WE NEED TO TALK

F&B World - - NEWS - AN­GELO COM­STI Editor in Chief an­gelo.com­sti@hip.ph in­sta­gram.com/food­dudeph

This is­sue re­ally got me think­ing about our fu­ture. Though there are many things to look for­ward to in the F&B in­dus­try—from ex­cit­ing trends and the en­try of fa­mil­iar fran­chises to the promi­nence of so­cial en­ter­prise—the big­ger pic­ture presents press­ing mat­ters that de­serve much more hype and at­ten­tion.

Food waste. Fact is, we waste too much rice. To be ex­act, an es­ti­mated 3.3 ki­los from ev­ery per­son each year, ac­cord­ing to the Food and Nu­tri­tion Re­search In­sti­tute (FNRI), un­der the De­part­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy. That’s three ta­ble­spoons daily—col­lec­tively, enough to feed two mil­lion hungry Filipinos. And this is just rice! Just imag­ine the amount of crops, meat, and seafood that don’t get con­sumed. This leads to an­other prob­lem.

Food short­age. If we con­tinue to live this way, we will even­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence food scarcity by 2050. The im­bal­ance be­tween pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion, matched with sound food se­cu­rity poli­cies, is con­tribut­ing to food short­age. Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Har­vey Glick, se­nior ex­pert for Sci­en­tific Af­fairs for Asia of Mon­santo Asia, our cur­rent agri­cul­tural prac­tices are not suf­fi­cient to ad­dress the grow­ing re­quire­ments of the Philip­pines. The coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion has gone be­yond the 100-mil­lion mark but the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try hasn’t caught up with the in­crease.

Food di­ver­sity. For decades, our diet has re­lied mainly on white rice. It has been the grain of choice for most Filipinos for many years. This poses as a threat for plau­si­ble in­stances when dis­eases and calami­ties brought on by cli­mate change wipe out this ma­jor food sta­ple.

With the wel­come in­tro­duc­tion of ad­lai, and a wide range of heir­loom rice va­ri­eties, we are given more choices to pair our food with and en­joy al­ter­na­tives when it comes to fla­vor, tex­ture, and nu­tri­tion. This is why we should con­sider prac­tic­ing food di­ver­sity so we can safe­guard this beloved grain, among ev­ery­thing else. We have to pre­serve our food trea­sures as well as keep our agri­cul­tural bio­di­ver­sity ac­tive—and alive.

Our food right now is in a pretty good place, I’d like to think. But as the pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to grow and cli­mate change al­ters our farm­ing pro­cesses, we are forced to make more with less. Which only means that we have to be more clever, eco­nom­i­cal, and ef­fi­cient about the way we deal with food. These are mat­ters that need fur­ther dis­cus­sion, and we at F&B Re­port, hope that we are do­ing our part.

In line with this, we will be hav­ing our very first F&B Sum­mit at the Sam­sung Hall in SM Aura on Oct. 5. We have in­vited pan­els com­posed of re­spected fig­ures in their fields— hos­pi­tal­ity, res­tau­rant, and agri­cul­ture. Join us as we con­tinue to dis­sect and ad­dress these and other rel­e­vant sub­jects con­cern­ing the in­dus­try. For tick­ets, visit smtick­ets.com

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