Actress Toni Gonzaga shows how to cook locally-produced rice varieties. | Image courtesy of PhilRice


Television host, singer, and actress Toni Gonzaga is encouraging the public to support locally-grown rice in a show dubbed, “Rice and Shine,” which made its broadcast on Facebook on November 11.

“I learned that locally-produced rice is fresh, safe, and healthy; and that Filipino farmers use fewer chemicals,” Gonzaga said in a statement sent to Palawan News by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

Gonzaga shared that as a new mother discovering more ways to foster a healthier home, she learned to intentionally look for locally-produced rice in her grocery errands because of their good qualities.

“The best thing when we buy locally-produced rice is we can help our farmers who are really working hard in the farm planting rice for us [to have food],” she said in the statement.

Gonzaga said her favorite rice is brown rice because of its health benefits.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marissa Romero, food scientist in the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), explained on the same show that brown or unpolished rice is nutritious because its bran and germ contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains phytochemicals that help strengthen the immune system.

“Brown rice is also good for people who are prone to Type 2 diabetes because it has a low glycemic index that helps maintain blood sugar levels,” Romero said.

Other than brown rice, black and red kinds of rice are also nutritious as these varieties are rich in antioxidants such as phenolic compounds, vitamin E derivatives, and y-oryzanol that are effective free radical scavengers.
She added that traditional rice varieties such as Balatinaw, Ominio, and Dinorado are aromatic, soft when cooked, delicious, and have excellent grain quality and health-promoting properties.

“There really is a multitude of reasons to say that locally-produced rice is the better choice,” Romero said in the PhilRice statement.

Rice and Shine is a one-time Facebook show that featured varieties of locally-produced rice. It is part of the National Rice Awareness Month, celebrated every November by virtue of Proclamation No. 524 signed on Jan. 5, 2004 by then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Browse to watch the show.