Written by the Web Team
More than 500 Ateneans and university professors based in Naga City are joining the youth in their pledge to conserve rice to help the country attain rice self-sufficiency by 2013.
In a recent student forum conducted to encourage youth to contribute in nailing the country’s goal, college students in Ateneo de Naga University said they will “consider ordering rice that they can consume and will also try other sources of good carbohydrates for healthier options.”
The forum was the first of a three-part university forum series being conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month slated in November. PhilRice partnered with the Ateneo de Naga Economics Society for the event.
A survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology revealed that each Filipino wastes three tablespoons of rice every day, registering at least P23 million worth of daily rice wastage.
Further analysis of the data reveals that the country could save P 9.6 billion from rice importation and can feed 4.3 million hungry Filipinos in a year.
“We are seeking the support of the youth in helping relay the message of rice conservation as their population, implying around 21 million, is a strong force in engaging other sectors in the society to conserve rice,” Ella Lois T. Bestil, campaign coordinator, said.
The forum, which will also be conducted in universities in the Visayas and Mindanao, further highlighted the nutritional aspects of eating the right amount of rice for better health.
“Filipinos eat way too much rice, thus restricting their energy source also to rice,” Joy Bartolome Duldulao of PhilRice’s Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division said.
Based on per capita consumption, every Filipino consumes 9 cups of cooked rice daily, which is translated to 3 cups of rice per meal.
“In an ideal meal, grains like rice should occupy only ¼ of a dining plate. Half the plate should be fruits and vegetables, and the rest should be proteins. Filipinos should also try to diversify their diets to include good carbs other than rice,” Duldulao said.
Contests on Essay Writing and Fan Sign were also launched for the youth, aged 15-24 years old, to share their thoughts on how to conserve rice and the benefits of eating the right amount of rice. Criteria for the contests are available at www.philrice.gov.ph.
In addition, the Save Rice, Save Lives Movement is engaging the City Government of Naga in this campaign. Some policies on rice conservation and activities for the National Rice Awareness Month this November are in the pipeline.