Unli-Rice No More

Jemerson L. Eugenio BSED | jemerson_eugenio1926@yahoo.com

Rice is known to be one of the staple food among Asian countries. For Philippines, it becomes part of their daily providence, culture and habit. A certain gathering or meal won’t be complete without rice in a menu or in an a la carte. Rice comes in various forms and colors with specific characteristics and features most importantly its nutritional facts.  Rice is known to be one of the staple food among Asian countries. For Philippines, it becomes part of their daily providence, culture and habit. A certain gathering or meal won’t be complete without rice in a menu or in an a la carte. Rice comes in various forms and colors with specific characteristics and features most importantly its nutritional facts.


Last June 2017, Senator Cynthia Villar bursted out to the public her “immense concern” with regards to the gormandizing  intake of rice, specifically white rice to her fellow citizens, saying that eating rice is one of the main reason of high blood sugar that leads to diabetes. She even compared our nutritional diet and status to other countries like in Japan, wherein they are teaching their students the nutritional values of their meals before they eat.

After this issue had spread like a wildfire out of town, many netizens exploded their feelings through humorous memes on social media such as on facebook, twitter, and Instagram.  Many citizens also were alerted and reminded once again on their diet and lifestyle. More so, food establishments such as fast food restaurants reacted and voiced out their opinions regarding this matter.
But is this act justifiable? Given the fact that we are a rice-eating nation, can we afford to at least lessen half a cup of it? Actually, there are various pros and cons with regards to this matter.  Weighing it, well it depends on you: rice-eaters! Weighing it, well it depends on you: rice-eaters!

Accordingly, the required rice intake for adults between 19-59 years old is 1 ½ cup per meal for males and 1 cup for females; which is very evident to us Filipinos who can’t eat our viand without rice. Rice indeed gives us carbohydrates which keep us with instant energy and keeps us feel full for longer.  No matter what, Filipinos, do love eating rice.
However, rice possesses a lack of fiber especially in white rice and contains arsenic in some brown rice.  Too much eating of rice can also cause High-Risk Type 2 Diabetes and can increase blood sugar levels. But according to research by Paul Jaminet, the author of “Perfect Diet”, statistics show that rice- eating nations such as Thailand and Philippines to name a few, have low diabetes rates compared to other countries on the past few years.

Given this issue which put a lot of people on a burning stove, I think have awakened us as Filipinos when it comes to our diet and health, thanks to Sen. Cynthia Villar for igniting though. But there are a lot of things to consider when this banning of “unli-rice” may be passed into law. Come to think my fellows that at first, we considered ourselves as a rice-eating nation, it is already embedded in our blood and in our culture for this is what we are known for, because of rice we learn how to be strong and how to work hard like a “carabao.”

Second, if this will be passed, think of those poor people who can’t even afford to buy a kilo of rice; those people work hard, those who scavenge the garbage just for them to have something- rice. And lastly, think of you who deserves to treat yourselves at least once in a while eating in prominent fast food restaurants; how will you enjoy the moment and the deliciousness of the food?Second, if this will be passed, think of those poor people who can’t even afford to buy a kilo of rice; those people work hard, those who scavenge the garbage just for them to have something- rice. And lastly, think of you who deserves to treat yourselves at least once in a while eating in prominent fast food restaurants; how will you enjoy the moment and the deliciousness of the food?
Readers, given those reasons, I think we need also to control ourselves, all at once, let us learn how to regulate our diet and balance our lifestyle by having proper sleep and exercise. Let us enjoy the diversity of food but let us also think of ourselves.

To our government agencies and officials, it is better if all of our related agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DEPED) and even the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) must collaborate with each other to teach and to inform our fellow citizens about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, how to regulate ,  how to control and how to balance it at the same time.

Food is given for us to sustain our living, to keep us strong and to nurture ourselves with God’s gift. Let us always put in mind that we only live once but let us learn how to put everything in equilibrium. Thus, rejoice my fellows, for the issue banning the “unli-rice” is now resting in peace.

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