Nutrition Month and the National Year of Rice (NYR) celebrations in the Philippines, IRRI
“Improving the nutrition and health of rice consumers and rice farmers is one of the main goals of IRRI,” said V. Bruce J. Tolentino, the Institute’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships, in his message during the Festival’s opening ceremony.
IRRI’s participation in the Festival was a fun opportunity to share its work with the public and to affirm its support to the rice self-sufficiency goal of the Philippine government, which is the focus of the NYR.
During the Rice Symposium on 28 July, Dr. Tolentino talked about IRRI and shared highlights of the Institute’s research and development programs. Lina Torrizo, associate scientist at IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology division, discussed “hidden hunger,” or micronutrient deficiency that is prevalent in rice-consuming populations. She also spoke about IRRI’s work in developing healthier rice varieties as a potential new way to improve the nutrition of rice consumers.
Rosa Paula Cuevas, postdoctoral fellow at IRRI, got the audience talking about their rice preferences and dissected the various aspects of rice grain quality in a presentation.
The three-day event highlighted healthier ways to cook, serve, and enjoy rice through exhibits, bazaars, and cooking demos.
Other organizations that participated in the festival include the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Oxfam, Center for Culinary Arts, National Bookstore, Robinson’s Supermarket, Galileo Enotica, and more.
The IRRI booth featured taste-tests of brown rice to help consumers appreciate its appeal and learn more about its nutritional benefits over the commonly preferred white rice.
Mall-goers were likewise invited to sign up for a free subscription to e-Rice Today, IRRI’s quarterly publication. More than 200 signed up to receive e-Rice Today for free and more than 400 visited the brown rice-tasting booth.