Rice is the seed of a grass that is a monocot. This looks to be a fruiting plant that produces one seed.
I asked a question: “If brown rice is the natural form and more nutritious, why is white rice so popular?”
It turns out that there are several reasons:
- White rice keeps for longer (the fatty acids prevent it from storing more than six to twelve months).
- It was a sign of poverty since really poor people could not afford the polishing process. Now, the white, stripped variety is cheaper because of the global demand.
- Those cultures has developed to prefer the taste of white rice (of course).
- It can accompany all of the traditional meals without changing the taste. It is unobtrusive.
- Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans.
- It looks like wild rice might have originated in Australia.
Recently, I started buying large amounts of many different varieties of rice. I must have fifty pounds (I recently blew out my rice cooker). For most of my life (I’m currently in my thirties) I didn’t eat a lot of rice, but, when I did, I preferred white rice. I found it simple and pure. Sure, the culture, along with my mom, would say that it wasn’t very nutritious, but, when I switched to eating more of it, I investigated why and promptly switched to brown rice. I probably would’ve switched because brown was known to be healthier (and, conversely, white was known not to be), but now I know why.
Unfortunately, in South Florida, where I live, brown rice is almost impossible to find in large quantities (read: larger than two pounds). Most popular supermarkets carry white. You could buy a truckload of rice from any Latin supermarket but wouldn’t be able to buy brown rice to save your life. I’ve had to use Amazon.
The following are the grades of different available rices and how they rate (informally):
Devoid of any real nutrition.
Very, very nutritious and full of protein.
Nutritious, with even more protein.
Hard to find, but has the most protein. I read somewhere that, for centuries, it was reserved for the exclusive consumption of royalty.
Ratooning is the process of only harvesting part of the plant. It limits how much preparation is required from crop to crop and also allows the crop to be mature earlier. From one ratooning to the next, the crop yields less and less. Different plants can be ratooned for different periods of time before having to be replanted. Rice has a ratooning period of thirty years. Given its nutrition, simplicity, cost effectiveness, and the vast economical benefits of the ratooning process, I consider rice to be a gift.. a miracle food.
Why do cultures who rely heavily on rice in their diet typically use white rice which has less nutritional value than other types of rice?
I came across your website when I was looking up if cold-blooded animals were affectionate and found one of your posts on it with the turtle. After reading your About page, I was like, I’m the same way when I research things, haha. And then I started from the beginning of your posts because I really like the random facts. It’s too bad that it looks like you stopped posting in 2022 though!
The problem is that I see questions in everything, and, when I post, I usually insist on both finding a picture as well as articulating the related, fascinating history or facts I encounter. It just becomes a big thing. I still note them as I see them and will post one from time to time because it breaks my heart to not follow-up with them, especially the things that are too neat to not share.
Thanks for your comments. I have a high opinion of people that spend their time on time curious things rather than being fearful of what they don’t know.