MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato: Public school students in a remote village here have started to love brown rice as the Department of Agriculture in Region 12 intensified its campaign to promote the health benefits of eating brown rice and rice mixed with other staples, officials said on Sunday.
Students of Salunayan Elementary School in Barangay Salunayan were taught on the nutritional benefits of brown rice during the country`s celebration of Nutrition Month in July.
“I did not expect that brown rice tastes good,” Xyrus Almazan, a grade six student of the school, said in the vernacular.
Like many of his classmates, he said that he hesitated when he first learned that they would be served with brown rice. However, once they started eating it, they eventually liked it.
DA Regional Executive Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan said the “Be RICEponsbile” implemented by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) as lead agency promotes the health benefits of brown rice and eating healthier sources of carbohydrates such as camote, cassava and banana. The public is also urged not to waste rice and value the hard work of rice farmers.
To serve as example to the public, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala issued a memorandum to regional field offices, service bureaus and attached agencies to be a part of the “Be RICEponsible” advocacy.
Alcala directed these offices to serve brown rice every Wednesday and rice mixed with other staples such as rice and corn grits every Thursday at their respective cafeterias instead of servin g white rice.
DA-related offices were also urged to hold activities to extensively promote the consumption of these healthy rice options and to stir the awar eness of the masses to become responsible rice consumers.