What we consider as food waste can be a meager individual’s solution to hunger. Hunger can be a terrible monster consuming one’s morality to survive, letting frantic decisions become its quick fix to every problem. One of these drastic choices is what we so call as “pagpag”.
Pagpag is a Filipino term for leftovers or food trash ditched from restaurants, eateries or even from households, scouted from garbage sites or dumps.
According to people living in the dumps, where good food can be a luxury impossible to attain, this is there practical way of surviving. Depending on these food waste is there way of coping up with poverty and eventually dying out of hunger.
Every night as garbage trucks deliver the “take-out food” they have been waiting for, a troop of hungry folks takes position in scavenging recipes for a feed to quench starvation. Chicken bones, pork scraps and remnants of barbecue sticks are just a few of what they take for meal preparations. After securing a load of this menu, they sell a bag of it to neighbors for 20-30 pesos each. The collected leftovers gets washed for at least three times and then boiled in hopes of destroying the bacteria’s lurking in the food. Then gets cooked into their desired dish.
Eating food made from pagpag may cause Hepatitis A, Diarrhea, Typhoid and Cholera. It may also include the risk of ingesting harmful chemicals like poisons and other toxins bad for your body. Despite knowing all the risks behind it, impoverished people still stick to this “trend” just to keep themselves from rotting under the ground. This is there cry for help. Reasons for us to defeat poverty, so no Filipino parent or child have to suffer from this anymore.
The cry of pagpag is a cry of courage for this people. Amidst this all one need more courage to live than to kill himself. Let’s not ignore this braveness, this call for help. It is a reflection of a country’s level of poverty. There will come a day where penniless Filipino no longer have to snoop around dumpsites to look for food and will finally get a proper meal where being too healthy is the only risk.