Note: This post have Sensitive Contents about Food
Leftover foods from fast food restaurants was being thrown to the garbage, I know this myself because I was once a service crew in McDonald. I work in a fast food chain as a part time job for more than a year to support my studies even a little. When I was still working in the restaurant I always see three kids that I think is ranging at 7 - 12 years of old, one of them was deaf and cannot speak. They was always on the store and asking for leftover foods, but sadly as a service crew I need to send them away. This became a habit to us service crew until one day out of nowhere I asked one of my manager if we can give them the leftover foods rather than throwing and wasting it.
"We can't do that, what if they get sick? Will you pay for their hospital bills and let yourself be sued in the court?" my manager said
Now I understand the reason why excessive edibles from fast foods was being thrown in trash bins, it is because of the fear of getting sued once someone gets sick after eating the food. I cannot blame the restaurant owners for doing this thing, helping others by giving the excess foods might give them trouble, might suspend their license to operate, might make a person sick, and worse might kill a person.
Its sad to know that in the Philippines, fast food restaurants throw left over foods in the trash bins, but seeing some Filipinos try to recycle this food is worse. Pagpag refers to the act of shaking the dirt off, or "Shake off the Dust". You can usually hear them saying "OK pa yan, wala pang five minutes" or "It's still OK, five minutes didn't passed yet". In the Philippines, we usually say those sentence when a food drops on the floor. Filipinos usually picks the dropped food back and make some magical ritual 😂😂😂. Shaking and blowing the food will do the trick and its ready to go, the dropped food can now be eaten again. I even done this a couple of times when I was still little 😂. This habit seems to be disgusting to others, picking the dropped food back and still consume. But I somehow understand how the Filipinos think (maybe its because I've done it also) , Filipinos are not good in wasting food. Food is very precious to many Filipinos, they can't endure the thought of wasting the food they have work for days. This may also be the reason why the "Pagpag Food" was formed.
Pagpag Food refers to the leftover foods from fast food restaurants that was still consumed by the process of pagpag or dusting it off, but you wouldn't believe it pagpag became a really profitable business to others.
SELLING and EATING of pagpag emerge to the areas where many poor people live, these poor people became practical fighting in the challenges of life that even eat recycle foods. Once the garbage from fast food restaurants was gathered, it will be delivered to a dump sites using garbage trucks. Families now will run to the dump site and will now start collecting their treasured foods, pagpag foods can be either eaten right after it was found or sometimes undergo cooking process. The food will be eaten right away when its still in good shape, while foods nearing to be spoiled will be collected.
Inedible materials and dirt like spoons, forks, bottled water, tissue papers, and even cigarette butts will be found together with the foods. This materials will be removed from the food and undergo some cooking process depending on its condition. The most common way of cooking it is by frying, however, some that sells the pagpag food cooks it in some traditional Filipino dishes like kaldereta or adobo.
Its sad that they usually make fun of this food as they say that its main ingredients are chicken meats from McDonald's, Jollibee, KFC and many other famous fast food restaurants.
Health professionals warn against the dangers of eating pagpag, consumers might definitely digest toxic chemicals and get food-borne illnesses. They are at risk of getting salmonella, hepatitis, stomach flu and other illnesses.
Despite of having health issues, many Filipino citizens would still consume pagpag food. They don't have any other
choice, they definitely would say that they will die if they choose not to eat pagpag food.