Archive | Food/Health Related RSS for this section

Changing the world starting from one’s dining table

On the road to a resort in Lianga, Surigao del Sur late on October 28, our Grassroots Documentation and Reporting Training Team talked about the application of science in the food that we eat.

It was a humorous but “meaty” chatter. The usual one you get into inside the vehicle while heavy rains slow your trip down. A check on the time piece showed dinner should go ahead before check in.

We talked about the chicken in the fast food chains. We talked about the poultry products in our breakfast table. Then the conversation extended to the synthetics of food preparation in the world of fast food chains and how they alter way of life and relationships. Fast food vs. slow food. Old vs. new ways to prepare food. We also talked about that World Toilet Summit in Beijing (yeah, but that’s another thing.)

Just a week before, I sat next to a Vegan. Is that how you call people who live on plant-based diet?

So I had some inputs to make in the car ‘conversation’: that natural diet is a healthier choice.

When we arrived at the resort and dinner was served later, I was shocked to find fried chicken on the table. Wew! While most of us skipped it at least as the main course, I find it very funny.The caterer later on told us they failed to follow the agreed food requirements.

We usually have nice conversations on health and diet; very nice,  that we often do not see them in our decisions and actions.

The simple reflection I got during the chatter was quiet an awakening.

If I want to correct what for me were unhealthyfood  decisions, I should rather start it on my dining table.

Back in Malaybalay, I wanted to bring the reflection closer to home.

I immediately shared about the advantages of this diet choice. I felt it was welcomed, in the light homecoming conversation. But I realized its not going to be easy.

When you are not the only one deciding in the kitchen, the market day, and the budget, there will be complications on your desire to initiate or explore a healtheir diet.

This thing about science, technology and food is quite a sensitive topic at home. Because of preferences and primarily due to the lack of time to prepare with everyone working for a living and not being able to afford hiring a househelp.

I realized it requires mass-based, proper and open consultations with every one concerned at home. It requires education about diet, health, among other things.

We even need rules on how to talk about it (why and how are we going to change the menu that has been our choice through time?) We need information and communication. We need not only one-sided information dissemination. We need to listen to one another. (Now this sounds like the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front already.).

Anyway, we also cannot miss out on the environment or the market.

The poultry industry, despite the talk of unhealthy hybrid/synthetic-based production (millions of eggs in how many days?) is a big and multi-million industry.

If you look at trimming it down you are looking at cutting on the feeds sector, and eventually the corn industry for example.

From my window in Kalasungay, I can smell the odor of poultry farms in Patpat, our neighbor village in Malaybalay City.

What I thought are micro personal choices and basic human rights will have bearing on the world economy!

Likewise, the choices we make in our kitchens are  affected by the choices offered by the market. Its an economic structure embedded into our way of life.

I remembered a colleague expressed his potent view over that dinner in Lianga: “That’s why most of us often get sick” and “that’s why doctors and hospitals are making money.”

Who is winning if we are losing? Such a formidable foe I supposed.

I missed the forum organized by anti- GMO (genetically modified organism) groups (sorry for this label) or should I say pro-organic farming groups last week in Bukidnon State University where Bt Talong took centerstage.It should have been a venue for critical information.

We all need to look at these options laid on the table by modern science and technology. Science does wonders, too. I think what we must remember is that “modern” doesn’t always mean healthy.

That’s why I still wanted to offer my two-cents worth in the big cloud and inter-gallactic movement for change.

I start going natural and fry-free food for breakfast, at least. I hope it will snowball into something more significant.(The folks at home do not entirely like this move at all.)

But like the ripple effect, it starts from baby steps.

Maybe if we change what we eat for meals at home, we help change the landscape of our farms and plantations.  (End)

Advertisements

EO 765: Good for bakers, bad for corn farmers

First published in MindaNews.com. President Arroyo signed Executive Order 765 in December 2008  claiming that  “reduction on tariff on food wheat would help stabilize the price of bread and other baked food products.” Unfortunately, former agriculture secretary Leonardo Montemayor said in a report that the order did not only include the lifting of tariff on importation of food wheat or milling wheat, the ingredient used to produce bread, but also on feed wheat, which like corn, is used as animal feed.

Excess feed wheat supply brought by the zero tariff has competed with local corn supply, Roderico Bioco founding chair of the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. told MindaNews.

The implementation of EO 765 has led to an estimated P6-billion losses in income for corn farmers and at least P1-billion loss in revenues for government, Montemayor, now a member of the House representing of the ABA-AKO party list, said.

The lowest price for yellow corn was P6.50 per kilo or P6, 500 per MT, lower than the production cost of P10.

The  Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) reported  last week that the price of corn had dropped from P 9 per kilo to P7.50 during a five-week period.

The executive order was effective until June 2009 but favoring sectors, including the livestock feed millers lobbied for the extension. The corn industry stakeholders such as the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. and ABA AKO party list lobbied against the extension. Read More…

In Bukidnon, medicine supply woes traced to price

The lack of medicines in Bukidnon provincial hospitals and health stations has been blamed on failures in the bidding process, more specifically to the Capitol’s low approved budget for contract (ABC) or price index.

It was reportedly pegged at 2004 rates, a provincial legislative inquiry has discovered.

This seems a simple problem of public policy. But what could be the reaction of every Jose, Caring, and Juana when they are told about this in the front lines, say, in the out patient department of public hospitals?

The public, especially the indigents, are repeatedly being told of the “no available medicines” situation despite the province’s supposed “award-winning” flagship program on health. Read More…

No rice shortage in Bukidnon?

Measuring my rice has been the tease at home — something that has caused me ‘hunger’. When you are carrying heavier load than you should, you know what I mean.

I did try to eat less of it every time I remember; most of the time I failed.

So when the rice shortage news was carried in broadsheets the tease hit me even more. There was a friend who said I was to be blamed. I was also blamed for the protests in Tibet. Read More…

Upward legal battle

From the office of councilor Nenita Orcullo in 2004, when it was first proposed, Davao City’s ordinance banning aerial spraying seems bound for the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals granted the plea of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association for a 60-day temporary restraining order — stopping the city government’s ban for two months.

The city government might want to appeal the TRO, but is likely to focus on PBGEA’s major petition, which questions the Regional Trial Court decision on the ordinance’s constitutionality and validity.

Read the latest on the issue at Mindanews.com.

Grade schooler’s suicide draws attention to urban poverty

A mixture of her difficulty in coping with poverty, emotional problems, and her youthful innocence killed the 12-year-old grade schooler, a social worker said.

Grade 6 pupil Marianeth Amper, who committed suicide in the afternoon of All Souls’ Day in a room of their house in the sloping hills in Maa, has caught the national limelight as she was reportedly pushed to kill herself because of her family’s hunger and poverty.

Dalmin Faith Igaña, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who interviewed the family on Nov. 7, said Marianeth had reached a stage when she could no longer cope with the poverty around her. This was further exacerbated, the social worker noted, by the fact that the girl had nobody to whom she can express her feelings. Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

One Dabawenyo sports guru

DELAYED BLOGCAST: Last Monday I had a very long lunch with two friends, MC of the Business Mirror and blogosphere’s Mr. Clean Slate, Mo, who also writes for Manila Standard Today.

Time with Mo is time to update about sports. He breathes sporting fire in the city. Not that he is the only one I know. But Mo is a reporter, an advocate and a public servant. In his passion for sports you could see his desire to push for “sports governance”. Read More…