Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We have become a society of instant noodles. An archipelago of egg noodles. A government that has carelessly muddled itself in the imbroglio of the recent rice crisis must put a stop to this unhealthy shift to an urgent solution to the alarming hunger and malnutrition situation in the country. Rice is, and should still be the staple food of the nation. The irony of it all is that while the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) - the top honcho agency for rice research and development of the globe sits right here in our own backyard, we shamefully import rice from Vietnam, add to that Thailand, a country we taught everything about riceology now beats us in production and distribution. We have also trained our sights to a possible shift to Biofuels technology whereby we will be converting arable land or ricelands for planting biofuel crops. We don't have enough land to spare unlike other large biofuel efficient countries. We must first feed our nation before we feed our vehicles. But as usual, our so-called public servants in the DA and NFA would not prioritize solving this problem. Why? Well, they probably have other things in mind other than finding solutions to this one. Because of the high price of rice and the contrasting low price of instant noodles, an alarming number of Filipinos have shifted and are shifting to these toxic "pangtawid gutom" menu item. The long-term effects of these seemingly harmless strands of virtual vermicelli are very serious. Cancer, for example can be caused by frequent eating of these noodles. Retardation in young children are also caused by these culprits. High blood too is a regular outcome because of its high salt content, add to that the preservatives - not to mention the wax used by its manufacturers to prolong its shelf life. But once taken, the same wax shortens one's own self life. In a few years, the effects of these instant noodles menace shall be amongst a large chunk of the populace. IQs and rational thinking are the very first to go. If you ask me, I think its long-term effects are now showing in many of our senators and congressmen, government lawyers, judges and justices, cabinet members and generals. And oh, by the way, what do you call smuggled NFA rice when cooked to make rice-soup? Arroyo'z Caldo.

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