Monday, March 25, 2013

Rice To Feed the World

 Grown for thousands of years, rice has been a food held dear to countless cultures throughout history. Used for everything from comfort food to a religious offering, rice's significance isn't diminishing anytime soon- in fact it is steadily increasing. Accounting for 90% of the world's population and consumption of rice, Asia takes the prize for the biggest rice producer in the world. 

Rice plays an important role in Hindu and Buddhist religious services, two of the major religions of Asia. There is even a Chinese proverb that says that 'precious things are not pearls and jade but the five grains, of which rice is the finest.' There are Chinese myths that say that when the people were starving after a flood, long yellow seeds grew into rice and saved the hungry villagers. 

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So even though, rice being an important part of many cultures and customs is nothing new, it has been said that the plan is to raise the production of rice by 70% in the next few decades after research has shown how rice is a cheap way to provide nutrition for those who need it most. Demands for rice are continuing to grow as people have figured out that if given to poorer urban families, rice can provide up to half of their necessary calories each day. 

The origin of rice or the people who first discovered is unclear, but what is certain is that rice has fed more people for more years than any other crop in history. 

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