Monday, October 21, 2013

Brown Rice: The Good Food Project

From the Brown Rice: The Good Food Project press kit...

Brown Rice Can Save the Day!
Celebrities and Advocates Celebrate World Food Day

Dakila  and Oxfam in the Philippines celebrated World Food Day this National Year of the Rice through a Brown Rice Press Lunch last October 16 at the PETA Theater Center with celebrity and chef advocates presenting their Brown Rice recipes in the launch of “Brown Rice: The Good Food Planner”.

“We celebrate World Food Day with brown rice, which we consider the good food. Brown Rice is not only the healthier choice because of its nutrients, but it also helps in making the Philippines a rice self-sufficient country,” Rash Caritativo, Dakila’s Brown Rice Campaign Coordinator, said.

Based on a report by the International Rice Research Institute, an average Filipino wastes 1/4 cup of cooked rice everyday and the amount of rice wasted could have fed close to four million Filipinos — almost half of the 9.4 million food poor individuals in 2009 alone.

According to Marie Nunez, Advocacy, Campaigns and Communications Programme Coordinator Oxfam, “Unpolished rice variants like brown rice has been proven to have 10% higher milling recovery compared to white rice, giving more yield for the farmers. This additional ten percent in rice volume (based on 2010 rice production levels of 15.77 million metric tons) would translate to 1.58 million metric tons of additional rough rice. This is because brown rice demands only one milling compared to two or more milling processes needed to produce polished white rice. Reducing rice wastage will therefore help increase the country’s over-all rice production volume, which could mean less rice importation, and making the country more rice self-sufficient.” 

Under Oxfam’s GROW campaign and in partnership with Dakila, the Brown Rice Campaign aims to bring brown rice back to the regular diet of the Filipinos. Together with its celebrity advocates, the campaign has travelled around the country to encourage people to make the positive shift and consume brown rice.

Brown Rice advocate and Dakila Vice-President Noel Cabangon said. “With the increasing number of people hitting the poverty line and getting hungry everyday, we Filipinos, can do something simple to address this.  With our current situation, consuming brown rice is ideal because it gives you enough nutrients that you need. If only brown rice becomes accessible to all by increasing the volume of its production and keeping its price competitive then this will help address the problem of food security in the country. If farmers are able to produce more rice then this will enable the country to be rice self-sufficient.”

In fact, according to the Department of Agriculture - Philippine Rice Research Institute, if all Filipinos would eat brown rice for three meals in a month, or 36 meals in a year, our country’s rice importation would shrink by an average of 50,0000 metric tons per year, amounting to Php812.81 million savings yearly.

“We recognize that it’s not going to be a sudden change for Filipinos since we have had a love affair with white rice, but gradual change is important. We can at least start by eating brown rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner once a month,” singer-songwriter Bayang Barrios, another advocate of the campaign, also said.

The Brown Rice Campaign aims to popularize Brown Rice to the level that restaurants and establishments will offer dishes using brown rice as an alternative for consumers in the same way that brown sugar has gained mainstream support.

“We came up with the Good Food planner because we want to encourage people to make the switch from white rice to brown rice. This planner has a lot of new recipes from other advocates since we wanted to highlight the many things that can be done with brown rice,” added Rash Caritativo.

Advocates who shared their own recipes include musicians Bayang Barrios and Aia de Leon, restaurateur Erik Waldie and Reema Chanco musician and cyclist Nityalila Saulo,, performance artist and culture and heritage activist Carlos Celdran. Oxfam ambassadors comedienne Tuesday Vargas, model-host Marc Nelson, food blogger Erwan Heussaff, TV host-actor Mikael Daez and foodie and columnist Stephani Zubiri also contributed their brown rice recipes. 

Chefs, partner restaurants, and culinary schools like Ipat Luna’s and Howie Severino’s Sev’s Cafe, Denise Celdran’s Edgy Veggy, Gourmet Bites from Davao, Chef Ritchie from Restaurant KRI in Dumaguete, Chef Tatung Sarthou of Chef Tatung, and Chef Kenny also from Dumaguete, likewise shared new brown rice recipes that will surely tickle the palate of anyone who would try them.

“Brown Rice is not just good for you because it’s healthy, it’s also good for the family, the community, the farmers, the environment, and the country. This year is declared as National Year of the Rice so it is indeed an opportune time not only to make the public aware the Brown Rice is indeed the good food but also enlist the support of farmers, consumers, and policy-makers in the country’s goal to be rice self-sufficient”, Caritativo said in conclusion.

Brown Rice: The Good Food is a campaign by Oxfam and Dakila. The Brown Rice Campaign is part of GROW, Oxfam’s campaign for better ways to grow, share and live together. GROW is a campaign for the billions of us who eat food and over a billion of men and women who grow it, to share solutions for a more hopeful future in which everyone always has enough to eat.

To learn more about Brown Rice, visit

Below are some of  the recipes shared by the Brown Rice Project Advocates:

Thank You Amen! Brown Fried Rice Special by Aia de Leon...

Fried Brown Rice Ala Bayang Style with Pinaupong Manok by Bayang Barrios...

Coconut Chicken Rice by Chef Tatung...

Red Rice Lugaw, Gochujang Mushrooms by Denise Celdran...

Brown Rice Coffee by Nityalila Saulo...

Garlic Lime Chicken with Mango Salsa and Brown Rice by Tuesday Vargas...

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