#IAmHampasLupa: Promoting farming, mindful eating on social media
MANILA, Philippines – Amid ongoing modernization, a local group aims to “raise the stature” of farming and Filipino farmers by raising awareness on agriculture, climate change, and “mindful” food consumption, using social media.
Ryan Bestre from the #IAmHampasLupa Ecological Agriculture Movement said awareness is still crucial in making action happen. And what better way to do that than by maximizing the power of social media for the public good?
“The group tries to raise awareness on all these interrelated issues. What do we do? We harness the power of social media. So millennial. We use blogs, picture stories, FB Live. As cliché as it may sound, raising awareness is still the first step that could nudge people into action,” Bestre said at the 2017 Social Good Summit held on Saturday, September 16.
“Aside from social media campaigns, we also partner with organizations like Greenpeace, which actively supports us to come up with related events,” he added.
Bestre said the term “hampas lupa” has long had negative connotations associated with poverty and “good for nothing” people. But what people don’t realize, he said, is its direct translation is highly apt for farming: “till the soil.”
“'Hampas lupa' means tilling the land. This is what our farmers do. Nothing wrong with that. This is what our group is trying to change, the negative perception towards farming and farmers,” Bestre said.
The group also promotes “ecological agriculture,” which aims to lessen farming’s negative impact on the environment.
“We promote ecological agriculture which is a climate-resilient way of farming [that] doesn’t make use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides,” Bestre said.
No food wastage
Aside from this, the group also raises awareness of mindful and sustainable consumption, as the issue is closely related to farming and climate change.
In fact, the group is part of the People’s Food Movement, which is set to file a comprehensive food policy bill before the Office of the President next week, said Bestre.
“Due to climate change there [is] more frequent occurrence of typhoons and droughts which negatively impact food production and consumers like you and me. We are so disconnected to the Earth. We lost connection to the food we eat, how it is made, and where it comes from,” Bestre said.
He said there is more than enough food in the world but due to food wastage, inequalities continue to exist. With 30% of the world’s food getting wasted, Bestre said there are one billion people suffering from hunger while another billion suffer from obesity.
It does not take much to help the campaign. Ordinary Filipinos can start by being mindful of their individual eating habits, he said.
"Start by appreciating your food and be more mindful with the food you eat. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Your body will thank you – and the environment too,” Bestre said.
Studies have shown that when people have a mainly meat-based diet, they contribute more to climate change. Giving up meat for one meal saves enough carbon emissions to boil a kettle 388 times. (READ: How you can reduce your carbon footprint)
Filipinos could also try to grow their own food through urban or container gardening.
“Please, please don't waste [food]. Try to grow your own food through urban or container gardening. We have a broken food system, it’s in our hands to fix it. Whenever we eat, we contribute to the tilling of the land. We are all hampas lupa," he said. – Rappler.com
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