wash it with several changes of water. Discard the floating seed coats.

sprouted munggo or tawge

Removing all the seed coats is not necessary, seed covers are edible. However, remaining can be removed one by one if desired.

tawge in recycled ice cream container

Ginisang Kalabasa (Squash) with Camote Tops

ginisang kalabasa with camote tops

1 regular retail portion of squash, cut and sliced
1 regular retail bundle of camote tops, matured stalks removed
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
cooking oil

1) Saute garlic and onions in a small amount of cooking oil. I always prefer sauteing over a very low fire until the onions are golden brown. The process is a bit slower, may take 15 minutes, but it allows development of more delicious flavors.
2) Add sliced squash. Fill with enough water to soak the squash slices.
3) Add black pepper and salt to taste.
4) Drop in camote tops when the squash slices are already tender.
5) Allow two more minutes boiling.
6) Serve.

sauteing onion and garlic

ginisang kalabasa with camote tops

How to Make Banana Heart Pork Lumpia

banana heart lumpia final wrapping stage

Almost any kind of meat and vegetable mixtures can be wrapped in a lumpia wrapper and deep-fried. Every kind of mixture may result in a unique delectable taste. Or, the cooking experiment may result in a failure or not so desirable outcome.

Tocino, longganisa, embutido, corned beef, etc.. can be tried for lumpia making.

This time, I used the same mixture for making – Banana Heart Pork Siomai. See the recipe for ingredients and mix preparation.

1) Place a small amount of mixture in a lumpia wrapper.  The size and thickness should be the same as the size of normal shanghai lumpia. Bigger sizes may result in a cooked wrapper but uncooked filling when deep fried.

wrapping banana heart lumpia 1

2) Fold the rear side of wrapper forward. Then fold the left and right sides toward the center. Roll it forward to make a cylindrical shape. Wet the wrapper end to make a seal.

banana heart lumpia 2 stage wrapping

banana heart lumpia final wrapping stage

The freshly made lumpia can be deep fried immediately or stored in freezer for later use.

Banana heart pork lumpia is so delectable.

Nilagang Gabi, Paayap and Kalamismis

nilagang gabi paayap at kalamismis

I asked her what was the name of her new dish. She was unable to tell the name so I just called it “Nilagang Gabi, Paayap at Kalamismis”.

1 retail bundle paayap
3 pieces medium gabi,  cubes
1 retail bundle sigarilyas/kalamismis
1 thumb sized ginger, sliced
salt and monosodium glutamate to taste.

gabi paayap kalamismis

1) Bring to boil three cups of water.
2) Add gabi and ginger and continue boiling for five minutes.
3) Add paayap and sigarilyas. Continue boiling for another five minutes.
4) Mix salt and monosodium glutamate to taste.

nilagang gabi paayap at kalamismis

Eating a Raw Immature / Young Okra, Lady’s Finger

okra and kangkong

My wife is slicing okra to cook it as vegetable ingredients. Most people do the same thing for okra, cooking it first before eating. I love eating cook okra even if it has a slimy mouth feel. Even a plain boiled okra, rice and soy sauce is enough meal for me.

okra and kangkong

This friend of mind from Batangas Province has a different habit of eating okra. He eats raw immature okra about one to two inches long. I saw him picking young lady’s finger and directly putting it in his mouth. I asked him why was he eating an uncooked okra. The he replied that it can be eaten as is without cooking. I also tried what he was doing and the taste was great. Young okra was crunchy but other sensory properties are not different compared to cooked version. Fruit more than two inches long cannot be eaten raw because their skin is tougher.

Some provinces have delicacy that may not be acceptable to others. My aunt from Romblon told me that they eat immature guava, immature santol and shell of very young coconut. She also told me that cloves of garlic soaked in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar is a good viand (ulam)