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Thread: Rice

  1. #16
    Jack Daniels is one of my favorites! I miss the days when I me and my friends were drinking til dawn.

  2. #17
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    Cuckoo rice cookers

    How a Quest for the Perfect Bowl of Rice Cooked Up a Billionaire
    By Yoojung Lee
    August 29, 2018, 2:16 PM PDT Updated on August 29, 2018, 6:59 PM PDT
    Koo’s company dominates market even as rice consumption falls
    Cuckoo exports appliance to 25 countries, including China


    Cuckoo rice cookers at a store in Seoul. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

    Rice is a staple for Koreans, but as New York restaurateur Bobby Yoon explains it, the connection is deeper, almost spiritual.

    “We need the perfect bowl of rice for each meal," said Yoon, whose recently opened barbecue joint in Manhattan is an offshoot of Haeundae Somunnan Amso Galbijip, his grandfather’s venerable Busan institution. “It doesn’t have a flavor, but there is also a certain umami to it when cooked well.”

    Perfecting rice that’s integral to such everyday dishes as bulgogi and kimchi jjigae needs the best cooker possible, one that produces perfect grains without scorching them. The countertop appliances are given as gifts when people get married or move to a new house, and can symbolize wealth and good health for the family.

    By far the most popular brand is the Cuckoo, which emits a distinctive sound similar to the call of the bird it’s named after as it releases steam during the cooking process.

    That obsession and stranglehold on the market has made Cuckoo Holdings Co. founder Koo Ja-sin a billionaire. The company controls about 70 percent of South Korea’s market for rice cookers -- easily outselling domestic rival Cuchen Co. -- and exports to more than two dozen countries, mostly in Asia.

    ‘Grown Big’

    “The market is not huge, and there were already technology barriers when other big brands were looking to penetrate it,” said Yang Ji-hye, an analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul. “Cuckoo seized the niche market and has grown big.”

    Koo, 77, started the firm in 1978 after a brief career in politics, where he served as secretary to a local lawmaker. He began by manufacturing rice cookers for large companies such as LG Electronics Co. After orders dwindled to a trickle during the Asian financial crisis, he started his own brand in 1998.

    The public latched on to the “Do Cuckoo” catchphrase from the firm’s television commercials and sales quickly grew. Cuckoo shares have returned 127 percent, including reinvested dividends, since its 2014 initial public offering in Seoul, outpacing the 20 percent return of the Kospi Index of 780 Korean companies.

    "Koreans believe that what’s made of rice is good for your health," said Jun Kyung-woo, the co-author of the book "Dining in Seoul." "When someone feels unwell, they even attribute that to not eating enough rice."

    Koo now has a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, based mainly on his and the family’s stake in the holding company and in Cuckoo Homesys Co., which rents appliances such as water purifiers. Koo is chairman of the holding company, while the oldest of his two sons -- Koo Bon-hak -- runs the business.

    Biggest Stake


    Koo Bon-hak Source: Cuckoo Holdings

    Koo Bon-hak, 48, is chief executive officer and holds the largest stake in Cuckoo. He joined the company in 1995 after earning a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois.

    A spokeswoman for Cuckoo, which also manufactures dishwashers, blenders and other kitchen appliances, declined to comment.

    While Cuckoo dominates the market for cookers, it’s battling long-term trends that may undermine growth. Rice consumption in South Korea has tumbled by 50 percent in the past three decades as wheat-based products such as pasta and bread gained wider acceptance. The growing number of one-person households and dual-income families has contributed to the popularity of microwavable rice, which is less time-consuming and easier to cook.

    Overseas sales, which account for about 10 percent of the company’s revenue, were hit by the fallout from tensions last year between South Korea and China over the U.S.-led deployment of an anti-missile system. Exports of Cuckoo rice cookers to China shrank 21 percent last year compared with 2016, according to a June research report by HI Investment & Securities in Seoul.

    Cultural Link

    Cuckoo products are sold in 25 countries, including China, Russia and Vietnam, with China making up about 40 percent of overseas sales, according to the company. Its rice cookers are customized to match each country’s environment, accounting for differences in temperature and humidity.

    For many Koreans living abroad, a rice cooker is a reminder of home and a link to their country’s culture. When Yoon, the New York restaurateur, was a student in Pennsylvania, he said his mother sent him a Cuckoo for his dorm room. But he was unable to make it work because the power outlet was different than in Korea.

    “My mom cried because I couldn’t use it,” Yoon said. “That’s how much a rice cooker means for the family.”

