I eat, therefore I am invested in food security

The photo above shows the last of my mangoes and the last of my yogurt.

I’ve been trying to eat as healthily as possible during the quarntine period. For example, I don’t have any sugar, save one packet from a fast food restaurant that I’m going to use to exfoliate my face with when quarantine ends. But I do have a masive sweet tooth, and I’ve been relying on fruits to keep myself from feeling deprived.

I bought some mangoes during my last grocery trip. I ate one and froze the rest so I could enjoy them longer. I usually use whatever fruits I have to sweeten my morning yogurt.

I love food. Eating is my favorite way of experiencing the world. And it’s why I’m interested in agriculture and food security.

When you think about it, it was only a matter of time. When you love food, you want to learn about how it’s made, which means cooking.

When you cook or are interested in cooking, you want to know where to find the best ingredients, which means farms.

Once you learn about how farms grow crops or livestock, you try to find the ones with the best practices, which means agriculture.

You also want to make sure that there’s a steady supply of ingredients for everyone to cook with, which means food security.

This includes wanting to make sure that farmers are paid properly (altruisitcally, because everyone deserves to be paid fairly; selfishly, so they can grow more crops), encouraging the youth to go into agriculture, and reminding consumers of the link between the farm and their plates.

It continues to amaze me that a lot of people don’t understand that the very act of eating links a person to agriculture. Your steak came from a cow; your salad came from a farm. Even your potato chips came from potatoes, which were harvested in a field.

We don’t have to be farmers to engage in agriculture or be concerned about food security. We just have to eat.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.