In a bid to meet the demands of two compelling issues faced by today’s society, Greenpeace has recently released an educational children’s book that promotes healthy eating and environmentally conscious food choices.
Titled “Paano Kumain ng Kulay?,” the book addresses the growing need to promote vegetable-rich diets for children not just for the benefit of their own health, but also for the well-being of the planet.
At the book launch held in Museo Pambata, Greenpeace campaigner Virginia Benosa Llorin made it clear just how important both subjects are to Filipino people.
“Sometimes, we don’t know the right food to eat,” said Llorin, who detailed how children are not being taught to eat a balanced diet packed with vegetables because parents themselves aren’t eating green. Part of that is due to the perception that vegetables are costly, as well as the lack of awareness on what kind of produce works best.
“I can challenge that,” said Llorin, who quickly referred locally grown products such as malunggay as good examples of hearty, inexpensive vegetables. Not only do they aid in the livelihood of Filipino farmers, they also fit within the budgets of most Filipino families.
Authored by Mabi David and published in partnership with Adarna House and Me & My Veg Mouth, the book is overflowing with distinctly fanciful and curious wit—the best kind for capturing and maintaining the variable attention spans of young and excitable children. Armed with the vibrant and whimsical illustrations of Yas Doctor, the narrative details the many reasons having a colorful plate is necessary for maintaining a healthy body.
“Paano Kumain ng Kulay?” thoroughly expresses the full range of benefits that comes with changing one’s mind-set toward green eating while making the message palatable to its target audience.
“We know fruits and vegetables are good for us. We know that meals with lots of colors are rich in vitamins,” David noted. Each color we know represents a vital part of our dietary needs, and parents will get the chance to find out just what kind of health benefits are attributed to each shade. The back of the book contains a quick and easy infographic about each color along with several examples of vegetables that they can go for.
David explained her values to a room full of parents and children, who were immediately invested in the informative fliers that were being given out, where descriptions of different fruits and vegetables were aptly detailed. A committed vegan concerned about the effects of climate change, David approached Greenpeace with her work in the hopes of hitting two birds with one stone. It worked.
“A plant-based diet isn’t just good for the body, it’s helpful to the environment,” David said.
Llorin said a recent Social Weather Survey (SWS) saw a whopping 7 out of 10 Filipinos completely unaware of the negative impact of meat-eating to the environment: It results in large-scale deforestation in order to create more flatland for cattle.
This was the problem they hoped to minimize by targeting the youth in their campaign to spread better environmental consciousness.
Llorin intends to partner with schools and LGUs to start food councils where proper dietary guidelines can be implemented in cafeterias. Not only will this follow through on their book’s main thrust for healthy, vegetable-rich eating, but it also helps the local agricultural industry while lowering our carbon footprint. —CONTRIBUTED
“Paano Kumain ng Kulay?” is available at the Adarna House store and soon in other bookstores.