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June 20, 2019


“Sometimes cucumbers are so genetically-modified that they gain so much weight because of increased water content but lose their taste.”

That’s a comment from one of the agronomists I met at the European Development Days conference.

That is the sad state of our fruits and vegetables—they are tweaked to produce more yield, or to be heavier, bigger but sorely lacking in natural taste. The increase in size is inversely proportional to its loss in natural flavor or taste. Have you tried those big mangoes, huge atis, big guavas, and other “tweaked” fruits?

Plants are like people. If we want plants to be healthy they should eat well. They should not be given medicine (chemicals) if they respond to natural care and treatment. Getting these fruits bigger and heavier is like giving growth hormones to a baby!

People always try natural relief (honey, turmeric, lagundi) before going to chemical-based medicine, right? It’s the same with plants. There are natural pest controllers and good insects, as there are good and bad weeds.

Why am I saying all these comparisons? The reason is people have forgotten that plants also have life and need the same gentle care as humans do. If we don’t take care of plants how will we eat well? Plants, however, are treated like objects and are exposed to harsh chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, and other unnatural materials. What the plant gets from these “introduced” medicines ultimately comes out in our food.

Did you know that nowadays people spend only 12% of their income on real food? It used to be that people spent 20% on natural food. This lower spending is causing farmers to find shortcuts to be able to sell at lower prices. Shortcuts are chemical fertilizers and the like. So, people deserve what they are willing to pay for. We pay for nice gadgets, nice cars, but we scrimp on food and we pay peanuts to the farmer. Food spending is what we do not give much thought to. If we paid the farmer more, (s)he would not resort to shortcuts. Think about it.

If consumers want the real and natural taste of fruits and vegetables, they should first do these:
1. Taste natural fruits and vegetables to train your palate again to appreciate natural flavors;
2. Avoid adding sugar or salt to food so natural inherent flavors come out;
3. Retrain your palate to recognize coconut oil and not palm oil;
4. Retrain your palate to identify the real taste of bananas, papaya, and other local fruits;
5. Eat butter not margarine or butter blends; and
6. Spend more on organic so the real, natural taste of fruits will come out and be enjoyed by you

After training your palate, shop with your tongue. If it does not taste natural, it probably is not.

Then, choose what you eat. Know your farmer or grow your own food.

These will bring back real food into our lives and to keep our farmers planting and producing our food—real food.

The next time you ask for a discount, do it at a clothes shop or a gadget shop and not at a food store. After all, it’s food that nourishes you and keeps you alive.


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