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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dakila: Brown Rice can become the Hero against Food Problem

Press Release
16 October 2012

(DISCLAIMER: Any opinions written in this post are Dakila Philippines' own and do not reflect the viewpoint of any other Naga City Deck and/or NCD Contributor)

Brown Rice can become the Hero against Food Problem

Today, October 16, is World Food Day. While the world celebrates food, statistics show that 925 million people experience hunger, 578 million of which are in the Asia and the Pacific region. According to Social Weather Station, 4.3 million families experience hunger in the Philippines, despite its economic growth.

While the Philippines used to be Asia’s rice bowl, the country has become one of the biggest importer of rice in 2010, according to Oxfam International. And one solution that may help the Philippines become rice self-sufficient is if Filipinos switch their eating habits from white rice to organic brown rice.

“Brown Rice can become the hero to our rice problem, but only if we help it become one. This is because Brown Rice has less wastage in the milling process, which means there will be an increased production. At the same time, we help our local farmers,” Noel Cabangon, Brown Rice advocate and Dakila Vice President said.

While some people have switched to brown rice, others believe it is too expensive. The price of brown rice ranges from 45 pesos/kilo in the provinces to 90 pesos/kilo in the city. However, a study published by the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (Rice Science for Decision Makers Vol. 2 No. 3) revealed that If all Filipinos would eat brown rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner just once a month (36 meals a year), our rice importation would shrink by an average of 50,000 metric tons per year, valued at US$20.32 million (or P812.81 million pesos) savings yearly.

“Right now, there is more supply than demand that’s why it seems expensive. So if more people shift to brown rice, there will be more demand and the price will be cheaper. In fact, Philippine history says that brown rice used to be called, ‘poor man’s rice’ because it was the food, which can be afforded by the ordinary Filipino. White rice started to become popular when the middle class thought of brown rice as ‘dirty rice’ and everyone else followed suit.” Cabangon added. “Given the fact that a large number of families in the country are below the poverty line, the consumption of brown rice can ensure that every member of the family is provided with the necessary nutrients they need even though their diet is largely dependent on rice.”

According to a research conducted by Oxfam, the milling recovery of brown rice is 10% higher, which can lead to additional sacks of rice that can be leveled with the amount of rice we import. This means that the country would have the capability of producing enough amounts of rice that would prevent us from importing from others.
Under Oxfam International’s Grow campaign, and in partnership with the artist collective, Dakila, the Brown Rice campaign aims to revive brown or “unpolished” rice back to the regular diet of the Filipino and promote sustainable agriculture and climate mitigation.

For more info, check out http://www.facebook.com/GrowBrownRice or call 09175057055.


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