    — With assistance by Kate Krader
    "the power outlet was different" srsly? Get a power converter. Don't make your mum cry.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #18
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    Rice & Climate change

    Do we cut back on rice or meat? Or both?

    Do we need an indie Climate Change thread?

    Scientific American
    Should We Eat Less Rice?
    Digging into the statistics about rice farming and climate change

    By Evelyn Lamb on August 21, 2019


    Terraces for rice farming. Credit: Joan Vila Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

    “Your Bowl of Rice Is Hurting the Climate Too” reads a Bloomberg headline from June. “Rice cultivation could be as bad for global warming as 1,200 coal plants, so why aren’t consumers more bothered? Eco-conscious consumers are giving up meat and driving electric cars to do their part for the environment, but what about that bowl of rice?” I was irritated as soon as I read it. It was probably a combination of the whataboutism and the focus on a food that is eaten much more in Asia and Africa than the U.S. and Europe when overall Americans and Europeans have caused a lot more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than Africans and Asians. To top it off, what should I make of the 1200 coal plants number? How much of a climate impact “should” the staple food of billions of humans have?

    The article is full of figures. They all sound impressive, but I didn’t really understand how to interpret them. Rice is “just as damaging over the long term as annual carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. combined.” (Do Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. all rely on fossil fuels for most of their energy? How do the populations of those four countries compare to the population that relies on rice for a significant proportion of their calories? How should I compare climate impact of the farming of one crop for the entire world to the climate impact from all causes in a few countries?) “Global production of milled rice has increased 230% since 1960.” (How much has the population increased since then?) Rice production emits “twice as much of the harmful gases as wheat.” (Is more rice or wheat consumed?) “Growing rice in flooded conditions causes up to 12% of global emissions of methane, a gas blamed for about one quarter of global warming caused by humans.” (What are the major sources of anthropogenic methane emissions? Methane from rice farming causes 3% of anthropogenic global warming. Is that a lot? Food is one of the least optional sources of greenhouse gas emissions, after all. Plenty of people live without cars, flights, or electricity, but calories are a must.)

    I’m not writing this post solely because I wanted to complain about one article that bugged me, as fun as that is. It’s important to think about how we interpret headlines like this one. Many people have had traumatizing experiences with mathematics and don’t feel comfortable reasoning about numbers or statistics, but as a society we are also on the whole deferential to numbers. An article can get away with throwing statistics around without properly contextualizing them because people won’t question them, or don’t know the right questions to ask, or think an argument that refers to a lot of numbers must be a sound one.

    Furthermore, humans’ perceptions about what to focus on when it comes to pollution and climate change can be skewed. Recently, some environmental activists have zeroed in on plastic straw waste, causing a reaction from disability activists, who say plastic straws are important accessibility items for some people. The fracas concerns less than a tenth of a percent of the plastic pollution in the ocean. A plastic straw ban is basically symbolic. (A 2018 study estimated that about half of the plastic pollution in the famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of lost or discarded fishing nets.) With a limited mental bandwidth for caring about and taking action on various environmental issues, where should rice fall on that list?

    But most of all, I finished reading the article honestly unsure how to understand the impact of rice farming on the environment. I wanted to find the numbers that would help me put the situation in context.

    Back to rice.

    Reading the article, my first question was what proportion of the world’s calories come from rice. That seems like an important basic fact that would help me understand the other numbers. Ricepedia, a rice information site run by CGIAR, an agriculture research organization, says 19% of “global human per capita energy” comes from rice. About 3.5 billion people get at least 20% of their calories from rice, and about half a billion get most of their calories from rice. Other sources I found had similar numbers, reporting 16–20% for the proportion of the world’s calories that come from rice.

    A fifth of the total calories humanity consumes is a lot. Corn (maize) and wheat have similar numbers. Together, the three plants provide more than half of our calories. Of course growing something that sustains so many people will have an impact on the environment. I was somewhat surprised that rice, corn, and wheat were so similar in the proportion of calories they provide. It helped put the fact that rice farming causes twice as much greenhouse gas emission as wheat in perspective.

    My next question was how rice’s impact stacks up against impacts from other foods and how that compares to its importance as a source of nutrition. The statistic that rice produces 12% of anthropogenic methane and that the methane produced by rice farming makes put about half of crop-related greenhouse gas emissions come from a white paper prepared by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). (The white paper isn’t actually about the methane emissions; it is about a study that shows that attempts to mitigate methane emissions may be increasing the emissions of nitrous oxide, another potent greenhouse gas.)

