5.28.2009

rice

Rice is one of the most versatile home-storage products. White rice stores well long-term and creates a complete protein when served with beans (which means it contains all of the essential amino acids4). BYU researchers recently studied the palatability of white rice and parboiled rice after many years of storage. Both were acceptable for emergency use after 30 years of storage, though the parboiled rice did show some decline of flavor, appearance and acceptance. 2

There are three categories of rice:
Long-grain - This is the most common rice available. It is more soft than sticky.
Medium-grain - Soft texture with a stronger flavor.
Short-grain - Is a stickier rice with a stronger, sweeter flavor.

Rice can be purchased in several forms (differing by amount of processing):
Brown - Has a nutty flavor. Still has the hull intact and consequently goes rancid more quickly because of the oils in the grain. Stores well for only 6 months under average conditions.3 Can extend the shelf-life by storing in the fridge. 1
White - Hull and outer layers have been removed. Rice is typically enriched to re-add the lost nutrients, though it remains inferior nutritionally. It stores well in ideal conditions for 30 years or more.8
Parboiled/Converted7 - Rice is partially cooked by parboiling. Hull is removed, but converted rice retains more of its original vitamins and nutrients.
Instant/minute/easy/quick - Rice is precooked and dried. Is the least nutritious rice.5

There are over 100,000 varieties/flavors of rice including:
Basmati
- It is a variety of long grain rice. You can purchase either a white or brown version.6 It is typically produced in India and Pakistan.
Jasmine - This is also a long grain rice. You might have this rice served with Thai food.
Calrose - A medium grain rice developed in California. It is common to find this rice in Hawaii or the South Pacific.

Wild rice
is not actually a rice, but is harvested from grasses similar in genus to rice.

Generally, rice is reconstituted by bringing 2 parts water to a boil and adding one part rice, covering and lowering heat to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Salt and oil/butter can be added with the rice or after cooking. Quick rice has cooking requirements that are different.

White rice is a sure bet for 30+ years of longer-term storage in ideal conditions. All varieties would be appropriate for inclusion in your three-month supply.

Personal note: I recently purchased some aged basmati rice. I thoroughly inspected the packaging, trying to determine whether the rice was white or brown. I am unfamiliar enough with this rice that I couldn't tell and the package did not indicate. So, I'm am including the basmati rice as part of my three-month supply meals and not my longer-term storage.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Some additional information:

Converted rice is both described as an "instant" rice and a "parboiled" rice. I have used the Random House dictionary definition of converted rice (which pairs it with parboiled rice) for the purposes of this post.

preparednesspro said...

There are so many recipes that rice can be used with. When I served my mission in the Philippines we had congee, a rice porridge, all the time. It's really easy to make and is delicious. Here's my recipe: http://tinyurl.com/ccd28k

Wendy said...

Thanks for the link to the recipes!