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Palace: Switch to brown rice

By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:27:00 04/20/2008

Filed Under: Food, Agriculture, rice problem

MANILA, Philippines?Malacañang is encouraging the public to start eating brown rice sold by the National Food Authority (NFA) to ease dependence on white rice.

Brown rice is more nutritious and easier to produce, according to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo.

Fajardo, a former mayor in Nueva Ecija, said brown rice was the product of the first stage in the milling process, while white rice was the product of the second stage.

?You go to the third stage of the milling process if you want to polish the rice further,? she said, referring to the commercial grade well-milled quality cereal.

She said the ?recovery rate? for brown rice during the milling process was 80 percent of the harvested unhusked rice, or palay, compared to 60 percent to 65 percent after milling for white rice.

?So you can easily see that there?s a 15 percent to 20 percent difference in the recovery rate. That?s a big help to the farmers,? she said.

Brown rice is more expensive and not available in many markets due to the lower demand. But its popularity has risen recently since brown rice complements vegetable dishes.

?I myself am a farmer from Nueva Ecija,? Fajardo said. ?I have been talking with farmers to produce more brown rice which is more healthy because it has a higher nutritional value.?

Rice is a complex carbohydrate containing both starch and fiber. It has a low sodium content and contains useful quantities of potassium, the B vitamins, thiamin and niacin.

Fajardo said Malacañang was recommending higher production of brown rice in the coming months.



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