October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fiber and phytonutrients. (photo and layout by: Honeylou C. Bastasa, Information Officer II)

ATI Compound, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental---Going meatless is not a bad thing as claimed by most vegetarians. Vegetables, after all, pack necessary vitamins and minerals if one goes for a plant-based diet. A growing number of doctors and other health professionals urge us to embrace the nutritious and delicious world of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and legumes as all we need for a healthy and sustainable diet. Besides, adopting a plant-based diet can help boost our energy level and may reduce our chance of developing chronic illness.

Celebrating this month of October, the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center X (ATI-RTC X) is one with the nation and with the rest of the world by going green and healthy by celebrating Vegetarian Awareness Month. Vegetarian Awareness Month is also observed in different countries every year, as it kicks off with World Vegetarian Day on October 1 and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1.

In the Philippines, it is celebrated to help Filipino consumers consider the various health benefits to eat lots of vegetables and to explore the different types of vegetarian diets, and how meatless meals can be incorporated into our regular meal schedule. This annual celebration aims to “promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism." It seeks to bring awareness to the ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.

ATI, as the extension arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), is one with the global effort to keep the public well-informed as they make the choice to adopt a balanced and well-planned plant-based diet. At present, the Institute supports vegetable farming and planting activities in the household level through the urban agriculture initiative of the DA’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” Program.

The said initiative and campaign drive to plant one’s own food is supported by information, education, and communication activities through multimedia platforms, as well as free webinars conducted by ATI training centers nationwide. Free online courses on different crop production technologies are also available through the e-Learning program which can be accessed through www.e-extension.gov.ph/elearning.

For more information about vegetarianism and its benefits, visit https://worldvegetarianday.navs-online.org/ and https://ivu.org/