Environmental Watchdog Promotes Composting and Organic Farming at Food Fair

The EcoWaste Coalition, a
non-profit watchdog group for a toxic-free environment, today urged the
public to go for organic products and to compost biodegradable discards
towards an ecologically sustainable food system and zero waste community.

As part of the Green  Action Week, a global campaign spearheaded
by Consumers International and the Swedish Society for Nature
Conservation, the EcoWaste Coalition co-organized with the Barangay Philam
in Quezon City an “Organic Food and Farming Fair” that lured citizens to
“go organic” and also to exchange information and knowledge on ecological
Speaking at the opening of the event, Dr. Romeo Quijano, President
of Pesticide Action Network-Philippines said that “patronizing organic
foods will support our farmers’ efforts to curb extensive dependence on
hazardous pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and restore ecosystem-based agriculture
that is good for consumer health and is also climate
and environment-friendly.”
Quijano, a toxicologist, added that the propagation of agroecology will
protect farmers and farm workers from occupational and
accidental exposures to hazardous substances used in the agricultural
sector, many of which can cause serious injuries.
Christina Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste
Coalition, described “composting as probably the cheapest and smartest
strategy that consumers as citizens can adopt to address our nation’s
mounting waste generation and the resultant disposal problem, as well as
deal with our soil’s diminishing fertility and the rising toxic load on
our natural ecosystems.”
Composting, Vergara explained, is nature’s way of recycling
biodegradable discards such as kitchen and food waste, garden and farm
waste, and other organics, which constitute over half of the generated
wastes nationwide.
“With composting, we can improve the fertility of the soil,
provide essential nutrients to plants, protect plants from pests and
diseases, and cut use on toxic farm inputs,” she said.
Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project
Protect, expressed hope that more communities will promote composting and
organic farming to achieve cleaner, greener and safer communities.
At the event, the shoppers and visitors also had the chance of
learning about urban gardening, composting and ecological solid waste
management, as well as Quezon City’s collection program for busted lamps
and used batteries.
Aside from Barangay Philam residents, the event also drew participants
from community groups Buklod Tao (San Mateo,
Rizal), Piglas Kababaihan (Quezon City), Zone One Tondo Organization
(Manila) and the Cavite Green Coalition.
The event was also graced by Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan
Miguel Cuna, National Solid Waste Management Commission Executive Director Eli
Ildefonso, Barangay Philam Chairman Simplicio Hermogenes, former Quezon City
Councilor  Elizabeth Delarmente, Philippine Association of Supermarkets
President Carlos Cabochan and EcoWaste Coalition Treasurer Eloisa
Among the exhibitors of fresh and processed organic foods and other
eco-products were the Balangay Cooperative, Buklod Tao, Dumagat Tribe, Taguig
Waterlily Livelihood Program, Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran, Sibol ng Agham
at Teknolohiya, Villar Foundation and several organic farming practitioners.