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 and pull weeds that emerge 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 in the Filipino language.
Referring tothe photo above, that watery line behind the man is what the kuliglig machine had covered so far. The man holds on the kuliglig as he goes into a straight line, then back and forth until he had plowed the whole field that needs to be plowed. Working in the rice fields starts early in the morning, only taking a break for lunch and afternoon snack and continue working for the whole day.
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. And that hard work isn't only done for the usual white grains we consume, that same amount of hard work is done for all kinds of rice grains -- white rice, black rice, red rice brown and golden rice.
The white rice, that is so commonly seen on grocery stores and on Asian markets the we consume were grown from hard work and tended with love. But the hard work doesn't end on havesting season. To produce the ready to cook rice grains, the husk of the grain has to be removed, 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.
Black Rice Is Known As The Forbidden 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 black rice. Once a human ate the black rice, the possibility of returning into the mortal world would be impossible.
This red rice has also been known for some other names. Few other names this rice is known for 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.
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.
To produce 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.
Brown rice, just like the black rice, also offers protein and is a good source of fiber, minerals and other nutrients. It helps in boosting the immune system and is rich in anti oxidants. Add to that, it is a good substitute for white rice if you're watching your weight.
Other name the brown rice is known for is "hulled rice" as it is partly milled.