The Department of Agriculture (DA) leads on Monday the celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) this Nov through recitation of the Panatang Makapalay and exhibits on ways for Filipinos to help the country have enough rice.
In the kick-off ceremony, DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala emphasized the need for Filipinos to stay healthy more than having their enough fill of rice.
He urged the public to consider eating healthier form of rice such as brown rice and mixing rice with other staples such as corn, camote, banana, and cassava.
Studies show that eating unpolished or brown rice may reduce cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, hypercholesterolemia, and stroke. Brown rice is also important in attaining rice self-sufficiency because eating brown rice 36 meals a year can reduce rice importation by an average of 50,000mt/yr because of its higher milling recovery.
By mixing rice, meanwhile, health could be improved as rice blended with corn grits is richer in dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C than plain rice.
To promote the benefits of brown rice and rice mixes, DA, through the Philippine Rice Research Institute, will lead the Brown Rice Day on Nov 14 and Rice Mix Day, Nov 21.
Hazel V. Antonio, NRAM activity lead, said that major restaurants and malls in Metro Manila will serve brown rice and rice mixes on said dates to give consumers “a taste of healthier rice.”
A simultaneous nationwide Run4Riceponsibility will also be held in Nov 29 to encourage public to live a healthy lifestyle on consuming healthy rice.
On the other hand, the Philippine Embassy in Rome, led by Special Agriculture Representative Lupiño Lazaro Jr, commemorated NRAM during its flag-raising ceremony held at the Embassy’s Consular Section, Nov. 3.
This year`s NRAM theme is “Be RICEponsible” – word play on “rice” and “responsible.”