“Fake rice” or “plastic rice” has been raging in the news in the past few days and it is no wonder that it has caught everyone’s attention. In our modern lives, we are let’s be honest, quite disassociated with the origin and source of our food. So, news of such adulteration and treachery is a matter of real concern, in fact, I would go to the extent of saying that it shakes our trust in the things we put in our mouths.
However, the claims of such “plastic rice” present in India arouses a lot of suspicion. In fact, a little deep dive will tell us that the rumours are completely untrue. Many videos have also surfaced on social media, that are not backed by any science whatsoever, which claim that rice is plastic as the rice balls made bounce around on a surface.
As Dr. VP Singh, an eminent agricultural expert said that rice comprises of a lot of starch which when cooled and turned to balls develops adhesiveness and plasticity. Moreover, the air entrapped leads to volume expansion thus causing the bouncing effect. So much for the ill-informed videos and articles online.
Also, there seems to be no economic sense of producing plastic rice in the country as many experts believe cost of producing plastic rice will far outweigh the production cost of actual rice, a crop so abundant in our country.
Notwithstanding if you still want to be sure whether you are eating plastic rice one can always check plastic from real rice by doing the following:
- Plastic cannot absorb water like rice can so plastic rice will be impossible to eat in spite of being cooked.
- Real rice will settle in water after some time, unlike plastic rice that will keep floating in water.
Basmati Rice – A healthy way to eat rice
To the unbeknown, according to The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Indian “Basmati” rice “is a long grain variety of rice grown in the specific geographical area, at the Himalayan foot hills of Indian sub-continent, blessed with characteristics extra- long slender grains that elongate at least twice of their original size with a characteristics soft and fluffy texture upon cooking, delicious taste, superior aroma and distinct flavor, Basmati rice is unique among other aromatic long grain rice varieties”.
In fact, Indian Basmati has been grown here for centuries and its quality is so well known that India accounts for more than 70% of the world’s basmati rice production. Indian basmati has a naturally occurring compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (often chemically manufactured and used as a flavouring agent) found in nearly 12 times the quantity as other rice varieties, giving it its distinct aroma and flavour.
Owing to its medium glycaemic index number, many Diabetic Associations in the world have called it safe to be eaten by even diabetics around the world as compared to other varieties of white rice that have a much higher glycaemic index number.
Authentic Basmati rice releases energy into our bodies slowly and hence keeps us fuller longer, making it healthier. There has been a steady move towards a gluten free diet nowadays and as Basmati is gluten-free and low in fat, it can even be part of a healthy diet! Moreover, it contains all eight essential amino acids, folic acid, and is very low in sodium and has no cholesterol.
We are blessed to have been born in a country that has abundance of such a wonderful variety of rice and it is important for us to keep the faith and enjoy this delicious, healthy rice as has been done over aeons of centuries.
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