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Priest urges faithful to observe 'plant-based' diet

by Ferdinand Patinio 
September 14, 2019

Vegetables sold at a market. (File photo)
Amid the reported cases of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, an official of the social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila on Friday encouraged the faithful to start following a plant-based diet.

“We promote plant-based diet. We don’t eat pork. We don't serve pork. Protein can come from fish, tofu, nuts. We promote the heathiest food is plant-based,” Caritas Manila executive director, Fr. Anton Pascual said in an interview.

Pascual noted for the past two years, it was reported that the illnesses of the less fortunate are no longer traditional problems such as ulcer but long-term diseases.

“Since two years ago, the ailments of the urban poor are not anymore traditional poor problems like tuberculosis, ulcer but now chronic lifestyle diseases like heart, diabetes, stroke,” the Caritas Manila official said.

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“We have to promote urban gardening, vertical farming, etc.,” he added.

A plant-based diet centers on foods from plant sources such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and meat substitutes such as soy products.

On the other hand, a Catholic prelate supported the precautionary measures against the ASF.

“Precautionary measures are prudent measures, however, I am not sure now if to stop serving for feeding programs would be one of them because there might be sources of pork which are not contaminated,” said Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) in a statement.

“This means that we have to make some verifications,” he added.

On Monday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said 14 of the 20 blood samples from pigs sent to the United Kingdom for laboratory examination tested positive for the highly contagious African swine fever.

The tests were done after reports of the unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms in the province of Rizal. (PNA)

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