Frequently Asked Questions

1Who grows rice?
Rice is grown in more than 89 countries. Farmers from irrigated, upland, lowland, and the flood-prone areas across Asia are the major producers of rice.
2Is it true that rice is grown on all continents?
No, but rice is cultivated on six of the seven continents: Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, as well as North and South America. The only missing continent is Antarctic where it is far too cold to grow anything. Rice is also cultivated in islands around the world, from Cuba to Madagascar.
3Can rice be grown in cold countries?
Yes. Rice has been successfully grown in cold places such as the cool Himalayan foothills of Nepal, Japan, Korea, United States, and other countries with a cold temperature of 8-13 degrees centigrade.
4Can rice be grown in warm countries?
Yes. Rice can be grown even in hot Australian and Egyptian deserts.
5Does rice grow at high altitudes?
Yes. Rice is cultivated in a country like Nepal, or in other countries with an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level.
6Why is rice so popular as a food?
It is easy to cook, easy to store, and most importantly, it is inexpensive and filling. It is very digestible, making it ideal for babies and sick people who find it hard to eat very much.
7What nutrients can you get by eating rice?
Rice is high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free, and is low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, niacin, iron, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. It is a fair source of protein containing all eight amino acids.
8Who eats rice? How do these figures break down by region?
Most rice is eaten in the countries where it is grown. About 90% of the world crop is entirely eaten in Asia

Asia (416,459,000 t)
Latin America ( 17,188,000 t)
Africa ( 15,741,000 t)
Europe ( 2,550,000 t)
USA ( 2,704,000 t)
Australia ( 215,000 t)
Rest of the world ( 636,000 t)
World total (457,45 1,000 t)
9Why is there more rice in Asia than in other parts of the world?
Asians give priority to rice production because it is their staple food, so they must have a reliable supply as a matter of food security.
10Is there enough rice?
Since population expansion is not yet under control, the demand to grow more rice is great. Research will have to find ways to grow more rice on less land and with less water and with fewer chemical inputs.
11What do you mean by food security?
Food security is defined as physical and economic access to adequate food for all people at all times.
12Who is the biggest exporter of rice?
The biggest exporter is Thailand, with 4.989 million tons a year. Second is the United States, with 2.680 million tons, and the third is Vietnam with 1.765 million tons (2008 data).
13Is rice eaten at every meal?
Where rice is the main item of the diet, it is frequently the basic ingredient of every meal. Asians cannot go without eating rice even for a single day. Some prefer to eat rice three times a day.
14Do people ever get bored eating the same thing all the time?
No. Because for some people, especially Asians, rice is not only considered as the staple food, it is also their way of life. No other staple food could be compared to rice in terms of flavor, texture, and general satisfaction. Plus, it is inexpensive.
15Now that there are pizza and hamburger fast-food restaurants almost everywhere, are people eating less rice than before?
No. Some people still eat it three times a day. They consider eating hamburgers and pizzas as snacks or in between meals.
16What are the different ways rice can be served?
The way rice is served depends on the cook and the individual preferences of the rice eaters. Geography, agriculture, tradition, folklore, history, and even philosophy, all influence the way a person chooses to cook and eat rice. Rice is so versatile and easy to cook: you can steam it, boil it, bake it, and microwave it. You will find rice as an appetizer, a soup, a main meal, as a side dish, accompaniment, or as a dessert.
17How is rice normally cooked?
Normally, rice is cooked by simply boiling it in water. Methods of cooking rice, however, vary not only with the different types of rice but with the preferences of the cook and the individual rice eaters. For example, in Japan, plain, sticky rice is eaten at every meal; in India, rice is cooked dry and separate and is mixed with fat, nuts, and spices; in South America, rice is cooked dry and often topped with a spicy, saucy mix of red beans.
18Is it true that rice can be made into a drink?
Yes. Japanese made wine out of rice, called sake. In China, wang-tsiu, a winelike beverage made from rice, is widely consumed. In United States, a tenth of the seven million tons of rice grown goes into beer. The rice is ground up and boiled, and put into mash tanks along with barley malt.
19Why is rice added in beer-making?
It is a significant element that gives beer a lighter color and a refreshing taste. (This is the case with Budweiser beer.)
20Is it possible to buy a book of rice recipes?
Of course! There are hundreds of rice cookbooks available.
21What do you refer to as "aromatic rice"?
It is the term given to numerous varieties of rice identified by a pronounced nutty aroma and flavor. This aroma is attributed to a much higher proportion of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, a naturally occurring compound found in all rice. Some popular brands of aromatic rices are Texmati, Konriko, Wild Pecan Rice, Uncle Ben's Aromatic, Jasmine, and Ellis Stansel's Popcorn rice.
22What is a basmati rice?
Basmati rice is a type of aromatic rice, grown mostly in India and Pakistan. It is renowned for its long, slender shape that elongates rather than expands in width when it is cooked. The word basmati means "queen of fragrance," and the rice is distinguished by its aroma.
23What is brown rice?
It is a rice with the hull removed and the bran layers left clinging to the grains. The color is tan, and the flavor is nutty with a slight chewy texture. It is slightly more nutritious than enriched white rice, with twice as much fiber, five times the vitamin E, and three times the magnesium.
24What is glutinous rice?
It is a sticky, waxy, or sweet rice most often used in desserts. The grains are either round or long and have a high percentage of amylopectin, the starch that makes the grains stick together when cooked.
25What about jasmine rice?
It is an aromatic long-grain rice originally grown only in Thailand and is distinguished by its fragrance and a water milling process that leaves the grains silken to the touch. The grains are similar in size to long-grain rice but cook moist and tender like a medium-grain rice.
26What do you refer to as parboiled or converted rice?
It is rice that has been steam-pressure treated before milling, forcing all the nutrients from the bran layer into the endosperm. The rice is firm in texture and separate when cooked.
27What is Texmati rice?
Sometimes called American basmati, Texmati rice is a hybrid of aromatic rice and regular long-grain varieties. Its cooking properties are similar to basmati: light texture and nutty flavor and aroma.
28What is Valencia rice?
It is a medium-grain rice grown in the province of Valencia, Spain, and available on a limited basis in specialty food shops. It is a soft rice that soaks up flavors but retains a partially firm central core when cooked.
29Is rice traded on commodity markets?
30About three billion people depend on rice for their survival. What needs to be done to ensure that there will be enough rice for everyone in the coming years?
Research will have to find ways to grow more rice on less land, less water, less labor, and with fewer chemical inputs.
31Why is there a need to dry the paddy or rough rice?
Paddy coming from the field usually has a moisture content of between 20 to 24%. It should be dried to at least 14% as soon as possible to prevent deterioration. For longer storage it should be dried to at least 12.5 to 13%.

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