Incorporating food sustainability at home

Early this week, the Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Training Institute Region 4-A held a webinar on Building A Sustainable Home' presented by Flor's Garden and A Plate of Bahay Kubo. Food self-sufficiency in time of pandemic gives us all the upper hand in managing our health to ensure that we maintain (and sustain) a strong immune system.

Weeds are useful as they have been found to have nutritional and medicinal benefits. These can easily be incorporated into our meal preparations and more so in our natural remedies list. Weeds are plants that grew at the wrong place, and you'll be surprised at what you can find in your backyard when you look closer.

One way of incorporating food sustainability at home is in home gardening. There is a link between sustainability and food security and we cannot be sustainable if we are not food secure. Home gardening helps to address this by providing plants that are not only medicinal but also edible. This approach is one of the easiest and most practical ways in taking baby steps towards the path of sustainability.

Takipkuhol is the herb of longevity. Leaves can be eaten as fresh or steeped to be taken as tea. It is also a memory enhancer. Borbotak leaves are edible too as green leafy vegetables, use this when you make your ginisang monggo next. Kadok leaves can be eaten as raw or mixed with your omelette. Kadok leaves can also be made as crispy tempura.

This insulin ensalada is not only delicious but also 100 percent healthy.

This insulin ensalada is not only delicious but also 100 percent healthy.

Our latest discovery is insulin plant but we may be more familiar with its chemical/medicinal counterpart in the drug store. The plant itself is edible and can be used when you make salads. The leaves of the insulin plant help treat blood sugar issues especially those with diabetes.

Here is a super easy insulin salad you can make at home:


About 7 pieces of insulin leaves, washed and cleaned

2 pieces tomatoes, sliced

1 red onion, sliced

Cucumber slices

Salt and pepper

Procedure: Cut the leaves into strips and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

This is a very basic ensalada recipe and it is encouraged to get creative as you discover more weeds in your background.

A great takeaway from Flor Tarriela, President of Flor's Garden is to make the salad more potent as much as possible – add all the other nutritious herbs or weeds you have in your garden to get all the nutrients. You may throw in some nuts, your choice of proteins, etc.

This is also practical from a meal preparation standpoint because you may likely end up with a salad that can stand as a meal on its own. Easy, practical, healthy and best of all, habit forming.

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The author may be reached at [email protected] or follow her at Instagram @kaycalpolugtu and @aplateofbahaykubo.

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