    The EDF bases their estimates on the 5th Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (relevant chapter here). According to those numbers (specifically figure 6.8, if you’re following along at home), the main food-related contributors to anthropogenic methane emissions are rice paddies and cow ****s. (They don’t quite use that terminology.) Together, those sources account for about 40% of anthropogenic methane emissions, with rice producing about 30% of that amount. If all foods emitted the same amount of methane, rice would only produce 20%, so it produces about 1.5 times as much as it “should” proportionally. But the real story is that the methane emissions of food are very disproportionate, with rice and ruminants almost completely responsible! When all greenhouse gas emissions from food are taken into account, rice emits more greenhouse gases per calorie than wheat or corn but less than fruits, vegetables, legumes, or any animal sources. See this working paper from the World Resources Institute for more granular data. If the EDF is correct that rice emits more nitrous oxide than previously understood, those numbers may underestimate rice’s impact, but it is still dwarfed by the impact of animal-based foods.

    I haven’t answered all the questions the article left me with, but I actually feel a lot more equipped to understand the impact of rice on the environment. Some of the numbers from the article still perplex me. I don’t know what to make of the comparison to 1200 coal plants or the assertion about Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. Comparing the climate impact of fossil fuel use in all sectors in four countries to the impact of a food that is eaten all over the world just doesn’t make sense to me. The statistic about rice production increasing since 1960 is a little more meaningful. The world population today is about 2.5 times as much as it was in 1960 (so it has increased 150%). Rice production, though, is about 3.3 times as much, so rice production has grown more than the population by a moderate amount.

    Personally, these statistics will probably not change my rice consumption. I don’t eat a lot of rice anyway. It’s a part of my diet, but I get a lot more of my calories from wheat, and I think decreasing my consumption of dairy products would probably be more effective in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of my diet than reducing the amount of rice I eat would be. More broadly, rice is an important source of nutrition and part of the cultural heritage for billions of people and can be grown in places other crops can’t, so I bristle at any implication that people who rely on rice as a staple should cut down on it or are making irresponsible choices by surviving, and throwing shade at consumers who reduce their meat consumption but not rice seems particularly unhelpful.

    That said, the statistics I found about the environmental impact of rice farming did surprise me. I didn’t realize it was such an outlier from other grains in terms of its climate impact, and I am glad that research continues into how to grow rice in less damaging ways. My dive down the rice rabbit hole also highlighted to me how difficult it can be to obtain and interpret information about how our choices affect the environment. Figuring out the full context for the numbers is difficult, and I hope more climate change research organizations will continue to make it easier for everyone to get the information they need to make informed choices.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Evelyn Lamb
    Evelyn Lamb is a freelance math and science writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #19
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    Maybe not plastic after all

    We've discussed plastic rice here and here


    Chris Elliott
    So-called plastic rice could have been the real deal, but stored for a decade

    By Joe Whitworth on October 15, 2019

    Reports about “plastic rice” are likely incorrect according to a food fraud expert who says it could have been actual rice that had been poorly stored for up to a decade.

    Chris Elliott, professor of food safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, said he has been investigating rice fraud for a number of years.

    “That all started off by lots of reports coming from different parts of the world about what was called plastic rice. People were claiming that they were being sold rice that was made from plastic. As someone who studies food fraud I was quite interested in this,” he told Food Safety News while he was in Edinburgh to meet the head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU).

    “The first thing, when we looked at the economics, actually plastic is more expensive than rice so you (know) it is not made from plastic. Then you think why would people think they are eating rice made from plastic? It took quite a long time to uncover what we think was going on and I spent some time in South East Asia asking lots of questions.

    “Plastic rice is not made from plastic, it is rice that has been stored for up to 10 years and not stored particularly well. The rice had become badly contaminated with molds and instead of that nice white color, had turned into an unpleasant green color and what the fraudsters had done was they had taken that rice out of the stores and bleached it to get back the white color.

    “The only problem was whenever you bleach rice it loses the nice shiny surface so to get that back they sprayed it with paraffin wax. With that paraffin coating on it, it didn’t cook properly, hence the reason it was called plastic rice.”

    Smartphone-based analysis

    The university has been trying to develop quick analytical tests for the past couple of years so people can detect the difference between genuine rice and product that has been treated badly in terms of chemicals.

    “There has been a big push in terms of how science and technology can detect and deter food fraud,” said Elliott.

    “In terms of my own work at Queen’s University, we are looking at how we can use the thing that we all have in our pocket to detect food fraud. So doing a lot of smartphone-based analysis. Using fingerprints of food we can build these mathematical models of what the fingerprint of food should look like. Just six weeks ago I was in a marketplace in Ghana checking for fraud in rice using my smartphone.”

