is a staple in Asia that has a long history.
Rice is a healthy food source that falls in the vegetable category where
in China it is eaten alone or with fish. While
westernized countries eat rice with meat and even in desserts, for the Chinese
people, they prefer to eat it as we do bread.
northern region of China has a very mild climate and therefore, does not grow
rice. In contrast, the southern
region of China is abundant with rice plantations, which are flooded to help
product this crop. The water level
must be maintained at a certain level and remain consistent in subtropical
weather for the rice to grow.
Chinese myth is that rice was sold as a gift to the gods in lieu of animals.
It is believed that after the lands were flooded, all living plants were
destroyed. Animals were scarce,
making hunting difficult. One day,
a dog came abounding across a field and as it approached the Chinese people,
they noticed its fur was covered with yellow seeds.
Not knowing what these seeds would produce, they planted them and as a
result, rice grew. Even today, the
Chinese people have a strong believe that the precious things of life are not
the pearls or jade, but the five grains with rice being number one.
grain fed thousands of people for longer periods than any other grain did.
When it comes to cultivated rice, three primary species are grown.
The first is O. Sativa and the second, O. Glaberrima.
The first is found in Africa and while it is the most widely used, it is
not cultivated. It is believed that
this particular species was developed from other forms approximately 15 millions
years ago. The third species, O.
Rufipogon is grown in China among other regions.
is documentation showing that the Buddhist scriptures referred to rice quite
often and again, used it as an offering to the gods. Initial
evidence from archeologists showed that rice was a valued food dating back as
early as 2500 BC during the late Neolithic period in the Yangtze basin.
so, in 1966, an archeologist by the name of Wilhelm G. Solheim II made an
important discover in Southeast Asian. He
found pottery shards that had imprints of the O Sativa husks and grains.
These were discovered in the Korat area of Thailand and after extensive
testing, it was confirmed that these shards dated back to 4000 BC.
Chinese people eventually developed a process of growing rice on farms using
puddling soil and then transplanting the seedlings.
Today, this system is still widely used in China.
The puddling works to break down the internal structure of the soil so it
does not lose much water during the percolation process.
The seedlings are then transported once they reach one to six weeks.
The transplanting of the rice seedling helps the farmer work the rice
field better, thus producing a higher yield.
This very process helped domesticate rice in China.