Rice Awareness MontjThe Department of Agriculture (DA) is gearing up this November for the celebration of National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) through series of activities for the public to be more RICEponsible.

With the theme, Ready? SET rice! RICEponsible Filipinos save rice, eat healthy, and try brown rice, this year’s celebration encourages the public to eat the right proportion of rice and its healthy forms such as brown rice and rice mixes. RICEponsible is a word play on rice and responsible.

“The Philippines is still no doubt a rice-loving country. With the various diseases associated to eating too much rice, however, it is imperative to increase Filipinos’ awareness on how to enjoy our rice, the healthy way,” Myriam G. Layaoen, Be Riceponsible campaign director, said.

Kicking-off on Nov. 6 at Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Memorial Circle, NRAM will start with the launching of pedal-type brown rice mill, technology bulletin, and Si Malakas at Maganda: Colored Rice Exhibition. Piolo Pascual together with his fellow rice ambassadors will also grace the opening program.

The DA will spearhead the Brown Rice Day on Nov. 10 and Rice Mix Day on Nov. 17 in partnership with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines.

Moreover, the #RICEponsible Plate Challenge, a social media contest that encourages consumers to prepare the healthiest and most balanced meal in a plate, will be conducted throughout the month.

The month-long celebration will also promote pigmented rice varieties through a Fernando Amorsolo-inspired rice exhibition at QCX, curated by PhilRice’s Rice Science Museum. Meanwhile, brown rice is further introduced through feeding programs.

“We encourage the public to be calorie-wise. A Harvard School of Public Health study has reported that the carbohydrate content of a bowl of rice is equivalent to two cans of soft drink. To be healthy, rice should only be 33% of our plate. Instead of white rice, we may want to consider brown and pigmented rice; and eat more corn grits, saba, cassava, and camote,” Layaoen stressed.

Zumba with a rice twist and cultural presentations on rice will close the celebration on Nov. 24 at Planas Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute