Research on Rice
Rice is one of the most common foods across the globe (Rost, 1997). Nearly all civilizations on the planet use or have used rice as a form of food at one point or another. The use of rice varies from part of the globe to another, with some groups, countries and communities using it as a staple food while others use it sparingly in their diet. One of the characteristics of rice is that it has often been used to define the cultural aspects of some people. The Middle East and the Arab world have used rice as a staple meal besides attaching some cultural and ceremonial qualities to the substance (Rost, 1997).
Rice is one of the foods that unite various communities, ethnicities, and nationalities in terms of its usage. Rice is found in different varieties, with each variety responding to certain specific of weather and climate. In essence, rice has often been used by different civilizations to determine their degree of cultural influence over others. In the course of history, some communities have used Rice as a means of exchange by trading it with other material goods and services with other communities (Rost, 1997).
For instance, the long distance traders in West Africa and Central Africa relied on rice as a means of exchange during the Trans-Saharan trade. In terms of nutrition, rice is a carbohydrate that nourishes the energy requirement of humans at all ages. Its consumption varies in terms of accompaniments just as the cooking methods vary across communities and individuals. Modern agricultural systems have engaged in value addition practices meant to increase the nutritional value of rice. However, nutritionists have linked unbalanced consumption of rice to diseases such as pellagra and other diseases of malnutrition. Nevertheless, rice remains one of the most common and most important foods for the global population across, times, cultures, and geographical spaces.
The earliest consumption and cultivation of rice has been traced to the year 2500 B.C., (Chang, 2001). Historians have explored multiple sources of evidence, which show that rice was first cultivated and consumed in China. It was from China that this food commodity found its ways to places such as Sri Lanka and India (Rost, 1997). It remains imprecise as to the exact nature of influence and contacts that contributed to the spread of Rice from its original land to other geographical regions of the world. However, processes of migration, cultural contacts and barter trade have been linked to the growth in the spread of rice from one place to another. In general terms, people who professed a common cultural heritage and were bound by cultural norms and traditions to align to the same kind of diet-consumed rice.
Historians have also linked the spread of rice to the armies of Alexander the Great (Chang, 2001). According to those who hold onto this view, the plundering armies brought rice to Greece and parts of West Asia. During that period, it was common practice for armies to conquer and plunder new territories for food and other precious items. Other schools of thought link the spread of rice to the development of interest in new lands and products in the spirit of discovery. In America, historians believe that rice came through merchant shipped that occasionally docked for repairs and rest on their voyage of the high seas. It is also believed that African slaves who were forced out of their original homes by the slave masters introduced the commodity. Today rice if cultivated in places such as California, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.
The consumption of rice is defined by varied geographical patterns which show evidence of its abundance use and popularity. Different geographical areas have shown variations in the cultivation and consumption of rice. Around the globe rice is cultivated and consumed more extensively in Asia than any other parts of the world. Countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and China are the leading cultivators, exporters and consumers of rice (Chang, 2001). However, rice is also cultivates in Western and Eastern Europe for trade and subsistence. Rice fields in the United Kingdom account for some of the most dominant cereal products in the region. Similarly, the cultivation and consumption of rice in Eastern Europe comprises of one the mostly practiced cash crop activities in the region.
In some areas of Europe, rice is the mainstay of the agriculture industry and determines the trends in agriculture production across the times. In the Middle East, rice farming is practiced in various countries including Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Iran and other places. Irrigation projects in such regions are mainly directed towards the cultivation of rice. On the African continent, rice is also produced in many countries including Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, and other places across the continent. Geographically, some countries have been classified as net producers of rice while others are categorized under the net producers of the commodity. As a result, it becomes necessary to measure the availability and value of rice by the patterns of production and production across the geographical space.
Rice manifests various cultural values in the different places where it is cultivated and consumed. In places such as the United States, the use and consumption of rice does not elicit any cultural qualities. It is simply regarded as a ready meal for consumption. In Asia, rice is considered as part of the material aspects of their cultural lives (Chang, 2001). In some countries such as Japan, rice is used for ceremonial significance during coronation ceremonies. In West Africa, rice is usually used in the making of bridal ornaments. It is also used in sprinkling the paths of brides as they walk towards the isle. Other countries also use rice as a symbol of certain values such as harmony, unity, and industry.
