Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Choosing between rice

I ran into something the other day that was rather shocking to me, although I always knew it was true. Take a quick look at the following three links showing nutritional information:

Medium Grain White Rice
Medium Grain Brown Rice
Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice

A decent case can be made that the pre-packaged brown rice is actually less healthy than the bulk white rice! That seems surprising to me, I could very easily see myself picking the brown rice from Uncle Ben, and assuming that because it is called brown rice it is the same thing as the brown rice I buy in five pound bag. gives white rice a nutrition grade of B, brown rice a grade of A, and the Uncle Ben's rice a grade of C. I am a little unclear as to the entire reason for this, but it is pretty clear they have some justification for this. As an example the fiber in a cup of brown rice is 3.5 grams, while in Uncle Ben's brown rice it is only 1 gram. Clearly some chemical modification of the rice is being done.

This is of course not limited to rice, and I point it out because it illustrates a common trend. Whenever you let a factory touch your food, there is a strong risk that they are doing something like this behind the scenes. Then you wonder why you are gaining weight while eating healthy stuff like brown rice. No one will stop them though since it really does make the food more convenient and taste better. They have every incentive in the world to alter the food, and even those of us who know it will probably give in and eat it whenever someone announces that they have ice cream in their freezer.

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