In the rice fields of Ubud, Bali – Indonesia 2017

Rice is great if your hungry and want two thousand of something. – Mitch Hedburg

However, I’d still prefer two thousand grains of quinoa if I had my choice in the matter. 😘

 

Some food for thought after spending 4 months in Asia…

Did you know rice is an essential crop for feeding the populations of South and South East Asia? Here’s some scary information for you…

Rice provides more than 50% of the calories consumed in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam and 20-44% in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Did you also know that since rice is grown in warm, humid environments conducive to the survival and proliferation of key insect pests that can cause losses of yield up to 70 and even 90% in epidemic years.
Most Asian governments provided subsidies for insecticide purchase and farmers were required to purchase insecticides along with fertilizers in their loan packages.

Insecticides are used to varying degrees in Asian rice fields (% hectares treated to total rice cultivated area):
Cambodia (38%),
Indonesia (75%),
Malaysia (70%),
Philippines (95%),
Thailand (58%),
Vietnam (99%),
Bangladesh (50%),
India (50%).

On average, Asian rice farmers apply insecticides 2-4 times per growing season. Rice losses to insect pests are low in tropical Asia.

South East Asian rice production increased about 40% from 2000 to 2013 while rice production in South Asia increased about 30%. Increased use of pesticides has been one of the significant contributing factors to these increases.

Also, on other research I discovered several cases of ‘organic rice’ being contaminated… here’s one quote: “…three brands of rice sold as organic had traces of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, and these were above the safe limit in two brands. All seven organic rice brands tested by CERC, were found to have heavy metals, copper and lead, but these were within the safe limits”. -http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Now let’s examine rice:

Rice is composed of carbs, with small amounts of protein and virtually no fat. Rice is mainly composed of carbohydrates. Some types may cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, making them unsuitable for diabetics.
White rice contains virtually no fiber, whereas brown rice is a good source. Both types may also contain varying amounts of resistant starch, which may promote colon health.

Rice is generally a poor source of vitamins and minerals. However, considerable amounts may be concentrated in the bran of brown rice.

White rice is a poor source of antioxidants and other plant compounds. However, the bran of brown rice may be a good source of ferulic acid, lignans, and phytic acid.
High consumption of sticky white rice may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes. Consumption of rice from polluted areas should be avoided. It may accumulate high levels of heavy metals, such as arsenic.
Brown rice contains phytic acid, an antinutrient that impairs the absorption of iron and zinc from the same meal.

Now after all this…Β Who’s measuring the impacts of these chemicals on the environment and people’s health?Β I also want to know, since rice isn’t really that nutritional, why don’t we start growing more damn quinoa, whole grains, hemp, chia and other foods in these fields!?!? Rice doesn’t have to be the world’s second widely consumed food, next to corn (which is pretty much all GMO)… ughhh.

Info sourced from:
statistics:
https://croplife.org/…/importance-of-pesticides-for-growin…/

nutrition:Β 
https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/rice/

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