Some communities tend to articulate their cultural lives through the kind of foods they eat and the levels of attachment, which they place on these foods. As such, many people in Asia and the Arab world consider rice as part and parcel of their culture. It is a unifying aspect and symbolizes their cultural heritage across geographical spaces and times (Chang, 2001). Exhibitionists and cultural exchanges on a global scale have often associated rice within the oriental discourses. It represents a manifestation of culture across different geographical and cultural contacts. On the African continent, rice is particularly regarded as a staple for the Islamic culture.
In East Africa, the consumption and production of rice is often associated with the Swahili speaking communities. This is especially evident along the East coast of Africa. It is regarded as a ceremonial meal and a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the Swahili communities. It is important to consider some of the issues that tie within the discourse of culture as understood within the context of diet and nutrition. The expression of culture is often brought on the level of food and has expanded to include discourses of cultural tourism and other elements of collective cultural worldviews.
Various change agents have affected the cultivation and consumption of rice. Some of these agents of change include discourses of globalization, global food security, migration, cultural interaction, cultural tourism, and innovations in agricultural processes. Globalization has erased the rigid boundaries that separated communities and cultures. As the world increasingly opens up to intercultural discourses and contacts, the material aspects of culture shift from the rigid patterns of cultural exclusiveness to an element of cultural pluralism. These changes allow people to explore different practices, which include food and nutrition. Adjustments in lifestyles occasioned by global food insecurity, cultural tourism, and cultural interactions have had tremendous impact on the consumption and production patterns of rice.
Innovations, Use and Resource
The production and consumptions of rice have undergone various innovations in the recent past. Generally, people have tended to develop methods meant to increase the elements of efficiency in the production and preparation of rice (Chang, 2001). These strategies cut into the processes of value addition, competitive marketing strategies, adoption of technology in production, and the adoption of scientific improvements in the production processes. These innovations have had both positive and negative consequences on the production debate. One of the most problematic developments that have attended to the production of rice is the introduction of genetically modified rice.
Experts and scientists remain divided as to the viability and the longevity of this product (Chang, 2001). Matters of safety have also been drawn into the debate. Few studies have explored with precision the exact nature of impacts, whether positive or negative, that attends to the question of genetically modified rice. Other innovative endeavors include the development of irrigation schemes in dry areas for the cultivation of rice. Countries in the Middle East and other dry areas of the globe have managed to produce high yields of rice by relying on irrigation schemes. Other countries have developed various agricultural practices that are meant to minimize adverse elements of weather.
Technique, Technology, and Future Use in Hospitality
Reliance on mechanized agriculture has enabled some countries to produce higher yields of rice than those, which rely on human labor. The use of combined harvesters in place of human labor has increased the efficiency in tending for the product. A major challenge that afflicts the production of rice is the shrinking of land in some areas due to industrialization and human settlement (Chang, 2001). Many countries continue to invest heavily in agricultural research, which are aimed at producing the kind of hybrid rice that is resistant to pests and diseases. Such efforts have made it possible for the world to attain relatively high yields of rice, which has often been used in protecting the famine stricken areas of the world.
Drought and pest resistant rice species have been developed and introduced to dry areas as a replacement to previous species that was significantly dependent on rain-fed agriculture (Chang, 2001). As a result of these changes, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have managed to engage in high level rice production. Rice has become one of the leading substitutes to maize and wheat for populations that are perennially threatened by famine. Past studies have shown that the consumption of rice is likely to increase particularly due to improvements in systems of farming and the reliance on technology. Increased production of rice and its widespread acceptance will make it the most appropriate food in hospitality use. Current statistics have shown string indications of its increased consumption across cultures, races, times, and geographical spaces.
Chang, T 2001, Economical and Biological Importance of Rice, The Cambridge World History of Food, Retrieved http://www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/rice.htm
Rost, T, L 1997, Rice Anatomy, Plant Biology Division of Biological Sciences, Retrieved http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/rost/Rice/introduction/intro.html
Use the order calculator below and get started! Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.[order_calculator]