Fast facts about rice

· Rice- comes from middle English, from Old French ris, from Old Italian riso, from Latin oryza, from Greek oruza, of Indo-Iranian origin.

· Oryza sativa The Latin botanical name of rice.

· Rice is the world's third largest crop, behind maize ("corn") and wheat.

· Rice is the staple food for 17 countries in Asia and the Pacific, eight countries in Africa, seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and one in the Near East.

· Almost half of the world's population eats rice -- about 3 billion people.

· It takes 5,000 liters of water to produce just 1 kilo or rice -- enough to fill up half of a small swimming pool.

· Rice farming is older than the great, great grandmother of your great, great grandfather. It is about 10,000 years old.

· After a farmer plants rice, it takes about 105 days before he can harvest it.

· In several Asian languages, the word for rice and food are synonymous. In Japanese, the terms for breakfast, lunch and dinner are 'asa gohan', morning rice 'hiru gohan' (afternoon rice) and 'ban gohan' (evening rice). In Sanskrit, the word for both "meal" and "rice" is "Anna".
· In China and Bangladesh, a polite way to greet a visitor is to ask "Have you eaten your rice today?"

· Honda means 'main rice field'



Future of Rice, Examining Long Term Sustainable Solutions for Rice Productions, October 2006, Greenpeace Report

- Mary Ann Mayo

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