April 19, 2021. The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (DA-BAFS), through the Technical Services Division, joined in the celebration of the Filipino Food Month through a webinar entitled “I Bet Nutritious, I Bet Delicious! PinakaBET na PinakBET!” held last April 15, 2021. Attended by 75 participants from the national government agencies, local government units, academe, private organizations, farmers and farmer cooperatives, students, and housewives, the webinar aims not only to espouse appreciation, preservation, and promotion of Filipino culinary tradition and indigenous practices but also to increase their awareness on the food safety and quality Philippine National Standards (PNS) of vegetable ingredients used in coming up with the dish.
The 3-hour webinar lecture focused on the following topics: Quality Standards for Selected Pinakbet Vegetables, Code of Hygienic Practice for the Sale of Fresh Agriculture and Fishery Products in Markets and Authorized Outlets (PNS/BAFS 46:2020) and The Food Way of Pinakbet and were delivered by resource speakers from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, Bureau of Plant Industry and Corlyn Integrated Farm.
The first speaker, Ms. Daphne Gonzales, University Research Associate II from the University of the Philippines Los Baños–Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center talked about the “Quality Standards for Selected Pinakbet Vegetables.” She discussed the Philippine National Standards (PNS) for ampalaya, eggplant, yardlong beans, tomato and squash including its definition, minimum requirement, classification, size/shape classification and tolerance. She also stressed the importance of proper packaging, marking and labeling.
Mr. John Leo Gamboa, Chemist II from the BPI followed by discussing the proper handling of fresh agriculture and fishery products in the markets and authorized outlets to ensure that it is safe and fit for human consumption. In his presentation of the Code of Hygienic Practice for the Sale of Fresh Agriculture and Fishery Products in Markets and Authorized Outlets (PNS/BAFS 46:2020), Mr. Gamboa presented the minimum requirements for the source of the fresh agriculture plant products, equipment, containers and utensils to be used, handling practices, cleaning and disinfection, packing and packaging materials, water and water storage, and ice and ice handling. He also added the requirements for the area and place of selling, for marketing, waste management, pest and vermin control, traceability, and recall.
Lastly, Chef Cocoy Ventura, owner of Corlyn Integrated Farm, tackled “The Food Way of Pinakbet” covering the history and origin of pinakbet and its different versions. He also shared a short video entitled, “Tawid ti Amianan” where Chef Cocoy cooked the traditional pinakbet by the river and a video clip from a short film, Ilocandia showcasing the original pinakbet of Ilocos.
After each lecture, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions to the resource speakers and interact online.
In closing, Assistant Director Mary Grace Mandigma expressed that while “pinakbet” signifies the diversity of Filipino culture, it also supports the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” of the Department of Agriculture as pinakbet’s main ingredients are among the seeds being distributed by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI). ###