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Why premium heirloom crop Adlai is healthier rice alternative |

Food and Leisure

Why premium heirloom crop Adlai is healthier rice alternative

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Why premium heirloom crop Adlai is healthier rice alternative
Adlai / Dolly Dy-Zulueta

MANILA, Philippines — For us Filipinos, rice is life. It is our staple, the core of our meals, so that no main meal is ever complete or satisfying without it.

After all, what breakfast can ever replace a Tapsilog (Tapa, Sinangag at itlog) or Hotsilog (hotdog, Sinangag at itlog) or, in my case, Bangsilog (daing na bangus, Sinangag at itlog)? Or a heaping mound of freshly cooked rice with a viand like Chicken Adobo, Sinigang or Kare-kare for lunch or dinner?

Unfortunately, eating rice more than three times a day—or heaping mounds of rice per meal—can increase the risk of diabetes and other diseases. This is why it is important to explore alternatives to rice, such as corn, potatoes (even sweet potatoes), and, yes, Adlai. A premium heirloom crop that is now being cultivated more widely than before, particularly in Bukidnon and Cotabato, Adlai is a superfood because it is loaded with fiber that improves digestion and helps achieve healthy weight loss. It also boasts of anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-allergic properties.

An heirloom crop that was almost on the brink of “extinction,” adlai now enjoys renewed interest from Filipino consumers, which convinced farmers to start planting them regularly again. And with companies like FEBI Corporation (with brand name Oh Crop!) supporting adlai farmers with regular purchases for commercial retail, adlai is now easily available in major supermarkets in one-kilogram and five-kilogram packages. It is also available in online platforms such as Shopee, Lazada and BeautyMNL. Compared to regular rice, adlai sells at a premium price, yes, but its P399 per 1-kilogram pack and P1,899 per 5-kilogram pack does not stray too far from the prices of super premium rice or other healthy alternatives to rice like quinoa. It is like an investment on health, knowing that although it is a little heavy on the pocket, what we are eating is good for us and will, in the long run, eventually prove to be a good investment.

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