Rice: Everything You Need to Know

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You may enjoy using rice to complete several of your favorite dishes, but there’s a lot you still may not know about rice. It just so happens to be the number one main food and crop that’s consumed in the world today. It makes up more than a staggering 50%, while maize and wheat follow closely behind.

Rice is especially an important food source for low to mid-income families around the globe because of its low cost compared to wheat.  Here is some more information on rice and everything you need to know about it. Rice: everything you need to know. 

Interesting Facts on Rice: Everything You Need to Know 

Rice on a table

Did you happen to know that the Great Wall of China was built with sticky rice to help hold it together? Although thought to have originated in China as early as 10,000 years ago, the first written account mentioning rice dates back to 2800 BC by a Chinese emperor. 

It also happens to be grown on every continent on the globe, except Antarctica. Nine out of ten people that consume rice are of Asian origin and rice is often used to pay debts and wages in that part of the world. Japan even named two well-known car brands after rice; Honda (Main Rice Field)  and Toyota (Bountiful Rice Field).  

Rice also stores for long periods of time without going bad, which makes it a great food to have on hand during an emergency. Just be sure to store it away in a dry and cool part of the pantry or other storage areas. Rice generally does not have much of a smell to it, so if you’re noticing a moldy or rotten smell, you need to toss it out.  

Types of Rice

Can you believe there are over 40,000 different types of rice that exist in the world? For your sake, we’ll just mention a few. Rice can be broken up into several categories due to the differences in size, texture, aroma, and color. When it comes to size, you can find long, medium and short-grain rice. 

For texture, you have sticky and parboiled rice that’s been steam pressured. For differences in color, you’ll find white, brown, wild, and polished rice. There are also rice varieties such as Jasmine and Basmati that give off a pleasant aroma while they are being cooked.   

Differences Between White and Brown Rice

Many people will argue that brown rice is better for you than white rice, but it’s actually more a give and take between the two. White rice has been processed by removing both the grain and the germ.

Unlike many other processed foods, it doesn’t necessarily mean that white rice is not good for you. Brown rice happens to be a grain that still contains the bran and the germ, leaving them with more nutrients than white rice.

While brown contains more protein and fiber than white rice does, it also has more carbohydrates and calories. Just remember brown rice ONLY has a shelf-life of six months, so I do not recommend it for a long-term shortage plan.

Nutrition Info

Rice is a good source of energy and has calcium, vitamin E, folate, and iron. It also has plenty of carbohydrates, while providing only a fair amount of protein.

The nutrition in rice depends not only on the variety but also on how it is processed and prepared. As far as the best nutrition option when it comes to rice, we recommend you use Basmati rice.  

Foods with Rice 

There are hundreds of dishes and ways that you can make a great meal using rice. It goes well with almost anything, especially beans, vegetables, salsa, seafood, pork, beef, chicken, and so much more.

Some popular dishes include saffron rice, curried rice, jambalaya fried rice, seafood risotto, citrus, and lemon rice. 

No matter what flavorful Chinese dish you enjoy, we bet just about every time it has rice accompanying it. (Unless you prefer lo mein or other Thai noodle dishes.)  Here are several rice recipes you’ve probably never thought of, that we’re sure your family will love.   

Rice Milk

Many people love cow milk but are not able to drink it because of lactose or nut allergies. So instead, they turn to rice or soy milk as an alternative.

Most varieties of rice milk are usually unsweetened and made from brown rice, but still have a sweet taste due to the natural enzymatic process.

The only downside to rice milk is that it doesn’t contain the amount of protein and calcium that is present in cow’s milk.   

Brewing with Rice

You probably already knew that beer is made using barley. Did you know many craft beers that you enjoy happen to be brewed using rice? Rice is combined with barley malt to help yield a lighter and clean-tasting lager.

Many people accuse beer companies of “cheapening” the cost to make beer using rice as an ingredient, but with great results, it’s hard to argue.   

How It’s Prepared

Rice can be cooked by steaming or boiling. Rice, just like beans, is a great way to stretch a meal, making it more filling while paying less.

It’s also extremely important to use the correct rice while making a dish, as choosing the wrong rice can dramatically change the flavor and texture of a recipe. Rice that is already cooked and leftover can last in the refrigerator for around 4 to 6 days. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to add flavor to your rice, try adding 4 to 5 drops of extra virgin olive oil and slowly begin to heat. Then take a large pinch of salt and add it to the rice and stir it in. 

For every cup of rice that you use, you’ll need 2 cups of water. After about 15-18 minutes begin fluffing it with a fork. It’s totally optional, but you can also add the powdered stock, herbs, lemon pepper, garlic, or onion powder based on your preferences. 

