Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), the organization behind Vegan Filipino Food, was founded by a Chicanx and longtime vegan activist, lauren Ornelas. Inspired by Pinay staff member Erika Galera and Pinay volunteer Eva Marie-Dones Piccininni, F.E.P. decided to launch veganfilipinofood.com to highlight Philippine foods that do not include animal ingredients and to model that it is possible to eat vegan and still incorporate our comfort foods.
Before being colonized and named “the Philippines,” the archipelago was diverse in distinct cultures and languages. Prior to 300 years of Spanish colonization, Japanese occupation, and (ongoing) U.S. imperialism, the islands had already been trading with merchants from all over Asia, and over thousands of years, the Philippines was forever changed by foreign influence. Modern Filipinx identity, traditions, and diet have thus developed to be both fiercely resilient as well as open to adaptation. Filipinx culture places a high value on caring for our community and for the land that sustains us. By bringing a vegan spotlight to Filipinx cuisine, we hope to carry our traditions of growth, compassion, and respect for the environment into the 21st century.
Many Filipinx dishes are naturally vegan, like lugaw, taho, and turon, while others are easily made vegan, like lumpia, afritada, and pinakbet. For those dishes that may contain animal ingredients, we have included delicious vegan recipes so that you don’t have to miss out on any of your favorites.
Vegan foods do not contain animal ingredients, including “meat,” sea life, eggs, dairy, and honey, all of which are products of suffering and exploitation. Filipinx people have a long history of fighting for farm worker justice, such as the Delano Grape Strike started by Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz, and other Manongs. Most foods that we all eat are picked by farm workers who often suffer and are treated unfairly, so we must recognize just how important it is to support these workers whenever possible.
As the fight for farm worker justice continues, F.E.P. works to advocate and fight for farm workers by raising awareness about the labor conditions of produce workers while simultaneously working with them to advance their rights by supporting corporate, legislative, and regulatory changes. We created veganfilipinofood.com to be a user-friendly resource for vegans and the vegan-curious alike, as well as the Filipinx community and beyond. We hope that our kababayans will be excited to enjoy the familiar flavors of our homeland as we expand our circle of compassion and justice to include non-human animals!
Vegan Filipino Food is a collaborative effort, and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed: those who submitted original recipes; those who tested recipes; and those who cooked, styled, and photographed each dish.
More about Food Empowerment Project
Food Empowerment Project is a vegan food justice organization that seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices. We encourage healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas, unfair working conditions for produce workers, the depletion of natural resources, and the abuse of animals on farms. By making informed choices, we can prevent injustices against humans, the environment, and animals. To learn more about F.E.P., our work, or how to go vegan, please visit our website: www.foodispower.org
Food Empowerment Project is a vegan food justice organization and a registered non-profit 501(c)(3).