A common fare among Boholano fiesta banquets, the carabeef or carabao meat (buffalo meat) in the “sabaw sa kabaw” is a healthy food, unlike what many people believe.
Traditionally pinpointed to as a cause of toothaches and joint pains especially for people recuperating from sprains, carabeef has been wrongly associated with these maladies, maybe because the carabao from where the meat was sourced out may have been too old, sickly or overburdened, assumes Philippine Carabao Center at the Ubay Stock Farm (PCC-USF) Center Director Dr. Caro Salces.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA in time to possibly dispel the myths and wrong beliefs that carabao meat is bad meat, the carabao authority in Bohol in fact stressed: carabeef is considered by many as a health food.
Affleap.com, in one of its articles claimed carabeef is safe to eat even by people with heart problems and those who are allergic to red meat.
In fact, research proves that carabao meat contains less calories, less fat and cholesterol than most meats, including poultry, thus the meat is good dieters and athletes.
In a comparison with cow meat, carabao meat contains 12 percent less fat, 55 percent less calories and 40 percent less cholesterol, 11 to 30 percent more protein and 10 percent more minerals than beef.
As to its caloric value, the relative proportions of its protein, fat minerals and fatty acids makes carabeef nutrient dense or concentrated meat, that is why most people who eat carabeef eat less because carabeef does not sink during cooking.
Although initially considered a farm hand, carabaos in Bohol were primarily used to till the farms, but were slowly slaughtered when farm mechanization became a trend.
These slaughtered carabaos, which have been burdened and possibly aged, tend to become the meat served during fiestas, Dr. Salces shared.
When carabao meat is from a young buffalo much like beef from a young cow, the differences are easily seen.
The good quality of carabeef then makes it a popular ingredient in domestically produced corned beef and other products such as longanisa, hotdog, bologna and chorizo, food experts claimed.
Already acclaimed as flavorful and tender especially when it is from one that is reared and fed properly, slaughtered at a young age like cattle, carabeef is a common Boholano fare because it is naturally tasty, it only needs ginger and demands less condiments to savor its natural flavor, a popular fiesta hired cook revealed.
On the other hand, carabao milk is higher in fat, total solids and proteins than cow’s milk and contains higher butterfat, hence has a higher energy value than cow’s milk, Affleap.com claimed.
Its mineral content is nearly the same as cow’s milk, except that it has twice more phosphorus, its B complex and vitamin C are comparable to cow’s milk although carabao milk has less riboflavin.
Due to its high solid concentration, carabao milk is highly suitable for processing, Dr. Salces said.
By this, from processed milk, the PCC in Bohol is currently making its premium ice cream, specialized cheese varieties, yogurt and pastillas, as its products, all in support of farmers who decided for dairy production.
Carabao dairy, which is now an emerging alternative income source for Bohol farmers is also helping the PCC come up with the 500 liter daily milk harvest for its processed dairy requirements, that they are urging farmers to go into a daily income option from carabao milk.
Dr. Salces also claimed that a native carabao produces over 2 liters of milk a day while a cross bred carabao can produce over 4 liters of milk.
And then, because a carabao has to be calving to give milk, farmers tend to have an additional income when selling the offspring or keeping the females to expand the home dairy industry, he added during the radio forum. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)