    Elliott said Europe has a good food safety network so people would not try to sell very low quality product into the region because the systems would pick it up.

    “In the U.K. and wider Europe we don’t need consumers to check if our food has been fraudulently produced. We’ve got a great infrastructure of government agencies and a fantastic food industry that are doing all that for us,” he said.

    “What we want to do is put these tools in the hands of people in the food industry, government inspectors and environmental health officers to do that checking for us. In the developing world it is very different because that infrastructure doesn’t exist there, we want to put those tools in the hands of consumers to make informed decisions.

    “The plastic rice is being sold to parts of the world that don’t have those checks and measures. It is not just in South East Asia; in Sub-Saharan Africa it crops up regularly where it is not only rice, they are generally sold the worst of the worst. Anything that cannot go into Europe because of food safety standards will end up getting dumped in Sub-Saharan Africa. They will sell to countries where they don’t have the measures to check and test for these things.”

    Elliott led the independent review of Britain’s food system following the 2013 horsemeat scandal and is joint coordinator of EU-China-Safe, an EU Horizon 2020 project that runs until August 2021. There are 16 participants from the EU and 17 from China with an aim to improve food safety and combat fraud.

    Predictions and problems caused by Brexit

    A lot of work goes into trying to predict what the next problem might be.

    “We’re developing predictive analytics, gathering lots of information from different parts of the world,” said Elliott.

    “Thinking about what is happening to our climate and the way food is traded around the world, to try and predict where there will be problems, shortages and more demand than availability of foodstuffs. That is not only to guide our research but we inform the industry and government agencies about what we think their surveillance program should be not now but six months or a year down the road.”

    Regarding Brexit, Elliott said it is not a question of if it will cause problems but how big they will be.

    “As soon as you start to change rules and regulations that gives a massive opportunity for people who cheat and that happens the world over. There will be potentially a massive amount of fraud around tariffs as they are going to change. I think the potential for lots of smuggling from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain will happen as well,” he said.

    “The other big factor, the thing that worries me even more, is that the U.K. will get cut off from the established European networks that share information and intelligence. Fraudsters aren’t silly, they will know the disconnect between the U.K. and Europe and they will maximize that opportunity.

    “There will be difficulties in terms of the informal relationships as well, I know the regulatory agencies across the country can pick up the phone and talk to their counterparts in Germany or France but will that be the same case going forward, I doubt it somehow. It has not been a frictionless proposition about leaving Europe, I think it is going to take years to rebuild some of those relationships that we once had.”
    This makes a lot more sense to me than plastic rice did.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #20
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    Global markets + world politics = lost livelihoods

    Hong Kong protests, cheap Chinese rivals: why Thai rice is in crisis
    The country was once the world’s top exporter but it has been hit by a triple whammy of unrest in Hong Kong, a strong baht and tough competition
    With rice front and centre in Thai politics, that’s bad news for Bangkok
    Jitsiree Thongnoi
    Published: 12:15pm, 17 Nov, 2019


    Rice at a market in Bangkok. Photo: AFP

    Thai rice, once dominant on the world market, is now facing a triple whammy of a strong baht, tough competition from Asian neighbours and social unrest in Hong Kong that is weighing on demand.
    The weaker sales overseas are part of a lacklustre performance by the country’s export sector amid an almost 10 per cent rise in the currency against the US dollar since the beginning of the year. Rice exports have been left exposed to stiff competition from large producers such as India, Vietnam and China.
    Traders have also blamed continuing anti-government protests in Hong Kong, where about half of rice classified as premium produce comes from Thailand. The number of tourists visiting the Chinese city has plunged in recent months, from 5.1 million in July to 3.1 million in September.


    Thai farmers harvest rice in a field in Thailand’s southern Narathiwat province. Photo: AFP

    Thailand exported 143,000 tonnes of rice to Hong Kong between January and September last year.
    In the same period this year, the country managed only 127,000 tonnes – an 11 per cent drop.
    “Thai premium white rice caters mainly to Hong Kong’s tourism sector,” said Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA). “But we have seen fewer shipments to Hong Kong in recent months as there is lower demand from restaurants and hotels.”
    Thailand’s share of the city’s rice market peaked in 2016 at 64 per cent, but Laothamatas said it had since fallen to about 52 per cent.
    However, a source at Chaitip, a major rice trading company that has been exporting to Hong Kong for more than a century, said the demonstrations had not been as damaging as recent price rises.
    “The lower demand is not due to the unrest, it is because jasmine rice has become too expensive,” said the source.
    “Droughts in many parts of Thailand this year have led to lower production of jasmine rice, which is why the price has shot up.”
    Thai hom mali, or premium jasmine rice, is the country’s most recognisable rice product. Its slim and aromatic grain now costs about 1,200 baht (US$39) per tonne, while Vietnam’s white rice is priced at about half that figure.
    The industry is crucial for Thailand because of the large number of Thais who depend on it. It supports as much as 30 per cent of the country’s 69-million population, according to Chookiat Ophaswongse, TREA’s special president.


    Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra relied heavily on government subsidies to rice producers to win political support. Photo: AP

    It has often been central to Thai politics, with the country’s farmers holding considerable political influence. Support from Thailand’s rural northeast was central to the electoral success of the Shinawatra family between 2001 and 2014. Former prime ministers Thaksin and his sister Yingluck relied heavily on government subsidies to rice producers, who in turn formed the backbone of their populist “red shirt” movement, which clashed repeatedly with anti-Thaksin, pro-monarchy “yellow shirts”. The conflict led to a military intervention in 2014 that only ended this year with elections in March.
    Until 2012 Thailand was the world’s top rice exporter in terms of volume, but India took the top spot after it lifted a ban on non-basmati rice exports in 2011.
    The loss of Thailand’s prized position came in the wake of a “rice-pledging scheme” embarked on by Yingluck’s administration. The government bought rice from farmers at inflated prices, which sent the price of the product upwards on the world market while forcing down demand. An 18-million-tonne stockpile was accumulated by the state, the last of which was shipped out to market only last year, when total exports for the year stood at 11 million tonnes.
    The disastrous programme cost the government US$8 billion, according to figures from the military, which cited it as a major justification for its coup that deposed Yingluck in 2014. The prime minister was subsequently sentenced in absentia to five years in prison, and the military junta then worked hard to court Thai rice farmers before it relinquished power this year.


    Bags of rice stacked at a factory in Bangkok. Photo: AFP

    Nipon Puapongsakorn, a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation, said the government subsidy programme was a short-sighted attempt to maintain Thailand’s agricultural productivity and competitiveness.
    The state last month also began paying farmers across Thailand who have joined a rice price guarantee scheme.
    The scheme ensures farmers are paid the difference when the price falls below a predetermined benchmark. It covers five types of rice, including those from the country’s hom mali paddy and glutinous rice paddy, which are badly affected by drought and floods.
    The programme will run until October next year, but several other subsidies and financial support schemes for rice farmers and growers of other crops, including oil palm, cassava, rubber and corn, will be available for longer.
    Sudarat Keyuraphan, a key member of Thailand’s Shinawatra-backed Pheu Thai political party, this week said the government subsidy would allow middlemen to reduce the price of rice further when they bought from farmers.
    But Puapongsakorn said these measures were only short term. “The budget for subsidy programmes is much higher than that for rice research, which helps Thailand stay competitive in the long run,” he said.
    The researcher added that India’s development of hybrid fragrant rice and Vietnam’s research into soft white rice for export had seen Thailand’s jasmine rice lose its charm among international buyers.
    “Vietnam has lower costs and the country’s currency is under control,” he said. “The government needs to develop new types of rice that meet more of the market demand.”
    Vietnam is now the third-biggest supplier in the world.
    Meanwhile, China, with its estimated rice stockpile of more than 100 million tonnes, has begun releasing supply to African countries, further edging out Thai producers, according to Puapongsakorn. He said China’s exports rose more than 70 per cent last year due to demand from Africa, with Ivory Coast the country’s biggest customer.
    Chinese white rice cost US$300 a tonne in July, while similar grains from Thailand were quoted at US$390, those from Vietnam at US$360, and India at US$370, according to Thai media.
    Market share for Thailand in Africa stood at 51 per cent last year, TREA figures show.
    Laothamatas said TREA had cut its export target for this year to less than 8.5 million tonnes, down from the usual figure of between 9 million and 9.5 million.
    “There was no competition 20 years ago, but there is competition everywhere now, from India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Cambodia,” he said. “We need to develop new rice varieties and reduce our costs so that we can compete.”
    Ophaswongse told Bloomberg that the competition was “killing us all”. “We don’t know what else we can do. We tried reducing costs, but the baht keeps making our rice more expensive,” he said.
    “We can only sit and wait, and some might have to quit the business.” ■
    THREADS
    Rice
    Hong Kong protests
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #21
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    Color distinctions

    I found this quite informative.

