Does our food make us barbaric?

A visitor recently objected to my post that asked for people interested in helping with some background research about balut.

Here’s the message:

Perhaps this human interest story regarding the balut, is merely another way to make the Filipino appear less civilized and more barbaric. I hope you reconsider encouraging anyone of our people to go on television and allowing others to make us look foolish.

This struck me as strange. I don’t think that there’s any reason why balut itself would make Filipinos appear barbaric. Sure, it’s an unfamiliar delicacy to most people in the West. But does the secret blend of 11 herbs & spices make KFC more civilised?

Don’t get me wrong—I happen to think that KFC is finger lickin’ good. However, perhaps this visitor’s comment is more evidence of that old bugbear otherwise known as colonial mentality. Some Filipinos seem to project feelings of inferiority and this is evident in the UK as well as in the Philippines.

It’s sad that we should feel embarrassed about something as simple as food. Food is what helps define our culture and just as we should be proud of what we are, we also shouldn’t be ashamed of what we eat.

What do you think?

Related posts

2 responses to “Does our food make us barbaric?

  1. a reply to the 1st comment:

    Negative thinking will like yours will not give Filipino any kind of respect. I agree that it might look bad but at least the media is giving Philippine culture a second look! The only time Philippines get on the new is when there is killings of kidnapping. this is something we should be proud of and embrace because it’s part of us!

    I’m a Filipino too I’m not ashame to say I have eaten ‘Balut’ it is very nutritious and its an aphrodisiac! (honeymooners there’s your tip!)

    Anyways I think its a positive thing and don’t be ashame to show everyone your culture!

    Watch out for UKTV food! Filipino dishes like Sinigang and Lumpia is featured on their show with John Torode of Masterchef and Hardeep Sinh Kohli, they will start to air it on 26th May so keep an eye on the programmes!

  2. I vehemently disagree of the idea that a person’s food is a reflection of a person’s civility. Regardless of culture, we must respect the individual’s means of survival through nourishment. As Filipinos, no one should be embarrassed that there are people who eat bats, dogs, cats, locusts, or animal parts deemed inedible (e.g isaw= roasted chicken intestine on a stick). At the same time, we should not allow anyone to put down the Filipino people based on what individuals eat.

Want to comment? Post a response on your blog and link back to this article.