DOH-Mimaropa rolls-out Vegan Caravan to Barangay Nutrition Scholars

Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) in partnership with OLOF Raw Vegan and Plant Based Home Dining started its initial tour in the province of Oriental Mindoro and successfully trained 36 Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) in a three-day culinary workshop on the technology of raw vegan and preparation of cooked plant-based food that will be included in the nutrition and feeding program that will be implemented regionwide this year.

“We need to go back to basic and consider what is healthy, natural and beneficial for the body. We often neglect food that are essential and choose fast foods for consumption that are high in sodium and cholesterol which can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

“Our objective is to trained all barangay nutrition scholars of MIMAROPA so that they may learn the technology and apply it to the regional nutrition feeding program for the benefit of all children in their respective communities. This knowledge is not new but only forgotten due to the proliferation of instant foods in the market which most of us are familiar with and we must lessen in order for us to stay healthy,” he emphasized.

The DOH-MIMAROPA Vegan Caravan Workshop emphasizes the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods to achieve health, aesthetically refined and flavorful cuisine using local produce available in each municipality.

It also includes training on the proper use of equipment and preparation of ingredients, flavor balancing, knife skills, simple fermentation and food safety. Participants were also trained in the food preparation for children, saving left-over fruits and vegetables and production of healthy livelihood to sustain healthy living.

“Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables can make a person more focused and intuitive. It is also the best detoxification for the body and also saves a lot of money,” Janairo added.

According to the results of the 2015 National Nutrition Survey Updating of Nutritional Status of Filipino Children and Other Population Groups conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), MIMAROPA ranked 1st among all the regions with the highest prevalence of underweight children in the country at 31.8%. In addition, underweight prevalence increased from 27.6% in 2013 to 31.8% in 2015, while stunting prevalence increased from 35.8% in 2013 to 40.9% in 2015. On the other hand, wasting prevalence is consistent at 9.7% in 2013 and 2015.

Janairo added that Occidental Mindoro will be included in the 37 priority provinces for nutrition programs having highest underweight and stunting prevalence among the provinces in MiMaRoPa.

“We will continue to implement feeding programs in the region and improve the interventions and mechanisms aimed in addressing the specific nutritional concerns of each province. The introduction and adoption of the raw vegan program will ensure the improvement of the nutrition status in the region”, he assured.

A raw vegan food diet excludes not only meat and fish, but also dairy products like eggs and often honey, as well as other animal-derived substances. It includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grains and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices.

The three-day “DOH-MIMAROPA Vegan Caravan Workshop” was held at the Tree of Life Business Center in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro from April 20-22, 2017. It will visit all provinces and train all BNS of all municipalities.

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