Rice is the source of one quarter of global per capita human energy. It is surprising to know that eleven percent of the world’s arable land, are given over to rice cultivation – that is more than 500 million hectares! The first documented account of rice was by a Chinese emperor around 2,800 BC. In this age of plastic money, rice is still sometimes used to pay debts, wages and rent in some Asian rural areas. Here are some more interesting facts about rice:
- It takes 5000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of rice.
- There are over 40,000 varieties of rice grown worldwide.
- A pound of rice delivers four times the food energy as the same serving of potatoes or pasta.
- More than 3 Billion people worldwide depend on Rice as their staple diet.
- More than 1 billion people throughout the world are actively involved in growing rice.
- Rice is the predominant staple in 17 Asian, 9 American and 8 African countries
- In Japan, it is believed that soaking rice before cooking releases the life energy and gives the eater a more peaceful soul. To encourage Japanese children to eat all of their rice the grains are affectionately called little Buddhas.
- 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.
- There are over 29,000 grains of rice in one pound of long grain rice.
- On cooking, rice swells to give at least three times its original weight.
- Rice is easy for the body to fully digest and convert into energy, which explains why people are often hungry shortly after eating it.