What we want Versus What is there

Young people are aware that they should make conscious decisions about healthy food consumption and they do, but often finances and convenience get in the way. Students and other youth representatives, at a Chikainan held in Mindoro acknowledged the need to eat healthy. In fact, they said, both government and non-government organizations are doing something to help them increase their awareness: The conduct of seminars, contests and the like. Distribution of seedlings to communities. Emphasis on the need to cultivate gardens, no matter how small.

However, these young people face difficulties amid their knowledge and their choice. Because they are busy with their studies, some of them living away from home, they are not able to live out their conscious choices about food. They also admit that they hardly think of the farmers and the food production process when they eat their meals.

“Would you even think about them when you are very hungry?”

A student who lives in a dorm says he resists buying from fastfood restaurants. One stays away from any kind of food that has too much oil and butter. Some recall that healthy food such as fish and vegetables are readily available in their hometowns (one misses his mother’s cooking; another remembers always having fish on the table as his father is a fisherman).

There are very real dilemmas: sometimes what is available is the unhealthy option (“I am on a seafood diet but everything changes when I see Jollibee or Burger King!”) What makes these options attractive is the low prices – and students, especially, must stick to their budgets. The young people suggest that “organic” produce need not be so expensive and inaccessible and that measures be taken to make more young people embrace healthy eating.

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