DES MOINES, Iowa (The Adobo Chronicles) – While some New Yorkers have signed a petition demanding a Filipino restaurant in Manhattan to strike off balut from its menu, states like Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota have increased their quota for the importation of this Filipino delicacy. Balut is a boiled duck embryo popular as a street food in the Philippines.
Iowa became the third state to declare an emergency response to a fast-expanding U.S. bird-flu outbreak on Friday as the national poultry death toll climbed toward record levels.
Officials in Iowa, the biggest egg-producing state, said they had identified four more suspected cases of avian influenza, and the likely number of birds affected in the state is now more than 16 million. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency, the same move that was made last month by his counterparts in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Branstad said the state government is doing all it can to ensure that Iowans get their recommended daily intake of dairy, consistent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition guide, My Plate, which recommends the amount of daily foods that Americans should consume for a healthy life.
“We are asking Iowans to eat balut instead of chicken or eggs during this period of emergency to ensure both their safety and their nutritional health,” Branstad said.
SAN FRANCISCO, California (The Adobo Chronicles) – If you live in California and you like Filipino food, you had better stock up on your packaged tocino or longganisa.
Effective March 15, 2015, the state of California will impose a comprehensive ban on all pork imports from the Philippines. The ban covers livestock, frozen meat and packaged pork-based food items.
The Manila government immediately criticized the move, saying that California is merely retaliating for a recent ban on chicken imports from California imposed by the Philippines. The chicken ban was a result of confirmed cases of Avian or Bird Flu found in several chicken farms in California.
But California Governor Jerry Brown told reporters that the state’s decision to ban Philippine pork imports was the result of a series of serious considerations which began after Filipino business people and senators were accused and jailed for the pork barrel scandal which defrauded taxpayers of some Ten Billion Pesos. The pork barrel money allegedly went into the pockets of the individuals accused of the massive scam.
“We’re simply taking precaution to make sure that our state government, especially our state legislature, will not engage in similar pork scams ” Brown said.
The price of pork in the world market currently averages $198.00 per barrel.
U.S. imports of agricultural products from the Philippines totaled $991 million in 2013 alone. The California ban on pork imports will hurt the Philippines’ overall revenue from its exports to the U.S., since California is recognized as having one of the largest economies in the world.