By Vina Medenilla

Fruits and veggies are, without a doubt, beneficial to the body. Despite having known this for a long time, the Philippines is one of the countries with low levels of fruit and vegetable intake per capita in Southeast Asia. 

Filipinos consume an average of 343 grams of fruits and vegetables per day, which is less than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables in order to receive their nutritional and health benefits.

This is why the East-West Seed (EWS) Philippines continues to raise awareness on the importance of a healthy diet among consumers. 

In celebration of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV) and World Food Day, EWS, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), initiated an online recipe contest that encourages Filipino families to eat nutritious and local food. 

“To celebrate the goodness of fruits and vegetables, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables recipe contest is all about highlighting the health benefits that come from introducing more fruits and vegetables into our diets, especially the ones that we grow here in the Philippines,” said Chef Robby Goco, a world-class chef and one of the judges of this year’s recipe competition. 

Out of over 800 submissions, more than 100 original and traditional Filipino recipes will be showcased in a special edition digital cookbook. 

“The recipes we received depict a lot from our Filipino culture–flavorful yet nutritious, abundant yet affordable, and most of all, we saw how diversified and balanced the recipes are,” said Goco. 

The cookbook includes five categories: appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts, and ‘new traditions’ or recipes that have been made healthier by creatively replacing or adding ingredients. 

There will be one winner from each category who will receive P10,000 each, in addition to having their recipes featured in the EWS cookbook. 

The special edition cookbook will be launched in the latter part of November 2021. 

“Good food is a right, not a privilege. Today, we are seeing that good food also means good for the body, good for our local farmers, and good for the environment. Most importantly, they can taste delicious,” Goco added.

East-West Seed is a privately held company that leads in the development, production, and distribution of tropical vegetable seeds in and outside of Asia.

Through the EWS cookbook, the company hopes to develop a greater appreciation for fruits and vegetables and inspire Filipinos to consume healthier meals using ingredients from smallholder farmers.

For more information, visit www.eastwestseed.recipes