The School Canteens' Meatless Mondays

I heard from television news yesterday. The Congress is currently pushing a Meatless Monday Rule on all elementary and high school canteens. That means the two mentioned school categories are going to be restrained to sell any meat products and dishes on Mondays. No mentioned penalties for future violators yet.

According to study of Bayan Party List, most children to adolescence are hard to feed with vegetable and most people lacks veggies in their regular diet.

The Department of Education, DepEd sees no problem with the proposed law. In fact, they are encouraging school canteen to prepare nutritious foods. The schoolers have the option to bring their own nutritious or non-nutritious foods or they may buy food outside school premises.

Based from my observation, canteens serve three to five meat dishes, one vegetable dish and one fish. More meats in menu cause they are preferred by many.

Too much meat is linked with obesity and  a number of diet related sickness. Artificial beverages, sweets and junk foods are linked with obesity too and should be included in proposed law I think!

Pinakbet with Crab Legs

Crab is very delectable. Cooking it in plain water is enough to enjoy this very flavorful food. After eating, the leftover things are shells and small legs. Please do not throw them away. They can still be used to flavor other dishes. Set them aside. Big claws have tasty meat. Its a good idea to store them for later use together with the small legs.

Here is one of the delectable and healthy recipe using crab legs.

pinakbet with crab legs

Ingredients:

1 tali pole sitao
1 slice kalabasa ( squash)
2 eggplant
1 tali okra
2 tomatoes
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 ginger
vegetable cooking oil
crabs legs
fish paste or bagoong isda

Procedure:

Slice pole sitao, kalabasa (squash), eggplant and okra. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and tomato. Use vegetable cooking oil. Drop kalabasa, pole sitao, eggplant and okra. Put one cup of water then boil for five minutes then add crab legs. Boil again for minutes then mix fish paste or bagoong isda to taste. Then boil for two minutes. Serve.

Storing Ripe Bananas In Sealed Plastic Bag Causes Rapid Rotting

Banana is one of our toddler’s favorite. That is why it is a must every market day. He can eat two regular size bananas in minutes. We are not giving him more than two because he is only one year old.

The ripe bananas below are still edible but we are not giving it to him. This is overripe and starting to spoil. Notice the numerous dark spots on skin. I ate one and it is still fine but his stomach might not be strong enough to resist the possible dangers. I just give it to soil as organic fertilizer.

overripe rotten banana

The bananas were perfectly fine last Saturday morning. She bought it from public market and both of us forgot to take it out from plastic bag. Bought Saturday morning and nearly spoiled by Sunday evening. What could be the problem? A very short storage life of two days!

Banana is a climacteric fruit. Its physiological functions continuous after detachment from mother plant. It produces the substance called ethylene – an agent for ripening. It means the more ethylene produce the faster the ripening will be.

The problem was the sando bag. We kept the banana sealed inside sando bag for too long. The plastic is barely permeable to gases. All the ethylene produced by bananas were trapped and concentrated inside. Too much ethylene caused the rapid over-ripening. Plus the moisture trapped encouraged microbial growth.

A reminder when buying fruits. Prefer an paper packaging for your commodities. Or take it out of plastic immediately after going home. Provide an opening on your package fruits during travel to let air circulate. Do the same for vegetables.

Vegetables for the Rich People Only

patani sa balag

Our entrepreneurship training is on its second to the last week. Seven days to go and I will be back to my regular day routine.

Today we have a guest speaker. His name is Arleen “Len” Valera – not a grammatical error because he is a real man. He is the president and chief executive officer of Pentagon Agribusiness Corporation. Their company is engaged in growing sweet corn. About 500-hectare plantation emerging from a 6-hectare lot.

Aside from giving us an inspirational message, he also said something that is very interesting:

Before: Poor families can afford only vegetables as their viand.
Now: Only rich people are able to buy vegetables. Poor families can afford only instant noodles and canned sardines as their food on table.

Vegetable prices continue to rise and more of them cost higher than meat. Cheap veggies are now becoming less affordable.  Though I never feel the trend cause I am living in provincial area and we get our vegetable needs from my fathers’s farm. The situation is real in urban areas where all family needs came from public markets, groceries and super malls.

patani sa balag

Increase in price of veggies are due to following factors:

1) Scarcity of food supply due to climate change. Typhoons , lack of rain fall and floods lower the volume of production. Producers need to increase selling price to compensate for the lost inputs. Low supply and high demand make the price higher.

2) Industrialization and urbanization. Conversion of agricultural land areas to factories, super malls, parks and residential areas lower agricultural inputs.

3) Globalization. Transfer of goods to foreign territories. Foods that supposed to be on our plate are eaten by foreign population.

4) Other uses. Example: United States is now using corn for their fuel needs. The crop is also used for livestock feeds. These increase the demand for corn. Again, high demand calls for a high price.

5) Hoarding. Some vegetables  and spices are stable enough to be stored for about weeks or more (e.g. potatoes, corn, onions, garlic, ginger). Some large capitalists are intentionally stopping the flow of supply to increase product’s price. They will release stocks when the desired price is met.

Ginisang Paayap With Kalamismis and Meatloaf

ginisang paayap and meat loaf

I rushed to nearby grocery to bought a small can of corned beef. I planned to mix it to my paayap and sigarilyas menu. I opened the can and found out that it was a meatloaf.

The meatloaf brand is CDO. The label looks very similar to corned beef can. I will be more careful next time.

So I ended up mixing scraped meatloaf to my veggies. Lucky  me, the dish taste great.

ginisang paayap and meat loaf

Ingredients:
2 retail bundle of paayap, cut
10 sigarilyas, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
meatloaf, scraped of mashed, small can (CDO and the likes)
salt to taste

Procedure:
1) Saute garlic and onions in cooking oil until golden brown. Use low fire.
2) Add the vegetables (paayap and kalamismis) and meatloaf.
3) Add enough water to soak the meat and vegetables.
4) Boil until veggies are tender.
5) Mix black pepper and salt to taste.

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”.

Ingredients:
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

Procedure:
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