Women condemn ‘Vitameal’

BAGUIO CITY — A new feeding program has come to provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that aims to to correct any nutrient deficiencies and thereby promote healthy growth and development. A women’s group, however, criticized it.

Named “Vitameal,” it is supposedly a new hope for nutritionally challenged children in the Cordilleras. This school year, provinces in CAR started receiving their rations of Vitameal thru day care and Grade One pupils.

At the Innabuyog regional council meet last August 15, members from all around the region had raised their qualms about the product.

“Mapait. Medyo sweet and sour. Lasang betsin. Ayaw kainin ng mga bata, kaya kailangan pa naming gumastos para sa ihahalo namin para kainin nila,” (It tastes bitter, with a hint of sweet and sour and it also tastes of monosodium glutamate. The children do not like it. We have to buy additional ingredients for them to eat it) said Estrell Balutoc of Innabuyog – Abra

Carol Bagyan of Innabuyog – Kalinga said, “Palitan kaming mga magulang ng pagluto. Pakukuluan namin at hahaluan ng iba-ibang sangkap.” (Paarents take turns cooking. We boil it and add in different ingredients)

Parents are enforced to add supplemental ingredients to the Vitameal since children do not seem to favor its taste. “Nagdadagdag pa kami ng malagkit, asukal, tsokolate, para kainin ng mga bata yung Vitameal,” (We have to add in glutinous rice, sugar, cocoa, just so the kids would eat this Vitameal”) added Bagyan.

Parents are suspicious of this Vitameal program as the servings given to the children were without a decent packaging. Not even a label for parents to be informed of its ingredients. “Natatakot kami at baka may GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) iyan.” (We fear it may contain GMOs) said Zenaida Hangdaan of Innabuyog – Ifugao

Parents also claimed that upon asking the teachers in charge of the Vitameal’s distribution of its ingredients and the nutrients that their children should be able to absorb from it, the teachers responded that they did not know exactly what this contain.

“The whole nation is stricken by hunger and poverty whether Malacañang accepts it or not” says Innabuyog Chairperson Vernie Yocogan- Diano.

“Her hunger mitigation programs are actually just dole outs that attempt to sugarcoat the worsening poverty. Her feeding program does not even reach the poorest of the poor, who are in most need of help. This is just another opportunity for graft and corruption to take place,” she added.

Innabuyog states that what should be pursued are long-term policies toward genuine agrarian reform and agricultural development, job creation and a national policy for health care and education. # Myko Chiong(NorthernDispatch)

3 Responses to “Women condemn ‘Vitameal’”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    The flavor is bland by design- this way the local flavors of wherever it is distributed can easily be added. The ingredients are slightly different depending on which country is it shipped to:

    Rice, Lentils, Rice Flour, Canola Oil (with BHA), Seasoning Blend (Maltodextrin, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Dehydrated Vegetables [Onions, Celery, Parsley, Spinach, Garlic, and Carrot], Potato Flour, Xanthan Gum, Spices, Tumeric Extract, Lecithin), Silcon Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Textured Soy Protein (Textured Soy Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten Protein, Natural Flavoring, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Disodium Guanlyate, Disodium Inosinate), Black Pepper, Salt, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Zinc Gluconate

    Nutritional Facts Adult Child
    Serving Size 1 cup 1/2 cup
    Servings Per Container 15 30
    Calories 580 290
    Calories from Fat 80 40
    Calories from Saturated Fat 5 3
    Total Fat 9g 4.5 g
    Saturated Fat 1 g .5 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0 mg
    Sodium 420 mg 210 mg
    Potassium 800 mg 400 mg
    Total Carbohydrates 102 g 51 g
    Dietary Fiber 19 g 9 g
    Sugars 5 g 2.5g
    Other Carbohydrates 79 g 39 g
    Protein 22 g 11 g
    Vitamin A 50 % 50 %
    Vitamin C 100 % 75 %
    Calcium 50 % 30 %
    Iron 50 % 45 %
    Vitamin D 50 % 25 %
    Vitamin E 100 % 150 %
    Vitamin K 50 % 50 %
    Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 100 % 100 %
    Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 100 % 100 %
    Niacin 50 % 55 %
    Vitamin B6 100 % 140 %
    Folate 50 % 50 %
    Vitamin B12 100 % 100 %
    Biotin 33 % 35 %
    Pantothenic Acid 100 % 100 %
    Phosporus 30 % 20 %
    Iodine 75 % 80 %
    Magnesium 50 % 50 %
    Zinc 50 % 50 %
    Selenium 75 %
    Copper 50 % 50 %
    Manganese 75 %
    Chromium 75 %

  2. Camilla Says:

    Honestly, if they were actually in need, it wouldn’t matter that it doesn’t taste like a home-cooked meal. If they don’t require Vitameals to be sent to them, they could outright reject them too.

  3. healthbro Says:

    I wouldnt be surprised of this since sanay tayo sa Jollibee at Mcdo. Anything na matamis or salty in flavor… gives us the idea na OK.

    I have tasted vitameal personally and i agree that it is ‘tasteless’. But understand that it nourishes the body thru a truckload of nutrients so kahit walang lasa at the end of the day… kids would be healthier. This product is not intended to just “feed” but also nourishes. Kung “feed” lang, just buy a truckload of Lucky Me Pansit Canton… mas masaya pa sila dun, good luck nalang sa betsin content per child. Those vitameals dont cost $200+ for nothing…

    Graft and Corruption? The problem is that people already assume and judge our government, even the good guys in them.

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