We’ve heard people who promised to eat healthier. However, it is also evident that eating healthy and acquiring organic food seem to be more expensive than what we’re used to. Therefore, they still end up opting for easy, processed food, and just including veggies in between.
We’re betting you already know the implications of processed food to one’s health. But did you know that it can also harm the environment? It’s found that the chemicals used to make them and their plastic packaging can poison the environment.
With that in mind, a movement called Slow Food International was formed back in 1989 to combat people’s increasing interest in fast-food and bring them back to producing and cooking food from their local culture. To find out more about this movement, we asked Slow Food Philippines advocate Paula Aberasturi on five reasons to get into it.
#1 You can grow your own garden
One of the advocacies of the movement is to know where your food is coming from and to reduce the use harmful chemicals. According to Paula, this should be the basis of safe and organic food. “Organic certification alone should therefore not be considered a sure sign that a product is grown sustainably,” she notes. “There are plenty of small farmers producing food that is good, clean and fair but lacks the organic certification.”
An easy way to achieve this is to cultivating your own produce in your backyard so that you can monitor its progress. And yes, you can definitely do that while living in the city.
#2 It’s not pricey
Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. “Most Filipinos would easily spend for an expensive brand than buy food that determines his very health and the health of his family,” Paula shares. “If you really look at the price, it is actually quite minimal. We do not buy or eat per kilo, what we need for optimum health is really a few grams. And so paying P100 for a week’s worth of vegetables is not entirely expensive.”
#3 Urges you to know where the food comes from
“It is not enough that you see the label as organic or healthy, or that the branding is green,” Paula says. We already know that not all healthy foods actually live up to their branding. This is why the Slow Food movement urges consumers to reach out to the people behind the brand such as the farmers.
Here, Paula says, is where you can start eating healthier. “You can begin with simply eating local and seasonal food, or really choose to only eat whole food, and not processed. There is a myriad of ways to live consciously, but at the core of it os an understanding of why you are doing it,” she says.
#4 Brings you closer to your culture
As mentioned earlier, the proliferation of fast-food has lessened our grasp on the traditional way we prepare food. In the Philippines’ case, Paula says that it’s important for people to utilize homegrown ingredients and adopt our ancestors’ techniques. “There is a need to reintroduce Filipinos to the culinary traditions of our past,” she says. “Our ancestors knew how to use local and seasonal ingredients, and cook good and flavorful food. Their kitchens and what they whipped up from there were a labor of love, and the ensuing food was almost art.”
#5 It forms connections
Paula shares that the group is open for anyone who want to subscribe to healthy eating and those who want to provide it. That includes the consumers, producers, chefs, fishermen, and so on. Hence, this forms a dialog between people where you can connect on a personal and/or professional level. “The group works around the world to protect food biodiversity, build links between producers and consumers, and raise awareness on some of the most pressing topics affecting our food system,” she says.
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