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Oryza Sativa

A picture of rice with back-lighting morning sun. It doesn’t say much isn’t it? Well here's a couple of interesting facts about rice for your amusement:


1. More than 90 percent of the world's rice is grown and consumed in Asia, where people typically eat rice two or three times a daily. Rice is the staple diet of half the world's population.


2. Rice farming has been traced back to around 5,000BC. Meanwhile wheel was not invented until 4000BC. Those ancient farmer worked hard. Really hard.


3. It takes 5,000 liters of water to produce 1 kg of irrigated rice. That is enough to supply an average adult 7 years worth of drinking water, or in my case, 25 years. I don’t drink enough water.


4. The average Asian consumer eats 150 kg of rice annually compared to the average European who eats 5 kg. In Burma, a person consumes about 230 kg of rice a year. Now Burmese cat, do they eat rice?


5. In several Asian languages the words for 'food' and 'rice' are identical. The Korean term for meals is "bap 밥" which means rice. It is equivalent to the Japanese word "meshi めし" which also means rice. Both of which are also equivalent to the Chinese word "fan 飯" which also means rice.


6. In Indonesia we have a lot of name for rice based on how you processed it. Unmilled rice called ‘padi’. Milled rice called ‘beras’. Cooked/steamed rice called ‘nasi’. You cook and pack it tightly into a rolled-up banana leaf? ‘lontong’. Using coconut leaves instead? ‘ketupat’. Cook it for too long and it becomes ‘bubur’. Hence the saying “Nasi sudah jadi bubur”, basically means “Its too late”.


7. Japanese people believe it is important to not waste rice, so it you leave rice in your bowl it is considered to be rude. How they can pick the bowl clean using chopstick continue to amaze me.

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Taken on January 29, 2011