National Rice Awareness Month is celebrated every year in November in the Philippines. It raises awareness about the importance of healthier forms of rice that are locally produced such as pigmented and brown rice. During this month, people are encouraged to consume healthier rice, which is produced by Filipino farmers. People are urged to prioritize rice produced by Filipino farmers as it is less exposed to pesticides than imported rice. Celebrations during this month generally include holding or attending rice exhibits, playing rice trivia games, and promoting healthy varieties of rice.
History of National Rice Awareness Month
Rice is a staple food source for more than half of the world’s population. It was believed to be first domesticated in the Yangtze River basin in China. A 2011 genetic study shows that forms of Asian rice, both indica, and japonica, came from a single domestication event that occurred between 13,500 to 8,200 years ago in China from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon. A more recent study suggests that japonica was domesticated first and indica rice was domesticated when japonica arrived in India about 4,500 years ago.
Evidence that suggests that rice consumption has been around in India since 6000 B.C. has been found at Lahuradewa in Uttar Pradesh. However, there is still a debate whether the samples found at Lahuradewa were domesticated or not. Rice cultivation in India started in 5000 B.C. Proof of rice cultivation has been found in the Indus Valley civilization from the third millennium B.C. and in Kashmir and Harappan regions from the second millennium B.C.
Japonica rice cultivation started to spread to Southeast Asia with the advancement of the Austronesian Dapenkeng culture in Taiwan between 3500 and 2000 B.C. Dated 2800 B.C., the Nanguanli site in Taiwan has yielded numerous carbonized remains of both rice and millet in waterlogged conditions, which indicates intensive wetland rice cultivation and dryland millet cultivation.
National Rice Awareness Month timeline
Forms of Asian rice, both indica, and japonica, come from a single domestication event that occurs in China from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon.
Rice is consumed by people at Lahuradewa in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Japonica rice cultivation starts to spread to Southeast Asia with the proliferation of the Austronesian Dapenkeng culture in Taiwan.
Rice, which probably originated from Madagascar, arrives in South Carolina.
National Rice Awareness Month FAQs
How many varieties of rice are there?
Rice comes in more than 40,000 varieties.
Is wild rice and brown rice the same?
No, wild rice is long and narrow, while brown rice is lighter in color and comes in three sizes: short, medium, and long grain.
When was the international year of rice?
The year 2004 was celebrated as the ‘international year of rice.’
National Rice Awareness Month Activities
Feast on rice
The best way to celebrate the month is by eating some healthy and delicious rice. Learn about different kinds of rice and add this nutritious product to your life.
Participate in rice trivia games
Play a rice trivia game and discover how much you really know about rice. As a player, you get to learn new things about rice and maybe even win exciting prizes.
Educate people about rice
Even though rice is a staple food, most people don’t know much about it. Share interesting facts about different types of rice and their nutritious value on your social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Rice
Rice can be easily grown
Rice is easy to grow and gives a very high yield and that is why it has been grown on every continent except Antarctica.
Rice was used for building ancient monuments
In the 15th and 16th centuries, rice, along with calcium carbonate, was used as a mortar to hold the stones of the Great Wall of China together.
Rice is initially brown
When we remove the outer bran layer of brown rice, it turns white.
Rice stays fresh for years
Uncooked white rice remains safe to eat for 10 to 30 years.
Rice is eaten a lot
While Americans eat around 20 pounds of rice every year, Asian residents have up to 300 pounds, and U.A.E. residents consume about 450 pounds of rice per year.
Why We Love National Rice Awareness Month
It promotes healthy eating habits
National Rice Awareness Month is all about promoting local varieties of rice that are not much exposed to pesticides. It encourages people to make a healthier choice for themselves and their families by going for brown or pigmented rice instead of the usual white polished rice.
It celebrates rice
Rice is the world’s staple food and is found in every culture’s cuisine. It is not only great for health but also easily available.
It supports local farmers
Rice from local farmers is much healthier than imported rice. This month offers a great opportunity to convince people to buy rice from local farmers.
National Rice Awareness Month dates