Where does your waste food go in the Philippines?

This short film was a winner of a competition in Berlin. What I did find interesting is its often something we don’t think of where does our waste food go and how common is this?

I won’t say too much about the video watch it first then go further down this page..

A friend of mine had a helper do some cooking for them at their house and she was given the heads and tails as well as some money for her time. The heads and tails of the fish were just giveaways as generally in the West we eat the fillets only and scrap the rest. But the woman was really happy that she had been given the heads and tails as it was now tonights main meal. Its often strange how we can live parallel lives with others yet be so far apart in the parts of life we rarely or never see. The video above shows the same as you can see from the front end of the restaurants its all shiny and clean as you go about having your meal and then the waste product is recycled in a way that is unexpected for many as its given to children and used for an evening meal. You probably couldn’t do the same in the UK due to regulations regarding health and safety aswell as the disposal method in case someone choked on a chicken bone and sued. Over the years I have seen many things that can be a bit disturbing and to be honest the video may shock some but for me these sort of things have become part of life. There are kids surviving in a lot worse conditions searching through the refuse and scraps on garbage tips for food for the day aswell as hoping to find something useful. I generally don’t post these types of media not because I am not interested but simply most people don’t want to know what really goes on in the hard bits of life. Not just here in the Philippines but pretty much everywhere.

18 comments for “Where does your waste food go in the Philippines?

  1. Tomdean34
    August 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Granted there are hungry or even starving people in the world. But a Filipino living out of the city should be able to raise or grow enough food to at least not have to eat garbage. It is tropical and some sort of food products grow year round. And if they do not want to eat what they grow, they can always sell it or make something with it to sell. I know of many items that grow almost as weeds that are edible and nutritious. There is NO excuse for going hungry. Maybe it is laziness or poor foresight that they refuse to provide for themselves. I guess it is just easier to wait for the garbage can to come everyday and eat from there. No work is involved.

  2. Tomdean34
    August 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Granted there are hungry or even starving people in the world. But a Filipino living out of the city should be able to raise or grow enough food to at least not have to eat garbage. It is tropical and some sort of food products grow year round. And if they do not want to eat what they grow, they can always sell it or make something with it to sell. I know of many items that grow almost as weeds that are edible and nutritious. There is NO excuse for going hungry. Maybe it is laziness or poor foresight that they refuse to provide for themselves. I guess it is just easier to wait for the garbage can to come everyday and eat from there. No work is involved.

  3. Tropicalpenpals
    August 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    To be honest i am still trying to understand the food issues in some cases. I think a lot of it is down to a lack of education as well as possibly needing direction and leadership. Food does grow easily here but also remember some of these people literally are living in doorways etc. But what I do sometimes wonder is why a lot of them are in the cities besides the obvious work benefit. Because I look at the provinces and there is a lot of vacant land and no doubt many of these people arrived from other islands e.g. some near us at a dump site don’t actually come from Cebu yet entire families have migrated to live in the dump site. The laziness aspect is another thing I am not sure about as I think its more short sited living for today mentality that is the problem instead of a realisation they are stuck there and really need to get to grips with survival. Vertical gardening as well as other things can all be done in a tight space same as breeding fish in containers if you have access to clean water.

    Its often a topic that gets discussed and some of it we can blame on Western interference as the NGO’s give out handouts on a regular basis so you will find people concentrate in areas where food is given out. They then stop organising themselves because they know the meal ticket is going to arrive. The same can be said about anywhere in the world though especially in the African nations which besides civil war is another reason people don’t get themselves out of poverty. I have tried helping people myself but end up just frustrated and refusing to do it again. We have had a recent influx of kids sleeping rough in the market and around the plaza in Minglanilla. Why are they even here as they aren’t from Minglanilla?

  4. Rene Reroma
    August 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Rene Reroma Your concerns are all true. The problem is lack of education, laziness. etc. There are plenty of decent opportunities available to be able to make a breakthrough in life. We do not give them fish – we teach them how to fish. We can’t afford to spoonfed them all the time. However, this is a phenomenon common in many places even in big/rich/advanced cities of the world. These people are not from Minglanilla. Minglanillahanons are industrious people; we don’t go to garbage dumpsite except those…..

  5. Rene Reroma
    August 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Vertical gardening? Fish in containers? Very interesting. But. thanks God we still have plenty of room.

