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Which do you prefer...Beans or Rice?

Updated on June 4, 2010
Photos courtesy of
Photos courtesy of
Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala) with IRRI Head Architect Arthur King, a British national in his wife's consultancy office in Pasay, Manila Philippines (1999-2000)
Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala) with IRRI Head Architect Arthur King, a British national in his wife's consultancy office in Pasay, Manila Philippines (1999-2000)

Ways to Cook Rice, Beans and Grains

June 1 (Tuesday) -Cooking Ingredients: Beans & Pulses or Rice & Grains

Admit it, legumes and grains are the main staple food and cooking ingredients around the world. If you plant any kinds of beans in your farm or backyard, you’ll never need too much water just to make it survive. It’s an alternative crop during those long, hot summer days, especially during ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation). It’s the opposite when you plant rice or wheat; you’ll need irrigation in order to yield a good harvest. Corns are more heat-resistant, so, it is considered a main crop in your farm.

Asian people, like me, grow and eat rice and bean products; Canadians, Europeans and Americans go for wheat products and beans; American Indians grow mostly corn and beans; Africans go for rice, corn and wheat products. Because of globalization, more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of those staple foods.

Rice and Bean Facts

Rice farmers can yield three harvest season annually. Beans can only grow during summer time, not whole year round. Things to consider are the pests that are becoming resistant to many commercial pesticides. Organic farming is now being advocated around the world. There's a thing called Tokyo Protocol that started it all in the late 90s.

Wild rice abound in the Philippines, even before the Spaniards came in 15th century. The tangible proof is the Rice Terraces (one of the Seven Wonders of the Old World) in Benguet, Mountain province in Northern Luzon. During the reign of the Marcoses, IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) was based in the Philippines to produce more durable and pest-resistant varieties of rice. When Travel Man was just applying as a seaman in Manila, he met the chief architect of the IRRI building, Mr. Arthur King, the husband of a former soap commercial model, Mrs. Lydia Lopez-King, owner of a consultancy firm in Pasay City in 2000.

Even in Canada, TM thought that he can only see wheat fields, but rice? Yes, they also have wild rice being harvested in the fields.

In the olden times, it’s a crime to steal rice. Even in Europe, those who steal grains of rice or even wheat were punished. And today, customs personnel guard the seeds of life in every country and other agricultural produce that will be exported to other countries. In the US alone, you cannot even bring a vine of grape or newly grown apple tree without pertinent papers that will support the agricultural items.

More and more varieties of rice are being developed in Asia alone. I am sure you’re familiar with the long and short grain rice used for either ordinary or fancy cooking. The glutinous rice is usually used for making sweet delicacies.

Can I name all about kinds of beans? I first tasted string beans, then the mongo beans. When I went onboard ship, Greeks were used to eating beans (chick peas, kidney beans, green peas, black eyed peas). South Americans, especially native Indians, have enough sources to export it around the world.

Work Displacement

Many Filipino farmers are working in Japan soil to grow jasmine rice (the one used in sushi rice) because most Japanese farmers tend to work in factories in the cities.This scenario is also noticed in many agricultural countries, like Thailand and Vietnam, particularly; although they're the two major exporters of rice in the world.

Why are farmers started seeking greener pastures abroad? Because, the government often neglects the issues surrounding this sector. It's so ironic that they're considered to be the 'backbone' of the country, but the least appreciated sector in the land, especially here in the Philippines.

Cereal Knowledge Bank

Cereal Knowledge Bank is a part of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) promoting awareness among prospective farmers about the kinds of crops (corn, rice, wheat, etc.) they are going to cultivate.

Training courses on quality seed production is being held at the IRRI training center in Los Banos, Laguna an extension service offices in every region in the Philippines. Crop-producing countries in Asia and other countries in the world also conduct the same program to help farmers in learning about the latest technologies in increasing agri-productions at lower cost.

Thisprogram is also cooperation with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, also a subsidiary of IRRI.

IRRI, as a whole is a non-profit group that has an extensive achievement in rice productions in the early 70s. Travel man remembers that there used to be rice technicians coming from Japan and in other countries visiting their place when he's just a toddler, then. These technicians taught farmers the latest in farming technology using the new varieties of rice being promoted by IRRI to increase their production.

The IRRI Super Bag c/o irrivideo


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You mean sprouted mongo. Yeah! Haven't eaten it for long time. I'm watching for my uric acid level, you see, LOL! Mung bean has the most uric acid content that can aggravate aching joints or rheumatism.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

      I ate too much rice during my long year vacation. can't help it. For beans, only mongo beans tickled my fancy to make TOGE or spouted mongo. You can do it, too!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Hope you enjoy eating these two kinds of food, the sailor.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I will eat the two in moderation.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I like them both. But I would pick beans.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 7 years ago from Seven Seas

      I like more rice than beans. Although, the two are both important. Rice gives carbohydrates while beans supply protein in our body.