By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Aside from the flavor and consistency of food, another factor that people consider are its health benefits. This is why they prefer fresh produce grown by trusted sources. 

Eat Matters PH, a local ‘paluto’ and diet meal service, recognizes the need for healthy food while also supporting local farmers who are known to produce quality ingredients through safe procedures. 

The diet meal service was created by Isi Laureano, a professional cook, because of her interest in catering events and providing healthy as well as delicious meals. 

“When I was very much into the bazaars back in the day, I wanted to have a platform where I can cater, produce food events, etc. I started to make a special pop-up in my neighborhood. It was a ticketed event and they got the whole package of this scrumptious menu that was all local, all homemade and all fresh because Eat Matters makes our local food matters!,” said Laureano. 

A purist by nature 

Some of the farms that Laureano sources from include Teraoka Family Farm, Igorot’s Charm Cafe or ANI.ph, Kai Farms, Gus Growcery, Grassroots & Co. Farms, Future Fresh, and more.

Local farmers now have access to an indirect market because of Eat Matters.

Laureano’s decision to partner with these farms is because she is a purist by nature, which means she only wants to work with fresh ingredients that are farmed locally by trusted sources like the mentioned farms. 

“I mostly source vegetables like different kinds of sweet potatoes, all kinds of tomatoes, and fresh greens,” the professional cook said. 

With these ingredients, she makes all kinds of gourmet dishes like sinantolan, vegetable stir fries, and even desserts such as strawberry mousse and chia pudding. 

“Costs depend on [my clients] requirements. I have to assess them first before they can subscribe. The price starts from P1,000 per day for a full day of meals with snacks or desserts. Currently, I am doing low carb, keto, or whatever else dietary needs of my clients,” Laureano said. 

She added that she has practiced on how to store the produce properly in her home so they would last longer. In the meantime, to avoid overstocking, she also orders the ingredients that she needs based on her available menu.

To avoid food waste, Laureano practiced proper storing techniques in her home. She also orders the appropriate amount needed to fulfill her orders to avoid food waste and overstocking.

“I always check the fresh produce that I receive. I would definitely tell my supplier if what I received is not okay or wilted or if I cannot use it at all. So they can also learn. I also share some tips with them on how they can properly transport or package their produce so it won’t rot during the deliveries,” Laureano said. 

Through Eat Matters, Laureano not only promotes the farms that she partners, but it also helps lessen the food waste amount of food waste or oversupply from farms.

“I usually ask them what’s available first or what they have abundant from their harvest, then I would work on those available ingredients. I am not a fan of food wastes. I also keep the seeds that I get and use that for future planting,” she said. 

Supporting local 

With hopes of giving importance to food and the important matters around it. This pandemic year, Laureano the diet meal and ‘paluto service.’

Aside from this, she also started kitchen consultancy services for her clients who wanted to help those who have been inspired by her cooking skills and guide through their own culinary needs. 

Prior to Eat Matters, Laureano has also created her own brand of sauces that go by the name of Haynayan Ketchups and Chili Asylum, which also use fresh local produce.

Aside from Eat Matters, Laureano also established two sauce brands named Haynayan Ketchups and Chili Asylum.

(Read more about Haynayan Ketchups and Chili Asylum here.

“Supporting local farms and advocating local produce has been my agenda ever since. It is great to work directly with our local farmers because they get all the profit for their hard work. You appreciate more of all the things they do so the food on our tables is more appreciated,” the owner of Eat Matters said. 

Laureano also shared that her clients are happy to know that all the dishes they are eating are made from fresh, local ingredients. 

“I learn a lot from our local farmers too. Not only about farming but also issues about what is going on with our agriculture sector. It is important to just use local as it helps our economy and environment. It’s very good to know what you are eating comes from the best local farms,” she said. 

For more information, visit Eat Matters on Facebook