In Naga City, A Whole Food Vegan Mecca
Choose Philippines | September 19, 2019
Article by Rizza A. Mostar
Photos from Green Earth Cafe
Located in a residential area in Barangay Concepcion Grande, Naga City, one can experience the freshness of the earth in a well-known vegan and whole food destination, the Green Earth Cafe. The entrance to the restaurant is covered with vines and flowering plants, almost immediately displaying its ambiance and cozy feels, a refreshing preamble to what awaits diners.
A change in lifestyle started the venture according to owner and Chef JR Obias, who studied entrepreneurship and culinary courses. He was born with a low immune system and spent his early childhood in hospitals. Aside from following the tenets of his Seventh-day Adventist beliefs which espouses a plant-based diet rich in whole foods, a doctor who advised their family to start eating vegan. "Trips to hospital lessened. We were eating good and we felt good," Chef JR said. The cafe was born in March 2006, a logical progression from the vegan lifestyle that Chef JR and his family lead.
The menu centers on transforming widely available whole ingredients into homemade vegan versions of familiar dishes. Every dish is plant-based, gathered fresh from their own organic farm in Barangay Carolina. Offerings include burgers, rice noodle pad thai, wheat bread club sandwiches and cucumber juice, among others. Chef JR adds that they take measures to ensure the absence of chemicals and food enhancers in everything they prepare.
The cafe not only advocates healthy living but also boosts the local organic farming industry. Chef JR admits that sustaining the quality of the produce they use in their cooking is a challenge but he is confident that organic farming is being taken seriously nowadays. "Our family has this understanding of the uniqueness of our food. As long as we produce quality, healthy food, we know we will be able to sustain it."