Tuesday, March 5, 2013

UST Research Assignment: People's Technology Series 1

UST Research Assignment: People's Technology Series 1
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Mely C Tenorio, 738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 Evening Class, Monday to Friday (Phase II 2006 to present)

Communication Art (3CA1 and 3CA3) - Dissemination of practical technologies, such as these five practices, should be given more importance on media. What are strategies to enhance the effectiveness of this thrust?  List down People's Technologies you have observed in your place.   
Banana stalk for packaging pokpoklo (Codium edule), a green seaweed. Shelf life of many vegetables can be prolonged with this natural packaging. Being crush-proof, moist and cool leafy vegetables like lettuce and mushrooms are kept fresh on transport. Catfish (hito) and mudfish (dalag) remain alive to their destination. 

1. Banana leaves make the best food wrapper – practical, multipurpose, aromatic and environment-friendly. 
Imagine if there were no banana leaves to make these favorite delicacies:  suman, tupig, bucayo, bibingka, patupat, puto, tinubong, biko-biko, and the like.  We would be missing their characteristic flavor and aroma, and their indigenous trade mark.  So with a lot of recipes like paksiw na isda, lechon, and rice cooked with banana leaves lining.  Banana leaves have natural wax coating which aid in keeping the taste and aroma of food, while protecting it from harmful microbes.

In the elementary, we used banana leaves as floor polish.  The wax coating makes wooden floors as shiny as any commercial floor wax sans the smell of turpentine. Banana leaves when wilted under fire exude a pleasant smell.  When ironing clothes use banana leaves on the iron tray. It makes ironing cleaner and smoother, and it imparts a pleasant, clean smell to clothes and fabric.

This is how to prepare banana leaf wrapper.
1.      Select the wild seeded variety (botolan or balayang Ilk.) and the tall saba variety.  Other varieties may also be used. 
2.      Get the newly mature leaves. Leave half of the leaf to allow plant to recover. Regulate the harvesting of young leaves as this will affect the productivity of the plant.   
3.      Wilt the gathered leaves by passing singeing the leaves over fire or live charcoal until they are limp and oily. Avoid smoky flame as this will discolor the leaves and impart a smoky smell (napanu-os).  
4.      Wipe both sides of the leaves with clean soft cloth until they are glossy and clean. 
5.      Cut wilted leaves with desired size, shape and design. Arrange to enhance presentation and native ambiance. 
2. Brown eggs are preferred over white eggs, especially in rural areas.
Brown eggs come from native fowls that subsist mainly on farm products.  They are very resistant to the elements and diseases that they simply grow on the range. White eggs on the other hand, come from commercial poultry farms and are highly dependent on antibiotics and formulated feeds. Another advantage of brown eggs is that they have thicker shells.  Besides, their yolk is brighter yellow as compared to that of white eggs.  

Since the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO), among them genetically engineered chicken, many people are now avoiding the consumption of white eggs, more so the GE fowls themselves.  Preference to natural and organically grown food is gaining popularity worldwide.  It is because many ailments, from allergy to cancer, are traced to the kinds of food we eat. Many kinds of allergies have evolved from genetically engineered food, for which they have gained the reputation of Frankenfood, after the novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published in 1818.      

Immerse eggs in tap water immediate after boiling for easier shelling.  Over boiled egg is indicated by dark outer layer of yolk, dull white (as shown above), and flatulent odor.  Over boiled egg is carcinogenic.  Don't under boil egg either, as a safety measure against the avian flu virus can be transmitted to humans. Cook chicken meat well for the same reason. 

3. Corn silk tea is good for the kidney.
When boiling green corn, include the inner husk and the silk as old folks do. Add water than normally needed. Drink the decoction like tea.  It is an effective diuretic. But how can we make it available when we need it?

Sister Corazon C. Loquellano, RVM, in a masteral thesis at UST came up with corn tea in sachet.  Just powder dried corn silk and pack it in sachet like ordinary tea. The indication of good quality is that, a six-percent infusion should have a clear amber color with the characteristic aroma of sweet corn.  It has an  acidity of about 6 pH. You may add sugar to suit your taste.
4. Succulent pod of radish is a local remedy for ulcer.
It is in a public market of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) I found young pods of radish (Raphanus sativus) sold in bundles. We also relish young radish pods as salad or mixed in chopsuey. How true is it that it can cure of stomach ulcer?

Lourdes Jorge tested radish seeds for anti-ulcer properties on albino rats as her masteral thesis in medical technology at UST.  Result: Radish seed extract is effective and is comparable to commercial Cimetidine or Tagamet in the treatment of gastric ulcer. 

5. Rice is the best substitute for wheat flour.
Of all alternative flour products that are potential substitutes for wheat flour, it is rice flour that is acclaimed to be the best for the following reasons:

· Rice has many indigenous uses from suman to bihon (local noodle), aside from its being a staple food of Filipinos and most Asians.

· In making leavened products, rice can be compared with wheat, with today’s leavening agents and techniques.

· Rice is more digestible than wheat. Gluten in wheat is hard to digest and can cause a degenerative disease which is common to Americans and Europeans.

· Rice is affordable and available everywhere, principally on the farm and in households.

Other alternative flour substitutes are those from native crops which are made into various preparations -  corn starch (maja), ube (halaya), gabi (binagol), and tugui’ (ginatan), cassava (cassava cake and sago).         
Lastly, the local rice industry is the mainstay of our agriculture.  Patronizing it is the greatest incentive to production and it saves the country of precious dollar  that would otherwise be spent on imported wheat. ~

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