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National Rice Month

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed the official proclamation that designated September as National Rice Month. The President and the USA Rice Federation recognized this special day to encourage the consumption of rice in our daily diets. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about this small but mighty grain:
• Over 80 percent of the rice consumed in the US is grown on family farms across the six major rice-producing states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.
• The US rice industry produces 20 billion pounds of rice annually.
• The average American consumes 27 pounds of rice per year.
• All US-grown rice is gluten-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and GMO-free.
• There are more than 120,000 varieties of rice in the world.
• Asian countries produce and consume about 90 percent of the world’s rice.
• Rice can be classified as rough or paddy rice, which is rice as it is harvested in the husk, whole grain (brown) rice with the husk removed, or white rice with the bran layer removed.
• Wild rice is not technically a rice, but is a semi-aquatic grass native to North America.
• Sticky rice was mixed in with the mortar when they built the Great Wall of China. No wonder it has withstood the elements and held up so well for many centuries!
• 95 percent of all sushi eaten in the US is made with US-grown rice.
• Sake is made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.
• The world’s record for a serving of fried rice was set in September of 2014. The Turkish cook’s serving of rice weighed 6,944 pounds!