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Monday, 7 August 2017

Rice

There are more than forty thousand varieties of rice. Despite this huge number, only a few is being grown and marketed worldwide. These varieties include the brown rice and white rice.


HISTORY 

In Japanese legend, Ninigi-no-mikoto was the god of the ripened rice plant and is said to be the direct ancestor of all Japanese emperors.

Analysis of the composition of ancient Chinese walls shows that rice was added to the mortar to increase its strength.

Traditionally rice is thrown at a bride and groom at weddings because it is a symbol of fertility and life. Throwing rice at a newly married couple goes back thousands of years, as far as the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians.

The Romans used rice pottage as a medicine to settle upset stomachs. They regarded rice as an expensive import to be used mainly for medical purposes.

By the 13th century, rice was being imported into North Europe. In Britain it was included in King Henry III of England's 1234 household accounts where it was used to make milk puddings.


Benito Mussolini tried to replace pasta with rice in order to ease reliance on imported wheat. The Italian fascist leader formed a National Rice Board and declared “rice days” where which trucks provided free samples and recipes.

CONSUMPTION 

Half of the world's population live on a staple diet of rice.

90% of all the rice in the world is consumed in Asia.

In 2013 the world production of rice amounted to 745,710,000 tonnes. The only foods of which more is produced are sugarcane and maize.


The average person in the UK eats 6kg of rice a year. The average Asian eats about 50kg.

FUN RICE FACTS

White rice doesn't reach the minimum nutritional requirements for one serving of food as specified by the FDA.

20% of all calories collectively consumed by humanity are from rice.

In Thailand, people invite or call their families to a meal by saying ‘eat rice’.

Water is used in rice fields to prevent weeds. Rice doesn't actually need that much water, but since it can thrive in such conditions, whereas weeds cannot, it's a natural protection against them.


Sources Food for Thought by Ed Pearce, Daily Express, Naij

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