There no cereal that can beat rice. Close at its heels are corn and wheat.
- Rice is eaten by more people than any other cereal. It is the staple food of Asians and other tropical countries.
- Rice is more digestible than wheat. Gluten in wheat is hard to digest and can cause a degenerative disease which is common to Americans and Europeans. Corn starch is heavy, and whole corn is hard to digest.
- In making leavened products, rice can be compared with wheat, with today’s leavening agents and techniques. Name any wheat product and rice can match it.
- Rice is affordable and readily available everywhere, principally on the farm and in households, and of course, in the market.
- The rice industry is the mainstay of Asian agriculture. Patronizing it is the greatest incentive to production and it saves the producing country of precious dollar that would otherwise be spent on imported wheat.
- Rice is grown in different types of environment - lowland, upland, knee- or neck-deep basin, in-between trees and palms, on terraces on hillsides and mountains. It is intercropped with legumes and vegetables and other plants (including corn).
- Rice comes in 100,000 cultivars, probably more. These include wild types, varieties, agronomic strains, and genetic lines farmers have been planting through centuries around the world, now in the custody of gene banks, like the rice gene ban kf the International Rice Research Institute.
- When it comes to water regime, rice is a hydrophyte, mesophyte, selectively xerophyte(drought resistant), and moderately halophyte (saline tolerant). It is elevation tolerant, growing many meters above sea level where climate changes to almost temperate conditions.
- The byproducts of rice have many uses from roughage for large animals to mushroom culture and composting. Practically there is no waste in rice.
- Rice hay is made into paper and board, housing materials, mulch, fuel, and the like. It is piled into mandala that lends quaintness to culture through music and dance, and other forms of arts.
- Rice is the best wheat flour substitute and can go will with many native crops in its cultivation, as well as in various food preparations. Rice goes with vegetables, fish, meat, fruit, soup, sweets, sautes, etc. It is made into coffee, or mixed with cocoa.
- Rice has many indigenous uses from suman (rice cake) to bihon (local noodle). It is made into puto and kutsinta. It can be mixed in various proportions with corn starch (maja), ube (halaya), gabi (binagol), and tugui’ (ginatan), cassava (cassava cake and sago).
- Rice is the source of "tiki-tiki" the miracle substitute of milk during the second world war, saving the lives of millions of infants and young children.
- Rice is fermented into rice wine tapoy in the Cordillera and sake among the Japanese, and beer Cooking wine is also made from rice.
- Rice oil is superior to many cooking oils. It has better effect to health than most sources from plants, and animal fat as well.
- New products are being developed from rice - from rice milk to glass manufacture, school paste and plywood binder. Natural antibiotics are known to be of high level in pinawa and unpolished grain.
- Have you heard of black rice - pirurutong? Yes, the whole grain is glutinous and entirely black. Nothing beats its kind. So with pinipig, tinubong, patupat.
Here's a toast to the versatile rice. ~