Rice Too Expensive? Try Kamote Instead, DOH Says

Kamote is life?
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If the rising prices of rice is too much for your budget, there are healthy alternatives you can eat instead—like sweet potatoes (kamote) and corn, the Department of Health said Tuesday, September 6.

Rice prices breached P50 per kilo and could even rise to P60 per kilo, according to a former Agriculture chief Leonardo Montemayor who heads the Federation of Free Farmers. It's the opposite of Agriculture chief and President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s campaign promise to lower the price of rice to P20 per kilo.

Asked by the media to provide nutritious yet cheaper alternatives to rice, Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag pointed to sweet potatoes and corn.

"Puwede tayo magkaroon ng rotation sa ating basic food requirements, ito ay napatunayan na sa mga nagdaang panahon," he said during a September 5 press briefing.

Kamote, Corn as Alternative to Rice

There are other nutritious produce Filipinos can eat to feel full aside from rice, said Tayag.

"Ang importante po dito balansehin po natin ang pagkain natin ng kanin at sa iba pang gulay na maaari nating mabili naman sa murang halaga," he said.

"Hindi po dapat maging dahilan na ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas ay magbunsod para bawasan natin ang pangangailangan ng ating katawan in terms of calories."

Unli Kamote?

This wasn't the first time a health official suggested Filipinos start ditching rice for fiber-rich kamote. Former Health chief turned Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin recommended the switch to root crop alternative as early as 2022 to help control a possible rice shortage in 2023 due to the decline in palay output and consecutive typhoons battering the Philippines.


“Our love for rice has given birth to the famous ‘extra rice’ and ‘unli rice’ cultures. Unlike the popular expression ‘rice is life,’ we encourage restaurants to try using kamote in place of rice and even as French fries,” the physician said.

She rallied for the DA to "extensively promote" sweet potatoes as rice alternative by investing more in root crops. 

"The nutritious content of rice cannot compare to that of kamote since rice transforms into sugar in the body, making one susceptible to diabetes, while kamote is high in fiber and is one of the best foods that one can eat to prevent cancer."

From: SPOT.ph

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