    What's The Healthiest Rice? Brown Rice And White Rice Face Off
    You might want to update your takeout order.
    BY CHRISTINE YU
    NOV 29, 2019

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/poke-bowls-with-ponzu-dressing-royalty-free-image-1574370421.jpg?resize=980:*[/IMG]
    LUCHEZAR GETTY IMAGES

    If you've hesitated when picking between white rice and brown rice while ordering from your favorite takeout joint, you're definitely not the only one. White rice tastes so good soaked in sweet and sour sauce, but isn't brown rice better for you?

    Considering the age of keto and low-carb everything has many people throwing grains out the window, figuring out what type of rice is the healthiest (and if rice is honestly healthy at all) has never been more confusing.

    Should you stick to brown rice—or skip the starchy stuff altogether? Well, it depends. Many nutrition experts advocate that grains can totally fit into a balanced diet—as long as you choose your variety (and portion size) wisely.

    Don't worry, your love affair with poke bowls is far from doomed. Here, dietitians break down the healthy (and not-so-healthy) types of rice—and how to make the grain work for you.

    The big question: Is brown rice healthier than white rice?
    Yep, it’s more than just color that sets these two types of rice apart.

    “Brown rice contains all three parts of the grain: the bran, endosperm and germ," says dietitian Marisa Moore, RDN. SparkNotes: Yes, that means brown rice is a whole grain.

    “White rice, meanwhile, goes through processing that removes the bran and germ, leaving just the starchy endosperm,” says Moore. So, nope, not a whole grain.

    That processing has a pretty major impact on rice's nutrition. “White rice has been stripped of most of its protein, fiber, B vitamins and minerals," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, dietitian and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. (Because of this, a lot of companies in the US actually fortify white rice with the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, folic acid—and iron—to revive some shred of nutrition.)

    “Brown rice, then, contains more protein, fiber, and nutrients than white rice, making it more filling and satisfying," Harris-Pincus says. "It also has a lower glycemic index, meaning one serving of brown rice raises blood sugar less than the same serving of white rice.”

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/germinated-brown-rice-close-ups-royalty-free-image-1574370845.jpg?resize=768:*[/IMG]
    KUMACORE GETTY IMAGES

    To put the differences in perspective, here's the nutritional information for one cup of cooked brown rice, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

    Calories: 238
    Fat: 1.87 g
    Carbohydrates: 49.6 g
    Fiber: 3.12 g
    Sugar: 0.47 g
    Protein: 5.32 g
    Sodium: 202 mg

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/rice-royalty-free-image-1574371373.jpg?resize=768:*[/IMG]
    ALEAIMAGE GETTY IMAGES

    And the nutritional information for a cup of cooked white rice, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

    Calories: 204
    Fat: 0.44 g
    Carbohydrates: 44.2 g
    Fiber: 0.63 g
    Sugar: 0.08 g
    Protein: 4.22 g
    Sodium: 387 mg
    Though a serving of brown rice is higher in calories, it provides more balanced nutrition—and is generally a better pick—than a serving of the white stuff.

    Got it. So what are the healthiest types of rice?

    Okay, so you know that brown rice is technically healthier than white—but brown and white rice aren't the only players in the game. In fact, other varieties of rice may be even better for you than brown rice.

    According to Moore, red rice and black rice actually compete for the title of "healthiest rice."

    “Black rice has been shown to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the rice varieties,” Moore says. “It gets its deep purple-black color from anthocyanins, the same pigments that give blackberries their antioxidant power."

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/full-frame-of-black-forbidden-rice-royalty-free-image-1574370894.jpg?resize=768:*[/IMG]
    DOUGLAS SACHA GETTY IMAGES

    Here's the nutrition information for a serving of black rice, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

    Calories: 160
    Fat: 1.5 g
    Carbohydrates: 34 g
    Fiber: 1 g
    Sugar: 0 g
    Protein: 4 g
    Sodium: 0 mg
    Though perhaps not as impressive as black rice, red rice also boasts a solid antioxidant profile, Moore says. (It actually has more fiber than black rice, though.) When it comes to these body-protecting compounds, brown rice can't really compete.

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/texture-of-red-rice-royalty-free-image-1574370921.jpg?resize=768:*[/IMG]
    VICTOR CARDONER GETTY IMAGES

    Check out the general nutrition stats for a serving of red rice, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

    Calories: 160
    Fat: 1.5 g
    Carbohydrates: 34 g
    Fiber: 5 g
    Sugar: 0 g
    Protein: 4 g
    Sodium: 30 mg

    And then, of course, there's wild rice. Another popular—and healthy—pick, wild rice is particularly unique because, well, it's not actually rice.

