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A Brief History of Rice

Rice is a food that has been a favorite of families and cultures for a long time. Rice is one of the most consumed foods that have ever existed, and trends project this to continue into the future.

The history of rice as a food staple dates back to 2500 B.C. Of course, it was probably consumed long before that date! The documentation begins in China and moves to other areas. It seems that, as people traveled around, they shared the benefits of rice as they went. It was also likely that traders had a great deal to do with its spread.

Eating rice originally caught on because it is a crop that can be grown in many regions. It provides a significant amount of energy, and perhaps most importantly, it can be stored for long periods, providing a cushion in lean times and a store of value in good times. Historians have documented the different places that adapted rice into their culture as a part of their studies.

Spread of Rice Throughout the World
  1. From China to Sri Lanka
  2. From China to India
  3. To Greece
  4. To the Mediterranean Basin
  5. To Europe
  6. To North Africa
  7. To North America
  8. To Brazil and Spain
  9. To Central America and South America

Rice has traveled to many different places and is now a part of almost every culture. A major reason for its success is that it is fairly easy to grow.

Since rice has entered the culture of nearly every continent, many traditions that have developed. These traditions and pieces of folklore make rice all the more appetizing.

The history of rice is a long one. Wars have been fought over rice paddies. The grain has sustained armies and fueled civilizations. By being one of the earliest ways to store wealth and plenty to even out the lean times it is one of the most important food crops in the history of civilization.

Next Page: Rice Varieties


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