Rice Facts

Rice Facts
Rice is one of the most cultivated grains in the world. It belongs to the family Poaceae. There are 40 000 varieties of rice that differ in size, texture, color and taste. Rice originates from China. People consume rice at least 4000 years. Rice can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. Hundreds of millions tons of rice are produced each year. Depending on the country, rice can be planted and harvested either manually (Asia) or mechanically (North America). New varieties of rice can tolerate drought, floods and salty terrains. Bacterial and fungal diseases and insects are major threats for the successful harvest.
Interesting Rice Facts:
Size of rice depends on the variety. It usually grows from 3.3 to 5.9 inches in height.
Rice has elongated, slender leaves that can reach 20 to 39 inches in length.
Rice develops small flowers collected in pendulous inflorescence. Flowers are pollinated by wind.
Seed of rice is edible part of the plant that is widely used in human diet.
Rice can be white, yellow, golden, brown, purple, red or black in color. All varieties of rice are divided in three major categories based on the size of grain: long, medium and short. Medium and short types are sticky due to high content of starch.
Rice is staple food in most countries in the world. 90% of global rice is produced and consumed in Asia.
Most rice is consumed in Burma: 500 pounds of rice per person each year. Americans consume 20 pounds of rice per person per year.
Rice is rich source of sugars, proteins and vitamins of the B group.
Rice need to be cooked before consumption. Grains of rice swell and become three times bigger during cooking. Rice can be consumed as a part of numerous sweet and salty dishes.
Depending on the culture, rice can be consumed with fork (western societies), chopsticks (China, Korea and Japan) or with hands (India).
Raw rice is used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as rice wine and sake, or in the production of rice milk.
Scientists created genetically altered type of rice that contains beta-carotene. This type of rice is golden in color. Goal of this project is to prevent vitamin deficiency in areas with low level of vitamin A in diet.
Rice symbolizes life and fertility. It is often thrown above the heads of newlyweds after wedding ceremony to ensure happy life filled with children.
Rice can be used as a piece of jewelry. Even though small in size, grain of rice can be personalized with individual's name. That grain can be worn on a necklace after it is placed in the glass tube.
Most types of rice are annual plants (live only one year). Several types of rice can survive and produce grains for up to 30 years.

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