    “Wild rice looks and cooks like rice, but it's technically the seed of an aquatic grass," says Harris-Pincus. "It contains more protein, fiber, potassium, and zinc than brown or white rice." It's also lower in calories and carbs.

    [IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/wild-black-and-red-rice-directly-above-view-macro-royalty-free-image-1574370971.jpg?resize=768:*[/IMG]
    MIKROMAN6 GETTY IMAGES
    Finally, here's the nutrition information for a serving of wild rice, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

    Calories: 166
    Fat: 0.6 g
    Carbohydrates: 35 g
    Fiber: 2.9 g
    Sugar: 1.2 g
    Protein: 6.5 g
    Sodium: 4.9 mg

    So does that mean pre-made or packaged rice is a no-go?

    Though funkier rice varieties are your most nutritious picks, don’t completely discount the pre-made stuff—especially when you have zero time to cook from scratch.

    “Packaged rice can be a healthy choice, especially compared to some other convenience foods," says Moore. Just check the label for unnecessary ingredients or high amounts of sodium.”

    To keep it clean, opt for the plain versions of frozen or microwavable rice products. Uncle Ben's Chicken and Broccoli Ready Rice, for example, contains almost 500 milligrams (half your daily limit) of sodium.

    “In small portions, the nutritional differences are small," says Harris-Pincus. "But if you consume large portions (one cup or more) of rice several times per week, the differences add up.”

    Want to add rice to your diet? Here’s the healthiest way to do it.

    When choosing between types of rice, taste matters, says Moore.

    “I grew up on rice and still love it," says Moore. It's an inexpensive blank canvas to build upon.”

    Depending on the type of dish you're making (like an Asian-inspired stir fry versus colorful macro bowl), you might want to choose the type of rice you use based on the flavors you're after, Moore says. “Some recipes taste best and are most authentic using white rice, while others work well with the nutty flavor of brown rice."


    Whatever type of rice you choose, just keep portion sizes in mind. “If you love white rice, a small portion [think one-third to one-half of a cup] certainly will not hurt you,” she says.

    Plus, “the good news is that when you cook and then cool white rice, it forms 'resistant starch,'" says Harris-Pincus. This type of starch is resistant to digestion, so eating cooled rice will have less of an effect on your blood sugar. WIN.

    The bottom line: Though brown, red, wild, and black rices are more nutritious than white rice, you can incorporate all types of rice into your diet as long as you stay mindful of portions.

    CHRISTINE YU
    Christine Yu is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and avid runner who regularly covers health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness for outlets like Well + Good, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and Outside.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #22
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    RIP Yuan Longping

    Yuan Longping, whose hybrid rice helped feed the world, dies at 90

    Rice researcher Yuan Longping, at center in 2017, in a field of hybrid rice in northern China. (Chinatopix/AP)
    By
    Harrison Smith
    May 25, 2021 at 5:39 p.m. PDT
    Yuan Longping, a Chinese scientist who developed strains of hybrid high-yield rice that helped alleviate famine and poverty around the world, enabling farmers to feed a growing planet with fewer resources, died May 22 at a hospital in Changsha, China. He was 90.

    The cause was multiple organ failure, according to the state-run People’s Daily newspaper. Mr. Yuan had been hospitalized in March after falling at a rice-breeding center in southern China, and reportedly continued to track the weather and monitor crops from his bed.

    Known in China as “the father of hybrid rice,” Mr. Yuan was one of his country’s most revered scientists, a self-described “intellectual peasant” who spent a few hours each day in the fields, sometimes taking a break from his research to play the violin among the stalks. Once targeted by Communist officials for daring to suggest a slight change to Mao Zedong’s agricultural program, he emerged as a national hero in recent decades, with thousands of mourners leaving chrysanthemums for him at a memorial service in Changsha.

    In the early 1970s, Mr. Yuan and his team developed hybrid strains that typically yielded 20 percent more rice than conventional varieties, transforming Chinese agriculture after years of famine and scarcity. Some 10,000 years after Chinese farmers began cultivating rice near the Yangtze River, the country now produces more than 200 million tons of rice a year, more than any other nation.

    Rather than limit his rice technology and growing techniques to China, Mr. Yuan pushed to share them with the world. He ultimately partnered with the United Nations and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, in addition to teaching farmers in India, Vietnam and elsewhere how to grow hybrid rice. In 2004, he was awarded the World Food Prize with rice researcher Monty Jones of Sierra Leone, and credited with helping “create a more abundant food supply and more stable world.”