  6. Tropicalpenpals
    August 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    In the uk its common as well as we have gained 4th generation unemployed who basically leech off the system, taxpayers and workers. That’s 4 generations on not one member of the family working!

  7. Princess Burbos
    August 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    It iis easy to ask why are big cities are so congested why people living at the dumpsites not go to the provinces instead where there are vast areas of uncultivated lands where they can earn a living farming. Maybe these people will do this if the government will give them a place to live and have a small farm enough for them to have a descent livelihood. The lands in the provinces have owners. Even timberlands and protected areas have people claiming these are theirs and they are very protective and possessive on what belongs to them.

    • davidrke54
      September 9, 2010 at 6:01 am

      The problem is a lot of area,s are not suitable for farming .When we were in Zambales we spent some time looking at upland ares to buy and noticed that most farmers still insist on slash and burn techniques for hilly land so they can grow rice but ignore the way that heavy rain just washes the soil away,.but if they work with the land and plant trees and Bananas,etc they could prevent that.

  8. Tropicalpenpals
    August 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Rene the vertical gardening and container fishing was based on people in squatter areas they can still produce in very small areas. At the same time the water in containers could actually help the fishing families in Minglanilla as they could be growing the fish or breeding to help increase the numbers.

  9. Tropicalpenpals
    August 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    At the same time every person I know who have farms in the provinces have empty unworked lots due to theft by the people who work for them so they have stopped producing. E.g. a friend of mine in Negros has a fishing lake his caretakers emptied and either ate or sold his fish stock so when it was harvested it was literally empty. They used to row out at night and throw feeds knowing the small fry that are used to being hand reared come to the top then skimmed them all in nets leaving nothing.. Another friend owns a coconut plantation as well as producing fruits the remittances from the caretakers have reduced year on year yet there is no excuse, they have another several hectares they have stopped farming completely because of theft.

    Now its easy to blame it on the land owners but these people offered jobs and food and in return they were robbed until there was nothing left to steal.. Not isolated cases but near enough everyone I know who has got involved in the farming industry. Also small scale farming isn’t the way to go co-operative farming is to allow joint ventures as this would allow greater chance of being able to not only produce enough to eat but also funds for the next production and education/medical etc. to give the chance to get out of the poverty cycle completely..

    At the same time I am aware of the illegal land grabbing etc. but that can’t be everyone.

    • davidrke54
      September 9, 2010 at 8:28 am

      Yeah,your right..In fact the kind of small scale farming they do is inefficient and and counter productive,.but co-ops dont seem to be making much progress .

      • Tropicalpenpals
        September 10, 2010 at 4:24 am

        The problem is that the companies are interfering with those that can educate. E.g. if you get a professor telling you how to do something I can guarantee you he will be selling a companies branded expensive feeds etc. Instead of doing it as a public service I have had it here where people are telling me its inefficent to do it a specific way which if you way up the costs the yields will be lower but profit higher because there is no fertlizer debts. If you cant trust the educated to help the uneducated then its pretty much going to stay the same.

  10. Princess
    August 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    General lack of trust due to dishonesty of others is one of the problems in the society and this has cascading effect to the Filipino people both the haves and have nots.

  11. Tropicalpenpals
    August 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Problem is if they dont resolve it nothings going to change as total distrust and the inability to see each others as equals (regardless of where people come from in society e.g. poor or another island) will stop the Philippines developing.

  12. Princess
    August 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    You are right but who will take the initiative? These involves people lossing trust with each other and to revive lost trust is diffucult. This
    problem is already embedded to deep into the society and to undo this takes time maybe generations…..

  13. Tropicalpenpals
    August 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    The initiative is the key. People to understand stealing from an employer = no job as well as treat your employees badly = no employees. 10 Million OFW’s are proof that these situations are slowly bringing things to a halt. Very few people I know of talk about future here as most Filipino’s under 35 say they want to go abroad.. The Philippines can and should be a paradise.. At the same time many foreigners retiring or moving to the Philippines have a vast amount of knowledge and skills that are left untapped as there seems to be discrimination against foreigners who try to improve things.

    • davidrke54
      September 9, 2010 at 6:09 am

      what irritates me is how people just chuck rubbish on any piece of unattended land available,sometimes not even that!!

      • Tropicalpenpals
        September 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

        Especially when a lot of it could be recycled.. if they don’t want it its fair enough but more should be done to educate people on the damage they do as well as how they can help others if they can’t be bothered.