You can use your Instant Pot or Rice Cooker like these to cook your rice as well.

Final Word 

Is there anything interesting that you weren’t aware of before concerning everything mentioned about rice in this article? What are some of your favorite dishes that you prepare rice with that your family absolutely loves?

I hope this answered all your questions about rice: everything you need to know. May God bless this world, Linda

Rice Recipes on Food Storage Moms

Fried Rice by Food Storage Moms

22 thoughts on “Rice: Everything You Need to Know

  • January 25, 2020 at 7:58 am
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    I froze a 20 pound bag of white rice. Needless to say 8 months slipped by. First off is it still any good. Second, how would i go about storing it long term in mylar bags. My concerns are condensation. Please help….lol

    Reply
    • January 25, 2020 at 1:42 pm
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      Hi Tommy, I don’t know if it’s still okay, to be honest. I think it would be fine for cooking, so start cooking some every night if you need to. I do not use Mylar bags. For long term storage, I buy storage from Thrive Life in #10 cans. It lasts 30 years in optimal temperatures. I have short term storage and long-term storage. My long-term storage I only buy from commercial companies. I wasted $1200.00 many years ago “dry canning” food from a church facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. All the oxygen absorbers were not the right size and they were not the right kind for the food I was processing. It’s a volunteer group. You get what you pay for. It was an expensive mistake on my part. Linda

      Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 10:15 am
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    Hi Linda,
    There are a couple of points I think people need to know or be reminded of.
    1. Brown rice has a very short shelf life.
    2. Long grain rice is the only rice recommended for long term food storage.
    3. Many governments around the world mandate that white rice is enriched with vitamins. However, if the rice is washed prior to cooking or cooked in too much water which is then drained off, the vitamins are washed away. These changes came about due to the staggering increase in cases of beriberi when people switched from eating brown rice to white rice.

    Have a great day!

    Reply
    • January 25, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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      HI Jennifer, yes, I have pointed out the 6 months shelf life in many of my posts. I better go add that for new readers. I never recommend brown rice for food storage. It makes no sense. Short-term is fine. Great comment, Linda

      Reply
    • January 28, 2020 at 10:36 am
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      I was given a 10 pd. bag of parboiled rice is it good for long term storage? It is long grain rice thanks for any advice

      Reply
      • January 28, 2020 at 11:14 am
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        Hi Debbie,

        A BYU study on the long term storage of regular and parboiled rice showed that the acceptability of parboiled rice decreases over time (20-30 years), while that of regular rice did not. However, 88% of the participants in the taste test said that they would eat it in an emergency. It just wasn’t acceptable for normal usage. I think Linda’s site doesn’t allow some links, so I will post the link for the BYU article on the study at on my blog. My article on rice appeared on 3 May 2019, so just go to that date and scroll down to get the link to the BYU study. Clicking on the Permalink below my name should take you to my blog, Prep School Daily.

        Reply
      • January 28, 2020 at 12:06 pm
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        Hi Debbie, parboiled rice is basically rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. It makes it so you can cook the rice quicker. I wonder if you can tell if the rice has been stored properly and for how long. Properly, meaning in a cool dry place. I just read where you can store it for 15-20 years in #10 cans. The bag concerns me, I would store it in mason jars using a FoodSaver for 5 years?? It’s a guess because you don’t know how old the rice is, correct? Linda

        Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 10:24 am
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    I store rice to help those who haven’t prepared. It may not be much, but it will have to do! Linda, I think with the situation in China, it is time for an article review on preparing for a pandemic. It is changing very quickly and becoming dangerous. I have been watching Pandemic at Neflick and it is fascinating. I’m not so sure it isn’t going to be an issue here before too long. We just got over some kind of virus and have been so sick for the entire month of January. I can’t imagine if this came and multiplied in the states. Most of the viruses we have originate in China, so I think it is something to look at. I’m a nurse, and so I am fascinated with this.

    Reply
    • January 25, 2020 at 11:52 am
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      Gayle, I agree with you! I was ready to make the same request of Linda. I have heard there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in at least 22 US states already. One huge problem: this virus incubates up to two weeks before symptoms show up. People are already infected, walking around, spreading a virus that cannot be contained. The spread will be exponential. 2 cases become 4 become 16 become 256 and so on. And the victims do not know they are contagious for up to two weeks. My family is gearing up for the possibility of martial law. The estimate is a minimum of 18 months. I hope Linda will repost info about prepping for a pandemic. Blessings to you, Gayle, and be safe.

