Why going organic is good for us
There are several benefits that Ilonggos can get from becoming advocates of organic agriculture.
First, good health. Organically grown products are natural and healthy because they are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives and additives. They do not come from genetically-modified seeds.
Second, food security amid climate change. Organic crops are very resilient compared to those grown using conventional systems. The 30-year side-by-side Farming Systems Trial (FST) at Rodale Institute showed that organic systems were almost three times as resilient as conventional systems.
Third, profitable. Instead of buying costly pesticides, farmers cultivate soil organisms, pollinators, plants, birds and other animals. The Rodale study again showed that organic systems were almost three times as profitable as conventional systems.
In a convention of organic farmers I attended many years ago, one farmer shared his experience with conventional farming. “I used pesticides before. Because of this, I spent so much and the soil suffered. I incurred debts. Now that I’m into organic farming, my farm has recovered,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture supports both conventional and organic agriculture. But, for the latter to win over the former, we need everybody’s support. Thankfully, there are individuals, groups, and organizations that support this advocacy through their lifestyle and businesses.
One of them is Farm to Table, a restaurant located at the Iloilo Business Park in Megaworld Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
Owned by chef Pauline and Gus Banusing, Farm to Table serves grains, vegetables, and meat that are free from pesticides and preservatives.
They serve salads, soups, appetizers, pizza, comfort classics, main entrees, and shakes whose ingredients were sourced from organic producers in several areas in Western Visayas such as Pavia, Leon, Barotac, Igbaras, Dumangas, Passi, and Guimaras, among others.
“I have fond memories of my weekends on the farms of my father in Passi and Pavia, Iloilo. There I would run after the chickens, feed the pigs, and drink juice straight from the sugarcane,” said chef Pauline.
“Farm to Table is the fruition of my desire brought about by my childhood as I grew up loving hearty and comfort food that did not have processed ingredients, refined sugars, and trans fats. It has been my desire to have a restaurant that uses local ingredients such as organic vegetables, meat from grass-fed cows and free-range chickens and eggs among others,” she added.
Check out this feast that we ordered during our first visit to their restaurant. Certainly, it will not be the last time because their dishes are delicious and well prepared and their staff is very accommodating.
We started with Farmer’s Bowl, a Salad full of nutrients - ripe mangoes, cucumber, organic lettuce, casuy nuts, mushrooms, red onions, jicama, carrots and rotisserie chicken with Calamansi Vinaigrette. I had some Calamansi Vinaigrette left so I used it as a dip for Crispy Pork Belly Slices.
Next, we ordered Farm to Table Batchoy that consists of organic pork slices, organic pork liver, fresh egg noodles, organic chicken egg. We ordered one but ended up liking it so much that we made a second order.
Crispy Pork Belly Slices with raw honey and brown sugar glaze and squash sauce.
Chicken Honey Kebab, marinated in raw honey from Negros and yogurt, served with barbecue sauce, garlic yogurt dip and whole wheat pita bread triangles.
Fried-Yay Chicken Leg with Kare-Kare Glaze. The glaze is made of homemade peanut butter from Pavia. Served with Kimchi rice.
Beef Steak Tagalog, local thinly sliced beef, marinated in garlic, soy and calamansi and served with brown rice
Eggplant Truffle Lasagna. No carbs lasagna, light mozzarella cheese, truffle cream and organic tomatoes
For reservations, call 033-3202154
Visit their Facebook page: Farm to Table Iloilo