68 quick facts about rice!
1) Rice is the source of one quarter of global per capita human energy.
2) The average American consumes 25 lbs of rice per year, 4 of which come from drinking beer.
3) Eleven percent of the world’s arable land, are given over to rice cultivation – more than 500 million hectares.
4) The first documented account of rice was by a Chinese emperor around 2,800 BC.
5) Two Japanese car brands were named after rice: Toyota, meaning “Bountiful Rice Field,” and Honda, meaning “Main Rice Field”
6) Rice and its by-products are used for making straw and rope, paper, wine, crackers, beer, cosmetics, packing material and even toothpaste.
7) Rice straw is used to make coarse writing paper and is woven into sandals and hats.
8) Rice starch is often used in the last rinse of a laundry wash, to stiffen tablecloths and napkins once they are ironed.
9) A Malaysian aboriginal myth holds that all of the sky once lay flat on the Earth in the form of rice until the women of the tribe, wielding their long wooden rice brooms, heaved it upwards in the first harvest. From then on, rice fell back to Earth each year in time for a bountiful harvest.
10) Rice is still sometimes used to pay debts, wages and rent in some Asian rural areas.
11) It takes 5000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of rice.
12) There are over 40,000 varieties of rice grown worldwide.
13) A pound of rice delivers four times the food energy as the same serving of potatoes or pasta Rice is widely believed to have arrived in the Americas in 1694 during the slave trade through South Carolina, probably originating from Madagascar.
14) More than 3 Billion people worldwide depend on Rice as their staple diet.
15) Rice is the predominant staple in 17 Asian, 9 American and 8 African countries.
16) Rice growing is believed to have originated in China and SE Asia around 10,000 BC
17) More than 70 percent of processed foods on grocery store shelves in the U.S. contain ingredients and oils from biotech crops, according to an industry estimate.
18) According to estimates from the 2006 crop year, rice production in the U.S. is valued at $1.88 billion, approximately half of which is expected to be exported.
19) The U.S. provides about 12 % of world rice trade.
20) The majority of domestic utilization of U.S. rice is direct food use (58%), while 16 percent is used in processed foods and beer respectively. The remaining 10 percent is found in pet food.
21) The Chinese word for rice is the same as the word for food.
22) In Thailand, when you call your family to a meal you say, “Eat rice.”
23) In Japan, the word for cooked rice is the same as the word for meal.
24) The custom of throwing a handful of rice at newly weds originally symbolized fertility and the blessing of many children; today it symbolizes prosperity and abundance.
25) Rice is the first food a new Indian bride offers her husband, perhaps instead of wedding cake; it is also the first food offered a newborn.
26) In Japan, it is believed that soaking rice before cooking releases the life energy and gives the eater a more peaceful soul.
27) To encourage Japanese children to eat all of their rice the grains are affectionately called little Buddhas.
28) In China, young girls with finicky appetites are warned that every grain of rice they leave in their rice bowls represents a pockmark on the face of their future husband.
29) In India, it is said that the grains of rice should be like two brothers – close, but not stuck together.
30) In China a typical greeting, instead of “How are you?” is “Have you had your rice today?” A greeting to which one is expected always to reply, “Yes.”
31) Most rice is consumed in the country where it is produced. Only 5 percent of the world’s total is exported. Thailand ships the most: about 5 million tons a year. The United States is second with nearly 3 million tons and Vietnam third, with 2 million tons.
32) Three of the world’s four most populous nations are rice-based societies—China, India, and Indonesia. Together, they have nearly 2.5 billion people.
33) Rice is the main food for half the people in the world.
34) There are over 29,000 grains of rice in one pound of long grain rice.
35) On cooking, rice swells to give at least three times its original weight.
36) One seed of rice yields more than 3,000 grains. It is the highest yielding cereal grain and can grow in many kinds of environments and soils, which is why it is grown on every continent except Antarctica.
37) Fifty percent of all of the world’s rice is eaten within 8 miles of where it is grown.
38) More than 1 billion people throughout the world are actively involved in growing rice.
39) Americans eat a little more than 20 pounds of rice per person each year. Asians eat as much as 300 pounds per person each year, while in the United Arab Emirates it is about 450 pounds, and in France about 10 pounds.
40) There are over 29,000 grains of rice in one pound (based on long grain white rice).
41) One serving of rice requires 25 gallons of water to grow.
42) Americans eat twice as much rice now than they did ten years ago.
43) The rice throwing ritual at weddings today symbolizes prosperity and abundance.
44) Ninety percent of the calories in rice come from complex carbohydrates or starch.
45) Rice is high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free and is low in sodium.
46) Rice is a good source of protein, containing all eight essential amino acids.
47) Rice is low in the amino acid lysine, which is found in beans – making the classic combination of rice and beans a particularly healthy dish.
48) A half cup of cooked white rice provides 82 calories.
49) At the International Rice Research Institute Genetic Resources Center in the Philippines, there are 80,000 rice varieties in cold storage.
50) One seed of rice yields more than 3,000 grains.
51) Rice is one of the few foods in the world that is entirely non-allergenic and gluten-free.
52) RICE PAPER is not actually made from rice at all. It evolves from the pith of the rice paper tree grown in Asia.
53) RICE GLUE is still made in many countries by boiling ground rice.
54) Rice is planted on about 11% of the world’s cultivated land.
55) Only 6-7% of world rice production is traded internationally.
56) Wild rice is the only grain native to North America.
57) Rice provides 20 percent of the world’s dietary energy supply.
58) Rice triggers the neurotransmitter Serotonin in the brain that helps regulate and improve mood.
59) People who eat rice are less likely to be obese than those who do not.
60) Rice is easy for the body to fully digest and convert into energy, which explains why people are often hungry shortly after eating it.
61) To retain the nutrients, do not rinse the rice before or after cooking it.
62) In Japan, the words for rice and meal are the same.
63) In some instances, a deep-water strain of rice often called floating rice is grown. Floating rice can develop elongated stems capable of coping with water depths exceeding 2 meters (6.5 feet).
64) Rice was first introduced in California to feed the thousands of Chinese immigrants at the time of the Gold Rush.
65) Research has provided 75% of the rice varieties now grown.
66) Rice is cultivated in the cool Himalayan climates of Nepal and in the scorching deserts of Pakistan, Iran and Egypt.
67) Health experts urge us to cut down on fat and fill up with fruit and vegetables and starchy fiber rich foods like rice.
68) Leftover rice should be cooled quickly, then covered to prevent drying out or absorption of smells/flavors from other foods.