Rice Production and Consumption in the United States


In the United States rice is consumed as a side dish, used in soups, casseroles and desserts. Rice is also used to make wine and beer and also used in pet food.

Before cooking, the grains must be milled. Milling removes the hulls. During this process the bran that contains the fiber as well as the valuable vitamins and minerals are also removed. To make up the vitamin and mineral losses, many millers fortify the kernels with vitamin and mineral supplements. This rice is sold as the white enriched rice.

Brown rice is rice that has not had the bran coats removed by milling. It retains the fiber and its natural vitamins and minerals and therefore a better choice over the white enriched rice.

Parboiled rice which is also called converted rice is produced by partially boiling the rice in the husk then removing the husk. This process retains 80% of the vitamins and minerals that are usually lost in milling. Parboiled rice takes less time to cook and is firmer and less sticky.

In U.S. rice is classified by grain length. There is short grain rice which is round, medium grain rice which is plump and the long grain rice which is long and slender. Short grain rice cooks moist and firm. Long grain rice cooks dry and the kernels stay separated. All these three types of rice have the same nutritional value.

About 20 varieties of rice are produced in the United States. Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and California are the leading producers of rice. Although the original rice producing state was South Carolina, almost all of the “Carolina Gold” is now cultivated in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. In 2006 US produced rice valued at $1.88 billion, half of which was exported to other countries. United States is now also producing aromatic rice such as the Jasmine rice and also TEXMATI which is a cross between the Indian Basmati rice and American long grain rice.

About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi, a Computer Technology Professional likes to read and research into many different subjects. Botany and Agriculture are also in the list of interests for Amita Vadlamudi, especially as they apply to everyday living.