Posts Tagged ‘rice’

I went to the grocery store the other day. Happened to notice all of the Uncle Ben’s rice boxes were gone. Most shelves were empty.

Mrben

Please don’t fret if you are a big fan of the rice. It will be back! Same taste. Just a bit of rebranding. The company made the announcement that it is removing the image of “Uncle Ben” who is the Black man on the box.

Here is the company’s statement.

“Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice,” Mars said. “We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us — individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.”

If this really bothers someone or if it matters to them personally-like interfering with a cherished memory of parboiled rice on the kitchen table-I’d ask them just one thing.

“Why?”

As I was strolling down the aisle that day I did happen to notice something else. The shelves weren’t totally empty. Up on the top there were still a few boxes. No, not Uncle Ben’s. Those are totally gone. These were called,”Seeds of Change.”

Mrben

We all have a choice.

Keep things the same. Or be the seeds of change.

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I always learn something wherever I go. Might not be earth shattering. Could be trivial. But it’s still new to me. I could pop into a 7/11 gas station and come out and say, “Hey, did you know that they ……?”

So, this past weekend, on the island of Bali, fueled the tiny flicker of information insourcing.  That’s my word and I am keeping it. Don’t care if it’s in the dictionary or not. I had a lot of questions. About rice. Kopi Luwak. Hinduism. Temples. Volcanoes. Black magic. And more.

But I will stick with rice. No pun intended. I knew that you need water to grow rice and you also need water to cook it. That might be the extent of my knowledge.

In Bali there are areas where the hills are terraced with rice fields. Absolutely gorgeous. Water pooling in the paddies. On the ledges. The bright green stalks like long pieces of thin grass.

I learned that there is sticky, white, brown, and black rice.

Did not know about the black rice. I know about squid ink pasta. I know about black ice. But I did not know about black rice.

Now I want to try it!

How did it come to be? Did the lava from a volcano overtake a field causing the crop to turn black? Evolution taking care of rest? Or were they originally from Africa and some strong little bird carried the grain in his teeny, tiny little beak all the way to Asia, sneezed, dropped it in a puddle and now there are fields of the stuff?

I am sure there are plenty of other varieties of rice beyond the four mentioned. I just picked up that little tidbit from some eighteen year old Balinese fellow at a coffee place.

Rice harvesting is a tough, tough business. It’s killer work. And reaping maybe only three times a year.

During the car ride back to the hotel I mention rice more than once. And the fact that I know nothing about the harvesting. I didn’t get close enough to the blades of green to see how it works. Where the grain actually is produced. I am asking my husband these questions. Is it on top of the stalks? Are they pods? Sacs? Or is it on the bottom of the stalks like carrots? How do they catch all of the tiny grains? I said, possibly for the third time, “I just don’t know all that much about the harvesting of rice.”

My husband finally responds, “Well, it’s a good thing you don’t have too much to do with it then.”

I laughed. It’s true.

But I was curious. I eat a lot of it. I should know something about it. So, it’s on my very long list of things to learn. Right along with whistling.

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