FOOD AND PHILIPPINE CULTURE: A STUDY IN CULTURE AND EDUCATION
Chapter Seven: The Meanings of Food
Author of the Book: Asther Manuel Caboteje
Malnutrition is one of the primary problems dedicated eduactors, nutirionist, health workers, medical practioners are concerned with. There are a lot of factors one must understand about the Philippine context to be able to come up with a better education health programs in the local community. Series of studies, surveys and fieldworks have been conducted in Dologan, Bukidnon, the area of study of the book. Although there are elaborate studies on the production and food consumption, little knowledge is known about the underlying beliefs, attitudes and values of the locales when it comes to dealing with their food. There is a need to look at the malnutrition in the context of culture. The manner in which every individual eat food is closely related to his/her heritage/culture/tradition. It is culture that determines the eating habits and patters of people in a day to day basis. Intensive survey and participant observation in Dologan, Bukidnon, was the primary method on which the author based her study.
Food is an essential part of an individual’s life. From the day we are born, we are already sustained through food, through our mother’s breast where milk is our water; our form of life and survival. As we grow old, we give many meanings to food. Is not only a source of nutrition, but contains already ideas, tradition, culture and beliefs. In the case of Dologan, Bukidnon, the community sees food in five ways: symbol of God’s grace, symbolf of love, food and social status, symbol of security and food and their “image”.
Agriculture and production of corn is prevalent in Dologan and the local believe that it is God who is responsible for good yielding crops. The locales sees food as a grace from God and should be eaten with gratitude (food is not wasted). Food is also seen as a form of love...