Rice: Then and Now Essay

Rice: Then and Now Essay

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Rice by today’s standards is not an exciting food, but it is in fact one of the most important natural resources that humans have ever depended upon. Different cultures of people for thousands of years, spanning from India to China to Japan have used rice as their staple crop. Today especially, rice continues to be a vital grain for modern day human beings. Through this early dependency, rice became domesticated, which arguably is one of the most impactful events on the development of human agriculture and civilization. Rice now is farmed in different ways, including traditional, conventional and organic. Rice has become common processed food in supermarkets and one can easily find different foods that contain rice or its byproducts; through the increase in processing foods, rice has been transformed into an economic giant. With this higher demand for rice, scientists began to manipulate rice to become a higher yielding crop per acre, leading to the creation multiple hybrids of rice. This increase in hybridization led to what is now referred to as the Green Revolution. While rice is an incredibly important food nutritionally and economically, it has important non-food uses; current research has shown the possibility to use rice’s byproducts as an alternate source of fuel. With the present-day threat of global warming, this is an extremely important advance in green technology.
Rice began to influence humans thousands of years ago, with its range of two hundred thousand different varieties, the most of any grain crop. While the first culture to develop rice has been difficult to determine, the use of rice can be dated back to the Neolithic era, from 7150-4500 B.C.E. (Katz 194). The areas where rice may have originated from continue...


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...rce of energy for the future.



Works Cited

“How is Organic Rice Produced?” Organic Guide. 2013 Web. 2 December 2013. .
Juliano, Bienvenido O. Rice in Human Nutrition. Rome: Published with the Cooperation of the International Rice Research Institute, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1993. Print.
Katz, Solomon H., and William W. Weaver. “Rice” Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. 190-205. Print.
Lin, L., D. Ying, S. Chaitep, and S. Vittayapadung. "Biodiesel Production from Crude Rice Bran Oil and Properties as Fuel." Applied Energy 86.5 (2009): 681-88. Print.
Prance, Ghillean T., and Mark Nesbitt. The Cultural History of Plants. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.
Simmonds, N. W. Evolution of Crop Plants. London: Longman, 1976. Print.

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