      Reply
      • January 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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        HI Deb, I just read that on Friday the CDC has a conference call with reporters and stated they have two confirmed cases in the US. One in Chicago and one in Washington state. The Chicago patient (women) had been in Wuhan and returned home, January 13, 2020. And a few days later reported some symptoms. She is being treated in an isolation in a hospital and reportedly in stable condition. Their monitoring people who may have had contact with her. The CDC screened more than 2000 travelers, in the US at the JFK airport in New York, the Los Angeles airport, the San Francisco International airport, and Atlanta Georgia and Chicago airport. Of all these travelers only 1 was sent in for additional testing. The CDC expects to see more in the coming weeks but the risk to the American public is low at this time. I will repost my pandemic post, thanks again, Linda

        Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 10:43 am
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    Linda ~

    I’m not a big rice fan but do eat it occasionally. A couple of things I recall from my youth are:
    1) mom used leftover rice for breakfast by adding milk, cinnamon and sugar
    2) rice water was used as a skin softening agent & hair conditioner ~ simply save the rinsing water and apply with a wash cloth to your face OR use it to rinse your hair

    I think that using the rice water on my face is the reason I rarely had any breakouts as a teen.

    My favorite way with rice is fried rice ~ no particular recipe. I use leftover meat & veggies, egg, soy sauce or coconut aminos and toasted sesame oil.

    Reply
    • January 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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      Hi Leanne, I love fried rice. It’s so interesting how rice is used for so many things. I love it! Linda

      Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm
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    To start with, I wouldn’t suggest handing out food after a disaster. Word will spread and you might be killed for the food and water you stockpiled. Your best bet is to act like you are starving too. The same goes for bartering ammunition. The one you help will kill you and take what you have for themselves, including your loved ones. Think of the long term reprecussions of your actions. If you see a tiny “might happen”, then don’t do it, it’s not worth the possible consequences.

    Reply
      • January 26, 2020 at 11:43 pm
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        You’re very welcome Linda. At my age 70 I’ve been thru a lot including two historic hurricanes, Camille and Katrina. They hit land about 50 miles apart but many years apart too. I’ve also seen the worse side of humanity when I spent many years in the jungles of southeast Asia. I guess that’s made me a bit suspicious of other people. I’m just now beginning to go around a few people but I still don’t like it very much.
        If I can ever help just drop me a line. I’ve got more education than over 99.999% of the worlds population.

        Reply
        • January 27, 2020 at 3:38 am
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          Hi Wanderer, oh my gosh, we are the same age! I can only imagine what you have seen through your life, I would love to hear more. I’m on the road right now with very poor wifi. Thank you, Linda

          Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm
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    I’d recommend that any plastic sealed bagged rice be placed into the freezer a minimum of 3 days when long term storage contemplated. The parboiled may be exempted. Keep high and secure. Metal container optimized against gnawing teeth on lower level. Even bagged 5lb pinto beans. Unless the window of use is imminent. Proper use of the right sized oxygen absorbers in Mylar can Eliminate the critter eruption. Apparently there may be eggs in the bagged rice. Skinny black long beetles in the rice. Boll Weevil kin in the bean.
    Don’t just set it away for long term storage with crossed fingers. I am adding my experience to the interesting info in this presentation. Otherwise it will be only fit for bird food. Blessings and fair trails in 2020 brudders and sisters.

    Reply
    • January 26, 2020 at 12:29 pm
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      HI Chung, this is why I buy my rice for long term storage from commercial companies, in #10 cans. Then I know it will be great in 20-30 years. Linda

      Reply
  • January 27, 2020 at 2:02 pm
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    I don’t eat rice very often but when I do eat it I LOVE making rice pudding. I even make it with left
    over rice IF I make a Chinese dish. It is a fast simple recipe with very few ingredients. So good

    Reply
  • January 28, 2020 at 6:54 am
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    My mom and grandma use to make rice pudding but I never paid any attention to the recipe. Now as an adult I wanted to make it but had no idea, so I got out my old Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I have worn that cookbook out, it is held together with tape.
    Rice Pudding
    3 eggs lightly beaten
    2 cups milk
    1 1/2 cups rice
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Ground cinnamon
    in a bowl mix all ingredients plus a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Leave cinnamon out of this
    mixture. Pour in a 10×6 pan, bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Stir and sprinkle cinnamon on top
    and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy warm or cold.

    Reply
    • January 28, 2020 at 7:01 am
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      Hi June, oh my gosh, that’s the best cookbook ever. I hadn’t thought to look in that cookbook! Thank you, my friend, Linda

      Reply

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