Interesting Rice Facts:
• Rice makes up the staple diet of nearly half of the world’s population, with over 90% of the world’s rice grown in Asia where most of it is eaten locally and only 3% enters world trade.
• Rice is the only grain that can not be harvested by machine – it needs to be painstakingly hand planted and then hand harvested.
• Rice does not commonly grow directly in the earth – it needs to be anchored in water. Water relates to the moon.
• The germ of brown or natural rice contains high quantities of Vitamin B, while the inner seed contains pure starch. During digestion, the B-vitamins are needed to process and metabolise the starch. The B-vitamins help give form and order in the body. When the germ is removed as in white rice, the body finds it difficult to itself form and digest the starch (carbohydrates).
• Rice is high in phosphorous – in anthroposophic medicine, phosphorous helps develop spiritual forces.
• Short grain rice is sweeter, more moist and softer. Long grain rice is most common, but has less flavour and is drier.
• From Emma Graf “Rice acts more on the metabolic-limb system than the nerve-sense system and therefore does not stimulate wakeful consciousness”. When you eat a diet high in rice you are left in a dream-like consciousness, a more fluid and less materialistic state.
• Rice is the first grain to be introduced to a baby. Nutritionally it is easy to digest, energetically it is the closed grain to the spiritual world. By introducing the grains in descending order from the spiritual world, we can help create a slow and gradual descent down into the material world.
• Rice, being related to the element of water and the moon, can enhance phlegmatic (cool and moist) tendancies. This may be a beneficial effect, but if you would like to minimise the cooling, moistening properties, add warming spices and ginger, and use long grain rather than short grain rice.
Cooking with Rice:
• To boil brown rice, 1 cup uncooked grain to 1.5 cups water. Boil 20 minutes.
• There is no shortage of ways to use rice – stir frys, curries, rissotto, rice pudding, rice porridge, rice balls, rice crust pizza … let your imagination play… This is the first grain of the week, over the next editions of Sweet Porridge I will look at a different grain for each day of the week. When you add the seven grains to the diet, on their corresponding day, you provide the body with a balanced nutritional and energetic influence. This can help support health and harmony in daily life.
Annette Batchelor ND RM BT
Naturopathic Consultations in the Spirit of Anthroposophy, Victoria, Australia