Community Food System Datatables


Location map of the Aetas

This field study was carried out in the sitio (a subunit of a barangay or village) of the Barangay Binaritan in the municipality of Morong. The focus of this work was with the Aetas of Morong. Morong is in the province of Bataan, about 150 km. northwest of Manila and the Aetas are believed to be the first people to live there.

Philippine history identifies the “Negritos” named by Spanish friars as the original inhabitants of the islands who crossed land bridges from Asia before the Ice Ages. Subsequent waves of migrants of Malay origin came to the islands by boat and, largely by force, drove the Negritos towards the mountains. The Negritos spread throughout the islands and presently belong to various different tribes (Agta, Aeta or Ita, Batak, Sambal, Mamanua, etc.) and developed their own language and ethnic identity. Today they are still characterized as Negritos because of their similar appearances.

Map from:

Names of the participating team members are:

  • Philippine Research Team
    • Dr Cecelia Santos-Acuin
    • A. Troy Gepte IV
    • M. Justiniana Dedace
  • Local team members
    • Dr Effie Espino (Medical doctor)
    • Mila Fulache (Nutritionist)
    • Emilio Mendoza (Historian)
    • Jose Calma (Leader of Binaritan)
    • Dr Benjamin Dacula (Health Officer)
    • Aquino Malunik (Oldest member of the tribe)
    • Miguel Quitain (Present Chief of Kapitan)
    • Angelito Aquile (Advisor to the Tribal Chief)
  • Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE), McGill University
    • Dr Harriet Kuhnlein (Professor)

Notes on food data table

The Aetas of Morong, Philippines, is one of the five groups of Indigenous Peoples researched in the Asia region. The Aetas project was initiated to test a protocol for documenting Vitamin A in traditional food systems of Indigenous Peoples, with the objective of using traditional food more effectively in health promotion activities. As a result of this project, a food data table for the community of Aetas of Morong was compiled. It was decided to include the Aetas data with food data sets of the current CINE Global Health Project. A report of the Aetas project was published in 1997.

Notes on food groups

Users should be aware that the data presented here do not represent absolute values. The purpose of this publication is to present a true reflection of the usual composition of foods as available and/or consumed among Aetas of Morong community members. This is a living document and nutrient information will be added and/or updated when available. Data for 144 different foods were collected through both individual and group interviews, the foods were divided into eight groups:

  1. Aetas Datatables - Leafy Vegetables
  2. Aetas Datatables - Vegetables
  3. Aetas Datatables - Fruit
  4. Aetas Datatables - Staples, Root Crops and Grains
  5. Aetas Datatables - Fish and Seafood
  6. Aetas Datatables - Meat and Animal Products
  7. Aetas Datatables - Herbal Plants
  8. Aetas Datatables - Other Foods

Nutrient information was sourced from “Community Food Sources Journal. The Aetas of Morong, Bataan, Philippines”. Some of the foods are illustrated by drawings in the tables and local food names have been recorded. The Scientific identification and English names were also determined where possible.

Notes on food components

There are approximately 12 to 14 components in the main body of the tables, which are presented in a fixed format for each record. The order of presentation is based on major nutrients categories. Vitamin A values are reported in both Vitamin A retinol equivalents (RE-µg) and in retinol activity equivalents (RAE-µg). These values are calculated and reported for only those foods for which beta carotene and total carotenes values are available. Vitamin A RAE values are reported to make them merely compatible with the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) recommendations.




Santos-Acuin, C., Gepte, A. Troy IV, Dedace, M. J. 1997. Community Food Sources Journal. The Aetas of Morong, Bataan, Philippines. The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila.
Kuhnlein H.V., Pelto G. H. (eds.) 1997. Culture, Environment, and Food to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency. International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries, United Nations University. 205 pp.

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