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?