Pampanga declares Friday ‘Brown Rice’ Day

San Fernando City, Agusan del Norte—The government has called on people in their homes and restaurant owners in the province to serve unpolished brown rice on Friday to mark the celebration of the National Year of Rice (NYR).

Hazel Antonio, director of the NYR campaign, said the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Rice Research Institute has declared November 15 as “Brown Rice Day.”

“This special day aims to encourage the food service industry to serve unpolished or brown rice to increase public awareness of its health benefits,” Antonio said.

Many Filipinos eat white rice, which is obtained by polishing brown rice. Polishing removes many of rice’s nutrients.

Brown rice has 10 percent higher milling recovery from the usual 65 kilos of milled rice from 100 kilos of palay. The residue from milling are used as animal feed.

Antonio said other countries also eat brown rice “but we believe this is the first initiative in the world to encourage all food service providers in a country to serve this nutritious rice on the same day.”

She said unpolished rice reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, and stroke and cancer and diabetes may be diminished.

Polishing brown rice to obtain white rice removes 15 percent of protein, 85 percent of fat, 80 percent thiamine, 70 percent riboflavin, 68 percent niacin, 90 percent calcium, 75 percent phosphorous, and 60 percent of other minerals, Antonio said.

“We want Filipinos to get these nutrients, which is lost when rice is fully polished. Thus, we encourage the food industry to serve unpolished rice to the public on this unique day and Filipinos can experience the nutty flavor and chewiness of brown rice,” she said.

Antonio said that according to a study if every Filipino eat brown rice in 36 meals in a year, our country’s rice imports will shrink by an average of 50,000 tons a year.


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