Yesterday, after a while, I dated my dear best friend, Ocik, again. Had such a good time on our lunch date and sunglasses hunt 😉 And as always, aside from all the gossips and chit chat, every date with her is always inspiring. Her whole family is always an inspiration for me since I knew them years ago. And so, we had this intriguing topic about staple food.
Ocik told me that she’s now cutting back rice consumption based on her health perspective. How rice can be a true killer, she said. And I can’t agree more with her. Other than from health and its nutritional aspect of rice, I added some (general) perspective from the economical aspect of rice.
Nowadays, we can buy rice for Rp 10.000,- per kilo in average. And that is not cheap. While wages in most work fields are not likely increasing due to regional and global economy. Our country is currently still producing rice, yes. But due to the higher demand than supply, it forces the government to import rice also. Basically if we do the (simple) math, the supply would not likely meet the demand.
What to do then? Cutting back the demand, right?
Yes! Cutting back rice consumption. But it can’t be so simple as, IMO, the ‘One Day No Rice’ movement that is now being urged in certain area in Banten province. Since they are not providing and/or socializing any alternative for the rice substitute, or at least not that I’ve heard/read.
I’d prefer to go back the definition of staple food first. Educate ourselves, what is it a staple food? Is it has to be rice?
Staple, by definition here, is a principal raw material or commodity grown or produced in a region. And so, we need to know, what is it that grow mostly in our region. The answer is rice. No surprise about that, but if we, as in a country, need to import rice, it indicates that we are not growing enough rice for everyone. And it is (also, not only our government) our responsibility to educate ourselves about the second most grown in our region and start to incorporate that produce in our lives as secondary staple food. For example, cassava, sago, or corn (depends on the region where we at).
Also, aside from its availability, we need to learn more about nutritional aspect of those staple food. What can we get from each product? And how much we should have per our body need in principal?
Adult, in average, needs around 2000 calories. Did you know that in 100g of rice there’s a 365 calories*? Assuming 3 times meals in a day, all including rice menu, and per meal we demand 300g of rice, that’s already 1095 calories times 3. And we are not yet counting the protein and the green. We need to forget about dessert at this point. This, we all need to learn well in order to be healthy, not only for body perspective but also for society.
While other staple foods, e.g cassava or corn has less calories in them, which might suite more for our health condition, on secondary/subsidiary consumption.
Once we know what’s staple food all about and of course what we need, I am sure cutting back rice is not that hard to do since by educating ourselves, the problem on alternative staple foods is resolved. ‘One Day No Rice’ movement might not be needed if we can all moderate our rice consumption in daily basis. All day in a week we can still have rice, in moderate consumption 🙂
* counted from nutrition table here