    Mr. Yuan receives the World Food Prize in 2004 with Monty Jones, right. (Bill Neibergall/Des Moines Register/AP)
    Along with American scientist Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who developed high-yield varieties of wheat, Mr. Yuan was frequently cited as a leader of the Green Revolution, in which mid-century agricultural advances helped feed a growing planet. If the term was somewhat ironic, suggesting an alternative to China’s “red” communist revolution, it nonetheless suggested the scope of Mr. Yuan’s research, which influenced the cultivation of a staple crop that nourishes half the world’s population.

    “He wanted to reach as many people as possible, so the problem of food could be solved globally,” said Jauhar Ali, a senior scientist at the International Rice Research Institute. In a phone interview, he added that hybrid strains account for about 15 percent of world rice production. “We have to attribute this to Yuan Longping,” he said. “Had he not been there, China would have starved.”

    Born in Beijing on Sept. 7, 1930, Yuan Longping was the son of a railroad official and English teacher. His family moved frequently, uprooted by war between China and Japan, then between nationalists and communists. He said he became fascinated by flowers and trees after visiting a horticultural center as a student in Wuhan.

    Mr. Yuan studied agronomy at what was then Southwest Agricultural College in Chongqing. After graduating in 1953, he taught at an agricultural college in Changsha, where his focus shifted from sweet potatoes to rice. High-yield hybrid corn was already in production, and Mr. Yuan sought to do something similar with rice, a self-pollinating crop that posed a far greater challenge for plant breeders.

    Beginning in the late 1950s, his research was further stimulated by the Great Leap Forward, a government campaign to bring industry to the countryside, which resulted in catastrophic famine and tens of millions of deaths. “At that time, grain was even more precious than gold,” Mr. Yuan told China Daily in a 2011 interview. “I never had a full stomach during that period, and that bitter memory is unforgettable.”

    Mr. Yuan said he saw at least five people who had collapsed on the side of the road, dead from starvation. In an autobiography, he recalled that some tried to fend off hunger by eating grass roots and bark or by double-steaming rice, which caused it to expand.

    In the wake of the famine came the Cultural Revolution, a decade-long period of upheaval in which perceived foes of Mao were persecuted or killed. Mr. Yuan was targeted as an intellectual but saved by an official who “recognized the value of his research,” according to historian Sigrid Schmalzer’s book “Red Revolution, Green Revolution” (2016). He was later “sent to a coal mine to ‘temper’ himself and reform his thought,” Schmalzer wrote, and freed after a pair of students vouched for his character.

    Mr. Yuan forged ahead with his research, concluding in the mid-1960s that male-sterile rice plants were key to producing a vigorous, high-yield hybrid strain. He later recalled looking through tens of thousands of ears of rice, often while walking barefoot through the paddy field, before he and his team located the right plant on Hainan Island in 1970.

    Using the Hainan plant and a new technique for transferring genetic material into commercial strains, he and his team developed the high-yield hybrid in 1973. Large-scale cultivation began in 1976, the same year Mao died. Under the Communist leader’s successor, Hua Guofeng, Mr. Yuan rose to prominence in China for the first time.

    In an email, Schmalzer said that during the Cultural Revolution, “the radical politics favored emphasizing the collective nature of the research, including the important contributions of peasant technicians.” By the mid-1970s, Chinese publications were celebrating the way in which Mr. Yuan’s research team had grown “from a small number of specialists’ experiments to a new phase of a thousand armies and ten thousand horses.”


    Mr. Yuan in 2018. (Yang Huafeng/China News Service/Getty Images)
    Mr. Yuan later directed a national hybrid rice research and development center and lent his name to a Chinese seed company. He carried the Olympic Torch in 2008 as it passed through Hunan province en route to Beijing, and in 2019 he was awarded the Medal of the Republic, the country’s highest official honor, by President Xi Jinping.

    Survivors include his wife, Deng Zhe; three sons; and several grandchildren.

    In recent years, Mr. Yuan and his team developed new varieties of salt-tolerant rice. Amid suggestions that he engineer rice with improved taste or texture, he said he remained focused on ensuring there was enough food to go around. He dreamed of creating “rice crops taller than men,” he said, in which “each ear of rice was as big as a broom and each grain as huge as a peanut.”

    In his dream, he told state media, he “could hide in the shadow of the rice crops with a friend.”


    By Harrison Smith
    Harrison Smith is a reporter on The Washington Post's obituaries desk. Since joining the obituaries section in 2015, he has profiled big-game hunters, fallen dictators and Olympic champions. He sometimes covers the living as well, and previously co-founded the South Side Weekly, a community newspaper in Chicago.
    “the father of hybrid rice”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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