Perhaps, one way of helping Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala achieve his goal of stopping rice importation after three years is to grow more camote and more people shifting from rice to eating camote.
That will not only help us attain rice self-sufficiency, it could also result in more healthy Filipinos. Ask our good friend Dr. Wilfredo Yap, an expert in aquaculture, who noticed with alarm last October (he was then 63) that his fasting blood sugar (FBS) had shot up to 160 mg per deciliter (mg/dl). His blood pressure went up to 150 over 100.
When we met him last April during a forum at the MFI Foundation, he was ecstatic in telling us that camote was responsible for lowering his blood pressure to the normal level of 120 over 80, sometimes 110 over 80 in just a few weeks of eating camote instead of rice. We asked him to write about how he did it and we promised to publish it in the Agriculture Magazine. He only wrote the article after we saw him again last June at a gathering at the Gawad Kalinga project in Angat, Bulacan.
His detailed story is published in the August issue but we would like to summarize what he did for the benefit of our readers. His first approach to lower his blood presure, he writes, was to reduce his sugar intake by avoiding soft drinks and sweets. He shifted to the use of coco sugar to sweeten his coffee since he has read that coco sugar has a low glycemic index (GI). There was very little improvement, though.
Then by yearend of 2009 her sister who works for an NGO in Pagadian had told him that a friend of hers was able to lower his blood pressure by eating camote instead of rice. As a New Year’s resolution, Fred shifted to camote instead of eating rice. He ate boiled camote for lunch and dinner while for breakfast he ate oatmeal and wheat bread. If he happens to go out and he has to eat lunch outside of his house, he makes it a point to bring boiled camote with him.
Fred writes: “Two weeks into my camote diet I had my FBS tested and lo and behold it had dropped to 101 mg/dl. Another two weeks and the reading dropped to 96 mg/dl. My blood pressure also dropped to 120/80 or sometimes 110/80. And this I achieved without taking any prescription drug. So to this day, I have maintained my camote diet. By no means does it mean eating nothing else but camote. I eat everything else that is eaten with rice – vegetable, fish or meat together with my camote.”
He now believes that if only 10 percent of Filipinos would shift to camote, rice import will become unnecessary. After all, he notes that Philippine rice deficiency is estimated by NFA at only 10 percent based on the present per capita consumption of 126.84 kg.
Source : By Zac B. Sarian