Pasig City takes a fresher take on food as it joins #DietforClimate campaign

Press release - April 10, 2018
10 April 2018, Pasig City – Together with Greenpeace Philippines, officials from the local government of Pasig City partake on fruits and vegetables as the city embarks on a plant-based culinary experience and takes aim not just for a healthier lifestyle but also for a healthy planet.

Led by Pasig City Councilor Corazon Raymundo, the local government officials were joined by representatives of various organizations, schools, and socio-civic groups to pitch their take on promoting and encouraging plant-based diet in the city. Raymundo said that the city officials must walk the talk and live up to its vision of a healthy, livable and sustainable city.

Earlier, the Pasig City Council passed the Pasig City Ordinance on Healthy Food and Beverages which promotes healthy foods and prohibits those which are too sweet, too salty and fatty foods especially around the schools which in effect calls for plant-based food over meats.

“We, Pasiguenos, must go back to our roots and reignite our interest in indigenous foods and a plant-based diet, not just for our bodies but for our planet as well, said Raymundo.

Greenpeace Food and Ecological Agriculture Campaigner, Virginia Benosa-Llorin, on the other hand, emphasized the need for the local government units to revisit their programs and policies on food production and consumption.  “LGUs need to reexamine their policies and program and look deeply on our food consumption and its powerful impact on climate change,” she said. 

Llorin said, “our food system is complex and systemic and reshaping it to lessen its negative impact on the environment needs an integral approach.  We are happy that many local government units, including the City of Pasig, are now incorporating urban agriculture as a measure to mitigate climate change.

Greenpeace is pushing for a shift on the way we eat and the way we farm, and calls for a 50% reduction of meat and dairy and a significant increase of plant-based food in both production and consumption by 2050.

Based on a 2014 study of the Chatham House, the Philippines is among the top 10 fastest growing meat consuming nations with the highest continuing growth rates [1].

The 2017 Social Weather Stations’ Survey on Eating Meat revealed that the largest proportion of Filipinos (46%) eat meat a few times a week of which the top two reasons are 1) believing that meat is good for the health and 2) because meat tastes good or boosts the appetite [2].

Filipinos’ intake of fruits and vegetables is declining while our consumption of meat and eggs are increasing, as revealed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI). A diet low in fruits and vegetables or fiber is characteristic of an unhealthy diet, leading to poor nutrition and is one of the significant risk factors for a range of chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, for a country highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, this shift in eating habits contributes to increasing industrial livestock production, which in turn leads to increasing GHG emissions. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the total GHG emission in the Philippines is from agriculture, with rice cultivation and livestock production as the primary contributors.

Ecologically produced food, on the other hand, not only promotes better health, cleaner farms and a healthier environment, but an uptake of healthier diets among the populace would increase demand for ecological agriculture and support local farmers and producers.

Healthy diets, which promote consumption of adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, along with sustainable agriculture is, therefore, of prime importance to reducing GHG emissions and protecting the environment.

Notes to the editor:

[1] https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/livestock-climate- change-forgotten- sector-global- public-opinion- meat-and-dairy

[2] SWS Survey on Eating Meat, June 2017

 

Media Contacts:

Virginia Benosa Llorin, Food and Ecological Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines

, +63 998 582 6617

Angelica Carballo Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines

, +63 949 889 1332