By: Anirudh

Rice with rice plant


Rice originated at least 130 million years ago as wild grass. Cultivated rice, as we know it today, was first grown about 10,000 years ago in south-east Asia, probably in India. There are many different opinions on where rice originated, some believe rice production orginated in China, and was spread to countries such as Sri Lanka and India. It is believed that rice was brought to West Asia and Greece in 300 B.C. by Alexander the Great's armies. (4)

Purpose/Function and Culture

It has been estimated that half the world's population subsists wholly or partially on rice. Ninety percent of the world crop is grown and consumed in Asia. American consumption, although increasing, is still only about 25 lbs. per person annually, as compared with 200 to 400 lb. per person in parts of Asia.

In Hinduism, rice holds great spiritual and ritual significance because of its basic life-sustaining qualities, rice is revered as a potent symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility and therefore is used extensively in Hindu rites and rituals like weddings, starting education, baby first feeding of solid food and during holidays.

The Chinese uses rice for food security, it’s important to the culture, and it’s also an economic importance.

How is rice cultivated

Methods of growing differ greatly in different localities, but in most Asian countries the traditional hand methods of cultivating and harvesting rice are still practiced. The fields are prepared by plowing (animals), fertilizing, and smoothing. The seedlings are started in seedling beds and, after 30 to 50 days, are transplanted by hand to the fields, which have been flooded by rain or river water. During the growing season, irrigation is maintained by dike-controlled canals or by hand watering. The fields are allowed to drain before cutting.

How is rice harvested

Harvesting is the process of collecting the mature rice crop from the field. Paddy harvesting activities include cutting, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling. These can be done individually or a combine harvester can be used to perform the operations simultaneously.

(Threshing is the process of separating the grain from the straw)

How is rice processed  

After rice it taken from the field it goes through five unique processes. These include cleaning, husking, seperating, milling, and grading. In the cleaning stages, unwanted materials are removed from the rice grains. Removed objects can include hey, stones, and straw. After cleaning, the rice is husked to remove the husk from the paddy. Through a ventilation process, brown rice is removed from the husks. Then, using gravitational pull and friction, a paddy seperator seperates the brown rice from unhusked paddy. The unhusked paddy is once again husked. The rice is then milled, which removes the bran layer from brown rice. Finally, the rice is seperated by type through a grader. The rice is packaged by grade and ready for shipment.

How is rice prepared/cooked (example by me)

Taste Vote - "spicy" or "sweet"

1. Two bags with different rice will be passed out.

2. Please eat rice from both packets

3. I will ask for your vote on if you liked the "spicy" or "sweet" one.

Fun Facts (if we get to them)

  • The word "rice" in Chinese also means "food".
  • There are over 40,000 different types of rice
  • Rice is produced on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • When you cook rice, it weighs 3 times its original weight.
  • Around 96% of rice eaten was produced in that same area.
  • 90% of rice is produced in Asia.
  • Rice covers more than 500 million hectares of land.
  • People have been farming rice for over 10,000 years.


1. "History of Rice." History of Rice. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <https://web.duke.edu/soc142/team3/Group%20Rice/History.htm>.                         

2. "The Origin." - Rice. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. <http://www.airea.net/page/3/the-origin>.

3. "Rice." Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/rice.html>.

4. "The Significance of Rice in Hindu Ceremonies | The Classroom | Synonym." The Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. http://classroom.synonym.com/significance-rice-hindu-ceremonies-6681.html.

5. Lbrown7617. "Why Is Rice So Important to Chinese Civilization?" Lbrown7617s Blog. N.p., 12 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. http://lbrown7617.wordpress.com/english-3/why-is-rice-so-important-to-chinese-civilization/.

6. "Step-by-step Production." - IRRI Rice Knowledge Bank. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/step-by-step-production>.

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