The Tiger and the Rabbit/ Food as Medicine

Hello all!

It has been great meeting everyone and hearing all of your perspectives on the current situation and how it relates to food. I wanted to introduce myself as this is my first post! I'm Justine and I am a 3rd year Chemical Engineering major with a Biomolecular concentration. I have grown up in the Los Angeles county, but my family is originally from the Philippines. I joined this class because I have a passion for food and I really love cooking as a hobby. I hope to continue to learn more about you all and talk more about food in this class!

I think it is incredibly interesting how we relate our current situation to the Chinese Zodiac. I would say I am the type to look up my horoscopes and read about how my sign, the Tiger, will be affected in the new year. Talking about all the signs and how they connect with food is something that I had never even considered before. From our past discussions, I find that some of the most interesting topics are about how animals are greatly intertwined with COVID and our own food supply. It was surprising for me to hear that COVID was speculated to have begun because of wild animal consumption because most of what I had heard before were the conspiracy theories that the virus started in a lab. Our discussions have really sparked my thinking about my own sources of food and how privileged I am to be able to choose what I want to eat and cook while in quarantine. When going to the grocery store, I feel that I am more mindful in my food choices and how I could be affecting the food chain. 

As I mentioned before, I am the type to regularly look at my horoscopes and read about my zodiac sign, but I usually do not take the time to read about other signs. Listening to everyone's perspectives and stories makes these discussions very different than what I am used to hearing because it really makes me feel like we are sitting at a round-table with representatives of each animal. Even though I am the only tiger, the rabbits share characteristics with my sign. All of the categories on the Hox Zodiac website for the tiger and rabbit are the same except for the Yin/Yang and the organ. This is even more interesting to me because the yin and yang are tied closely together since they can be seen as a necessary balance for one another, and the organs for each sign are representative of the situation we are all in. By this I mean that the tiger's organ is the lung which is the organ that COVID primarily attacks, and the rabbit's organ is the intestine which ties directly with our body's ability to process food. From this, it seems like the tigers and the rabbits are very much connected, although they would seem very different at first glance.

One idea that from our last discussion that I enjoyed hearing was about how food is medicine. I find food to be a source of love and healing, as well as a vehicle that can tell stories of the past and the present, so hearing the idea of food being medicine piqued my interest. In a way, food is medicine such as when people eat some form of chicken soup when they are sick. But this also got me thinking about other foods that are used as medicine. Plants were amongst some of mankind's first foods. In essence, a lot of medicine can be derived from some sort of plant. Oftentimes scientists will isolate a chemical that naturally occurs in plants that may have medicinal properties. These chemicals are developed into powders that are in pills and other forms of medicine. However, before the modernization of medicine, various cultures still utilized natural plants for healing. Sometimes these plants were consumed, and other times the plants may have been made into pastes or rubs that were applied to help heal wounds. In modern times, there is still a belief in so called "herbal medicine" that uses natural herbs to treat illnesses. To connect this with my family, I have been told that eating certain foods will enhance my health and get rid of sickness. One such food is ginger. Whenever I get sick, my mom will make me a strong ginger paste that I am supposed to drink with water in order to help boost my immune system and combat my illness. I do not know if this method is backed by science, but I have to say that it has worked every time that I was sick. Essentially I am really fond of this idea that food is medicine because I strongly believe that it does have healing effects, and it is important to eat right to make sure that the body stays healthy and ready to combat any virus that tries to attack it. 


The image above is similar to the ginger drink that my mom would make for me, except the ginger would be a paste rather than sliced.


Thanks for reading and looking forward to talking to you all again!


- Justine R. 


Referenced Websites

Hox Zodiac:

The Meaning of Yin and Yang:

What is Eastern Medicine?:

Hox Zodiac: