The Ancient Filipino Diet With Dr. Ame Garong

On today’s show

What can we learn from our ancestors’ diets?

This month we’re talking with Dr. Ame Garong, researcher at the Archeology Division at the National Museum of the Philippines. In 2013 Dr. Garong published a book called “Ancient Filipino Diet”. It’s the first study of Filipino food in pre-history – before colonizers or any foreign influence arrived in the Philippines – written to explore and understand the prehistoric diet of our ancestors.

Dr. Garong shares her research with us, including stories about what it’s like to literally dig for clues, how to thwart midnight thieves and the importance of getting locals involved with grassroots preservation efforts.

After this interview, I still had so many questions. How can this knowledge of what our ancestors ate, influence our food choices today? How much of this lines up with what we really eat and how our food culture develops globally?

Show notes

04:40 What it’s like to be a Philippine archeologist
05:55 How her career started
07:30 Early fieldwork
08:00 “An accident happened…”
09:45 How do we find out what our ancestors ate?
11:20 What exactly was in their paleo diet?
14:00 Stuff they’ve found in archaeological sites
15:00 Batanes and ancient fish
18:10 A giant heap of shell trash in Cagayan Valley
21:30 “Tinapa” mummies in Benguet
22:55 Why Cebuanos love corn
24:40 Challenge #1: Time and thieves
28:10 Challenge #2: On rituals and religion
30:30 Challenge #3: A lack of knowledge and involvement
33:00 What’s next?

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