Rice as emergency food.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#survival, #food.

Rice takes up not much storage space. 5kg of rice is just a small bag. The bag can provide energy (carbohydrate) food to a 60kg person for about one week. The food still needs to be supplemented with protein food (meat, for muscles building) from other sources.

1.00Kg of raw rice turns into 2.56kg of cooked rice. That is the raw rice has only about one third of the weight of of the cooked meal.  It is easy to carry. All you need to turn any raw rice into cooked rice is just clear, fresh water and fuel to boil it for about 20 minutes (or 10 minutes using a pressure cooker).

Asian armies have been using rice as their transportable energy food since ancient time to present time. Those army people eat rice supplemented with locally picked vegetables and freshly caught fish or shrimps or meat as their sustainable full meals.

However you need to familiarize your digestive system with it to build up the enzymes for its efficient digestion. You can start this by eating one rice dish at restaurant to see how does your body get used to it. Have a least one rice dish each month to build up the digestive enzymes in your body.

Once your body has got used to digesting rice you can carry only a small weight of rice with you for camping trips and have no fear of starvation.

1. Cooking rice.

Use a deep cooker (its depth is more than half of its diameter). Place raw rice into it, to a height of no more than 1/4 of its depth. Add clean, clear water to the cooker until the water reach half its depth.

Keep the water simmer for about 15 minutes until there is no more water between the rice grains. Let the cooker stand for another 5 minutes to have rice grains fully softened.

You can now eat the cooked rice with other foods like green vegetable, fried eggs, cooked fish or meats.

2. Storage and stock rotation.

One single 5kg bag can feed you for one week. Keep the plastic bag intact and store it in a dry place (When stored in a dry place, a bag of rice can be kept for more than 2 years). Make sure that your stock is rotated and get neither more than 6 month old nor moldy.

3. Varieties of rice.

In South East Asia, where rice originates, the markets supply more than 20 types of rice.

As a consumer, you need to choose between only few main types:

Short grained rice (available in Australian or American supermarket)

Long grained rice (available in Australian or American supermarket) which is tastier and cost a little bit more.

(White) Sticky rice (also called glutinous rice, available only from Asian food stores and is more expensive) for cooking flavored sticky rice during festival time. The sticky rice is also used to make fermented Vietnamese sticky rice balls. The latter can also be left to be fully fermented and used to make Vietnamese Rice Wine (similar to Japanese Sake) of white colour.

Purple sticky rice has deep purple colour and is similar to White sticky rice, but produces Rice Wine of a different flavor and of deep purple colour.

White sticky rice has slim, fully opaque grains while ordinary rice has fat, translucent grains as in the pictures of the next section.

4. PRECAUTION against buying fake rice.

Real rice grains

Figure 1: Real rice grains (common variety bought from largest Australian supermarket Safeway on October 2016).

Real rice grains 2

Figure 2: Real rice grains (common variety bought from largest Australian supermarket Safeway on October 2016) from a different angle. Each grain has its individual size, characteristic shape and surface texture. You will see similar grains in your bag of genuine rice with a 10X magnifying glass or with a watch-maker glass, also called a watch-maker monocular.

Since you have rice as emergency food, you don’t want to have fake rice in your stock. You should only buy American or Australian grown rice sold through reputable supermarkets for your supply. When vigorously boiled in water, real rice will eventually dissolve to produce carbohydrates (sugar).

Fake rice has been rumored to be produced as a weapon of war to trick an enemy army into eating it and become weakened. There have been reports of fake rice made from plastic appearing in Asia and Africa. It has also been suspected to be made from potatoes powder added with industrial synthetic resins.

5. Testing for fake rice.

Author Nkem Ikeke [1] has a given the following series of six tests to spot fake rice.

1. The mortar and pestle test: If the powder gives yellow discoloration, it is fake.

2. The fire test: Get a lighter and burn a handful of rice. If it catches fire and smells like burnt plastic, it is fake rice.

3. The water test: Fake rice floats in water, real rice sinks.

4. The mold test: Boil the rice. Leave it in a warm place for like 2-3 days. If mold does not appear in a few days it is fake. Real rice get moldy very quickly

5. The boiling test: Observe the rice while boiling. If it starts forming a thick layer at the top of the pot, it is ‘plastic rice’.

6. The hot oil test: Drop some grain into some real hot oil. If it is plastic, it will melt or stick together or stick at the bottom of the pan.

The original article also has photos of real versus fake rice.

References

[1]. Nkem Ikeke, WARNING! 6 tests to help you spot fake rice, naij.com,
https://www.naij.com/1053229-warning-plastic-rice-floods-nigeria-heres-6-tests-help-determine-rice-fake.htm, updated 22 December, 2016.

[2]. ‘Plastic rice’ seized in Nigeria, bbc news, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38391998, 21 December 2016.

[3]. Nigerian officials row over ‘plastic rice’, bbc news, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38414337, 23 December 2016.

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