Written by the Web Team

 

Rice with a twist.

Students in Metro Manila had a taste of “rice mix” or rice blended with other staples during the country`s first Rice Mix Day to be launched by the Philippine Rice Research Institute at the Rice Garden in Rizal Park, Nov. 22.

Corn grits, a staple in the Visayas region, was served to more than 500 urban kids and youth who experienced rice harvesting at the Luneta Park for the first time. Jasmine Curtis-Smith led the 11th ceremonial harvesting wherein she was also introduced as Rice Ambassador.

“This year`s ceremonial rice harvesting, an annual event in celebration of National Rice Awareness Month every November, is unique as we  introduced a way to improve our health, especially of the children`s. Mixing rice with other staples may increase the nutritional value of the food we take in,” Hazel V. Antonio, National Year of Rice campaign director, said.

The National Nutrition Survey in 2010 showed a significant increase in the prevalence of underweight children aged 6-10 years from 22.8 percent in 2005 to 25.6 percent in 2008, equivalent to 2.6 million. Data also show 16 million undernourished Filipinos.

By eating rice mix, children’s 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. Other than corn grits, rice could also be mixed with saba, kamote, and adlai.

Recently, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  filed the Anti-Rice Wastage Act of 2013, which seeks to penalize the practice of some restaurants, hotels, inns, canteens, steakhouses, and eateries for refusing to serve less than a cup of rice.

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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