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Rainbow of Colors: Brown, Red, Black and Yellow Rice
Being grown as an annual plant, Asian (oryza sativa ) and African (oryza glaberrima ) rice is the staple food of Asia and in the West Indies.
Planting rice requires hard work as the field needs to be ready, usually by plowing the field as the first step. Farmers also survey the field, pulls weeds that emerges and pick up snails (usually golden apple snails) that they would see as this snails are invasive and would eat up the young rice seedlings. This is what I saw during my childhood as I grow up in the farm. Back then, farmers used carabaos on plowing and later on as I grow up, the kuliglig has also been use for plowing as substitute for the carabao, which is known as the "farmers best friend.".
This is a kuliglig, and is powered by a multi-purpose gasoline engine. In the Philippines, farmers use it to get the field ready. The name literally pertains to the sound of cricket. And I remember I hate hearing the sound it emits as it goes on for days.
A farmer would start using it in the morning, take a break for lunch and continue working until all the rice fields that needs to be work at are done. That watery line behind him is what the kuliglig machine had covered so far. The man in here would hold onto the kuliglig as he goes into a straight line, then back and forth until he had plowed the whole field.
Once the field was ready, farmers would start planting the rice seedlings. And these could go on for days too. And one thing that is hard to deal with during the planting, aside from the sizzling heat, is the lower back pain. But the hard work doesn't end from planting seedlings. The farmers need to keep an eye for the weeds and pest that might ruin the plant until the harvesting season, or else there's no rice for all of us to enjoy.
The white rice, that is so common on grocery stores and on Asian markets.
To produce a white rice, the husk of the grain has to be remove, and next to that is the gran and the germ which is the next layer. This process results of losing some vitamins and minerals that we can get from consuming white rice.
This black rice known as the "forbidden rice" or "Chinese black rice," is rich in nutrients, iron, antioxidants and has fiber. Another interesting thing about this is that once cooked, the color turned to be deep purple in color.
And one belief that I heard associated with black rice in the Philippines was, once a human was taken in the fairy realm or to the world of dwarves, they would offer you all kinds of foods and would make you eat a black rice. Once a human ate the black rice, the possibility of returning into the mortal world would be impossible.
A grain that has beta-carotene! This yellow colored rice is called "golden rice," and has been designed to produce beta-carotene.
I guessed we can say that the golden rice is a science baby since this rice was produced from genetic engineering.
This red rice has also been known for some other names. Few other names used for it are red koji rice, and red fermented rice.
As to some health benefits, this red rice has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for the promotion of blood circulation and to improve the digestive health and can counteract cholesterol production by the chemical monacolins that this red rice has.
Just like the black rice, brown rice also offers protein, fiber, minerals and other nutrients. Other name the brown rice has is "hulled rice" as it is partly milled.
To produce a brown rice, only the husk which is the outermost layer of the grain is remove. Unlike with white rice production where the next layer, the bran and germ has to be remove as well.
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