Scientist Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr. delivered a public lecture on the topic, "Why Rice is Not Good for you" in UP Mindanao on August 24 to an audience led by Davao City Councilor Marissa Abella.
Using research data, Dr. Rasco argued that rice production creates inequality between the majority of rice farmers who remain poor and the few rice industry players who are rich. Rice farmers, he said, also suffer from poor nutrition and health, occupational hazards, and low levels of mechanization. Rice production, likewise, generated high greenhouse gas emissions.
For consumers, he traced the effect of rice on the body, as it becomes glucose and the resulting effects to the skin, brain, arteries, blood pressure, nerve cells, kidneys, eyes, bones, and on virility. Using the glycemic index, he disclosed that white bread, pan de sal, and white rice are the worst, compared to kamote and cassava which are the best.
Instead, Dr. Rasco proposed a strategy of intensification, diversification, integration through a mix of less rice production with more of other food products: such as vertical integration with mushrooms, carabeef, and vermiculture; horizontal integration with ducks, tilapia, mungbeans, corn, soybeans, and other field crops; and similar integration with garlic, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, and other vegetables. In closing, he offered copies of his presentation, free of charge, to interested parties.