EDITORIAL| Half cup rice, please

THE CITY council approved on Tuesday an ordinance that will require food establishments to serve half a cup of rice at half the price, in their menu. The ordinance which will hopefully pass into law upon the discretion of Mayor Sara Duterte, is part of the national campaign on curbing food wastage which already got the support of the cities of Manila, Quezon, Cebu and Iloilo last year.

While “unli rice” still enjoys popularity in many food establishments, serving half a cup of rice is now a choice for those who would like to cut down on their carbohydrate intake for health reasons, at the same time avoid rice wastage. How many times have we seen a mound of rice left in the plates of diners which we know will just go to waste?

According to the Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Dept. of Agriculture, rice wastage is alarming in our country which ironically counts many people as hungry. In fact, a survey done in the last quarter of 2017 by the Social Weather Stations reported that an estimated 2.7 million families experienced moderate or severe hunger in the past three months, 2.3 percent higher than the recorded data from the second quarter of 2017.

In one of its research, Philrice said each Filipino wastes an average of 2 tablespoons of cooked rice daily or 12 percent of the country’s annual rice imports. This costs 7.2 billion pesos, equivalent to the food of 2.5 million Filipinos each year.

Since rice is our staple food, rice consumption is increasing in the country even if we do not really produce enough for our consumption. Serving half a cup of rice will go a long way in the campaign for a sustainable food production and mindful rice consumption.

Posted in Opinion