by Alyha Zshiazny B. Lantud and Lynrose Jane D. Genon , OVCRE-DE

On May 26, 2021, the Department of Extension launched the MSU-IIT Mainstreaming SDGs Initiative through the Volunteerism for Community Engagement Program (VOCEP) in partnership with Kataas-taasang Sanggunian ng mga Magaaral (KASAMA) to raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, and to provide opportunities for youth to make meaningful contributions to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The goal of the discussion series is to bring together youth from various backgrounds to discuss the SDGs. It aims to: (1) raise awareness of the SDGs and examples of their global impact among young people; (2) magnify existing local initiatives that help achieve the global goals; (3) identify areas of mutual interest and potential joint activities; and (4) brainstorm ideas for increasing youth participation and interest in contributing to the SDGs.

In addition to the SDG Talk Series, the MSU-IIT Mainstreaming SDGs Initiative includes the construction of an SDG Corner, which will serve as an information, conversation, and networking hub for MSU-IIT students, professors, and staff, and other stakeholders.

Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “end hunger, ensure food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” which is in response to the data by World Food Programme that records 135 million people to be severely malnourished, owing this to man-made conflicts, climate change, and economic downturns. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the figure has doubled putting an extra 130 million people at risk of starvation. This was addressed during the first episode of the SDG Talk Series. 

Ms. Ezeil Cervantes, owner of Jucha Juice Bar, spoke at the first SDG Talk Series on Food and Sensibilities. During her session, Ms. Cervantes discussed the etymology of food, economic and communal perspectives on food systems, and nourishment in food systems. She moves on to stress the importance of dietary values in defining who we are. Our bodies are built on the foundation of the food we eat. She emphasized the significance of eating well and caring for our bodies. People nowadays eat anything they want without considering the consequences on our body. We live in a world where eating poisonous foods is acceptable and physical inactivity is the norm.

In explaining why we should begin adjusting our eating habits to improve our daily lives, Ms. Cervantes stressed it is not an easy task to do so which is why she recommended that we begin by eating less. However, eating less does not mean going without food for a few days nor does consuming fewer calories imply foregoing meat and subsisting solely on salads.  

Rather, she argued that eating less simply means eating less of whatever you choose. Eating less requires keeping track of how much food you consume each day. Reduce the amount of rice you eat by eating only one cup instead of two. She also suggested that we may begin eating healthier by gradually including nutritious foods or beverages into our everyday meals, such as eating an apple every day or drinking fruit blended juices. This way, we show our body that we respect and honor it. 

At the end of the session, Ms. Cervantes showed a short demo of food preparation by making sushi with healthy and organic ingredients.