All varieties of rice, no matter what their color, are members of the grass family originally found growing in wild tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. (Wild rice, which grows here in Minnesota is not a true rice, but rather an aquatic grass).
It is believed that rice may have been cultivated more than 4000 years ago in China, India and other Asian countries. Many people think of rice as being white, or sometimes brown. Rice is actually available in a stunning palette of shades, from white to brown to red, to a deep purple-black color. Surprisingly, there are about 40,000 varieties of rice, but only a handful are familiar to most Americans.
The "Exotic" rice sold on this page is not "officially" organic. It is not sold under an organic label and not inspected by a USDA NOP (Organic) inspector. In looking at rice across Asia I have come to find out very interesting facts that few Americans know. I would like to share them with you:
Most rice is sprayed at least 2 times while in the field to combat pests. It is sprayed again just after harvest and often 2 more times while in storage before it ships. This is actually mandated by more companies who purchase rice because there are tremendous weevil problems in rice and very few warehouses want an infestation on their hands.
Because of this very few rice companies are willing to grow rice organically and they must implement a program to combat insects that is acceptable to the national organic program if they do. One company I know places the rice or grains they want to make pest free into a large pressurizer. Tremendous pressure is placed on the rice which will kill eggs or insects on them, yet no chemicals are used.
The exotic rice we sell comes from the plains area in the northern areas of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. These people hand plant and hand harvest the rice. They do not use any herbicides or pesticides and if I leave the rice after it arrives at room temperature it will have worms and weevils within a month or two. There is absolutely nothing there to prevent them from taking over. The way we handle the rice is to place it in a freezer for at least 30 days. According to the USDA and other sources this is enough to kill the eggs and it has proved to be true. However, this means that we need to purchase fresh rice just after harvest and it has to immediately go in the freezer upon arrival. Once we use this treatment, the rice will remain pest free for years as long as it is not reinfected.
There are lots of people all over the world who eke out an existence trying to feed their families. The rice we purchase comes from a group of farmers who work very hard to make a living and are too poor to pay an organic inspector to come
and inspect their farms. They are inspected by the Filipino government and they have a non-profit agency who works with them to help sell what they produce to other countries. They are good people and have an excellent product. We are pleased to be able to help them and in turn bless you with quality, colorful rice such as you might produce, were you a rice farmer.