Written by the Web Team
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) supports the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in encouraging Filipinos to eat more vegetables through week-long activities conducted in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, July 23 to 27.
“There is a need for a more balanced diet. [There must be] moderation in everything,” said Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr, PhilRice executive director, as he opened the Nutrition Month Seminar titled Usapang Gulay.
The NNC, spearheading the nutrition month with the theme Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin,araw-araw itong ihain, said Filipinos are eating less and less vegetables. Data showed that from 145 grams in 1978, daily consumption of vegetables has decreased to 110 grams in 2008.
Increasing vegetable intake, NNC said, will address micronutrient deficiencies and prevent non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Led by Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division, the institute’s Nutrition Month celebration also highlighted a feeding activity in Calisitan Elementary School where school principal Elvienita Paclibare reported student malnutrition.
Around 200 children and about 20 parents were served with veggie-macaroni soup, fruit juice, and squash pandesal. PhilRice also donated around 1,000 seedlings of eggplant, pepper, okra, string beans, and squash for the school’s Enhancing Livelihood through Agriculture project.
A GulayFest featuring vegetable dishes, free dietary and health consultations to PhilRice staff and guests, and week-long fitness caravan were part of the activities.
Meanwhile, participants learned about nutritional and health benefits of vegetables, establishment and management of a vegetable garden, and creative ways of preparing vegetable meals.
Partners include Nutritionist-Dietitian Association of the Philippines-Nueva Ecija Chapter and the departments of Crop Science and Hospitality Management of Central Luzon State University.