Watch what–wow!– you eat

YOU are what you ingest… way down to your grandchildren. Thank goodness, the grandchildren don’t look a bit Australian, in jest and in earnest a warm mammal like me takes to pigging out on the downy under and udder—so delicately fingerin’ and lickin’ luscious.

It turns out, more findings show, that grandchildren are most affected by their grandparents’ nutrition intake… such a quirk of epigenetic hardwiring that turn up in a grandchild’s body capacity to process and avail nutrients in food— call that metabolism… even that is a hand-me-down body capability, the metabolic phenotype programming.

Woe is me! Granddaughter can flash a wicked smile that can sunder a city… grandson has arson in his eyes that can render to cinders every hindrance to naked surrender of feminine parts…

Plant breeder Luther Burbank had it figured out in pointing up that change in a generation of children begins with their grandparents… and he came to such a conclusion in his all-consuming work on developing and improvement of plant species.

With such findings, research has to keep tabs on gramps nutrition exposure history— proof of the eating– in a bid to rewire the wry sins and ease the epidemiology that comes to afflict the grandchildren.

How the diet was cast—gramps ate with gusto whatever was tucked in pantries and panties.

What leftovers could have been in those pantries… southern comforts and comfort food?

(1) A sweetish soup of bitter gourd leaves sauté with smoked fish flakes.

(2) Fermented raw mustard leaves with broiled catfish or mudfish.

(3) Cold rice doused with fresh carabao’s milk, drizzled with coarse salt grains.

(4) Steamed eggplants with fermented rice/fish combo.

(5) Salad of minced mango flower buds, shallots, ginger, and tomatoe drizzled with fish sauce.

(6) Kinilaw na labanos—chopped radish root and leaves simmered in palm vinegar with pork liver, heart, and sweetbreads with generous shower of freshly ground peppercorns.

(7) Quick-boiled soup of immature white gourd, wild mushrooms, and a stub of fresh ginger root.

(8) Seedless young tamarind fruits steamed atop a small bowl of shrimp paste.

(9) Young stalks of elephant’s ear aroid (Tagalog name, pungapong) stewed in rice washings, saluyot or native jute, fish sauce and unripe santol.

(10) Mamangkal or acrid guamachil pulp stewed with horseradish tree fruits and leaves, rice washings seasoned with tomatoes, ginger, shallots, and fish paste.

There. My mother ran a cafeteria that catered to staff and workers of a textile factory near our home back in the 1960s… and most of them thrived on meat dishes that weren’t to my liking. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Mom had drilled me earlier in a book that bore the title, “Pepe and Pilar.” I had committed its contents to heart and found hearty comestible in pepe ni Pilar… why, I was taught to read between the line and construed that in the native tongue as pagbasa sa nasa pagitan ng guhit… nabasa naman, indeed proof of the eating is a soaking wet pudding.  Dong delos Reyes


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