Let’s Just Talk About Vegetables Then

In light to my current predicament, I have decided to stop wallowing in my frustration and to re-channel it into something productive. I will not write about the irritating circumstance that I have found myself in (despite my many attempts of expediting the matter) but will focus on a certain topic that is long overdue.


Vegetables – I dislike them. I go to great lengths to avoid them. When I was little, I used to secretly throw my vegetables under the table with the hope that I will not get caught, else my grandfather will deprive me of desserts. Another child used to do the same thing, (I refer to him as ‘another child’ because I don’t know how to relate to him. He is the son of the sister of my step grandmother which makes him my step uncle on what-the-hell degree I guess.) but got caught when the bitter gourd (a.k.a. ampalaya) he threw under the table landed on my brother’s foot and my brother ratted him out. I carried this dislike with me for 30 years and my friends can attest to this. They will catch me fishing out the meat in the soup but leaving the greens behind, buying meat viands if the free lunch offered vegetables only, or dumping vegetables on their plates.

Eating My Gulay

My supportive friend, Pat, wanted to help me in my pro-green advocacy so we had an ‘all vegetable’ diet on our road trip around Ilocos Norte

I have always been a meat person, if I may be crass about it, a carnivore. Meat has always been part of my diet ever since I was a child but recently, after much nagging from a stranger who just recently attended the National Organic Agriculture Congress and friends’ influence, I have thought of altering that. I know that a drastic change in my eating habits will be impossible so I am taking small strides for the time being. Small strides like choosing mixed vegetables as my side dish, munching on veggie snacks rather than the usual burger and fries, as well as, eating the vegetables along with the meat in the viand that was cooked. My friend, Doi, like to refer to it as ‘baby steps’ and I am fine with that. A step, no matter how small it may be, is still a step after all; as long as it is moving forward and not backward.

So, you must be wondering – what convinced me to take this route? No, my reasons were not like my bestfriend’s where a video of tortured animals paved the way to his being a vegetarian; mine were more practical and less dramatic and I will gladly share them with you.

Help increase income of local farmers

If you eat vegetables then you are supporting the produce of our local farmers. If there is a demand then our farmers will continue to earn and support their families without resorting to drastic measures. Sometimes, out of desperation, our farmers’ decisions may lead to the mismanagement of agricultural resources or worst, loss of livelihood.

Agri Philippines

Address issues connected to micronutrient deficiencies and non-communicable diseases

According to Engr. Julio P. Lupas, RPAE, MPA, there has been a high rate of incurred disease at an early age because the diet of our youth have deviated from vegetable consumption. Most of our youth have been stuffing themselves with fast food which is another form of junk food; hence, they are not getting the packed nutrients and dietary fibers found in vegetables which in simpler terms meant that they are prone to sickness. For instance, leafy vegetables are good sources of Vitamin C and E, calcium, folic acid, and other phytochemicals while non-leafy ones contribute dietary fiber, iron, and B complex vitamins essential to our health and if you’re not getting enough then ‘casual ailments’ will be your new bestfriend.

Vegetables in the Market

Achieve balance in the meat and vegetable consumption

In connection to the previous reason, there is now an imbalance in the demands in our food industry. Because many favor meat, farmers are pressured to supply more and sometimes, recourse to unnatural measures just to meet this demand. Let us take the use of estrogen for fattening as an established procedure in some segments of the meat-bird industry as a perfect example. Like other steroid hormones, estrogen is induced in the animals while they are still growing to hasten their growth and hopefully, to increase weight gain which means that meat consumers are getting more than their fair share of hormones. We have to remember that although hormones are essential for the proper functioning of various body organs, an imbalance can create health problems like ovarian cyst or cancer. There are other concerns too but I don’t want to make a litany of health issues which you can ‘google’ since you’re online anyway.

(Please note that my intention in sharing this information is to put the balance back and not to tip the scale on one side.)

Skinny VS Beefy

Photo credits by: Maria

There you have them. My reasons for including vegetables in my meals these days and I hope that I was able to enlighten you a little bit.

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  1. Kudos to you Den for taking that big leap into embracing the act of eating veggies into your system. I could still remember how you abhor those greens and dumped it in my plate when we travelled to Pai. Also, you really don’t have to turn vegan or vegetarian you know. 😉 basta, for now…baby steps lang sa. 😀 Congrats!!!

  2. The “beefed up” chicken in the video I watched does not look like that at all…way worse! 🙁 Anyhow, congrats on your first steps to a healthier you! 🙂