April Positively Preparedness Goal: RICE–obtain your three month supply (or more) of rice for each member of your family, 10lbs. per person

It is a new month and I am excited to share with you some of my favorite recipes that use RICE throughout the month of April. My focus on our blog this month will be to encourage you to build up your supply of rice in your food storage. With flooding in Australia and the tsunami in Japan it is inevitable that rice prices will be rising. Stock up this month before these prices continue to rise. As of now, the least expensive place to buy rice is at Costco and Sam’s Club. There are several different types of rice you can purchase and according to my research long grain, calrose, basmati and jasmine are all the least expensive at Costco/Sam’s. The only one that is NOT less than Costco is their brown rice. They only sale an organic version that is $1.12/lb. Until Tuesday (April 12th) Maceys is having a sale on a 20lb. bag of brown rice for only $10.99–that equals about .54/lb. So..if you use and like brown rice (if you don’t by the end of this month, I didn’t do my job ;), stock up in the next couple of days before case lots are over. For those not near a Maceys, stock up at the closest warehouse store nearest you!

RICE 101

WHY STORE RICE: Rice is an important grain and a staple ingredient in many meals our families cook on a regular basis. Rice is a main source of nourishment for over half the world’s population. Rice is by far one of the most important commercial food crops. It’s annual yield worldwide is approx. 535 million tons. Fifty countries produce rice, with China and India supporting 50% of total production. Rice is great to store because it can be stored long term (10-30 years depending on how it is stored), can be cooked in numerous ways, is relatively inexpensive to purchase, and is easy to digest.
SHELF LIFE OF RICE: White rice will store for a very long time if kept in a cool, dry place and kept away from moisture. White rice is the processed form of brown rice that has had it’s outer shell and fats removed. For this reason, it will store much longer than brown rice. Brown rice will only store 1-2 years if kept in a cool, dry place (the colder the temperature the longer the rice will store-under 40’F is ideal. Some people keep their brown rice in the freezer or fridge to extend the life of the rice). Rice can be purchased in bulk for less expensive than small packaging. These large bags of rice can be kept in food safe buckets or totes to keep cool, dry and away from rodents/mice. You can also store rice in mylar bags or cans. Adding an oxygen absorber to the can will help protect from insect infestation.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BROWN RICE & WHITE RICE: Brown rice is simply white rice that has not had the brown colored bran covering removed. Brown rice is considered a whole grain. Why remove the bran? Because most people prefer white rice since it is fluffier and cooks faster than brown. Since brown rice still has the bran intact, it has more fiber than white rice.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RICE:One cup of brown rice has 3 1/2 grams of fiber while the same amount of white rice has less than one gram of fiber. Brown rice also contains nutrients like magnesium, manganese and zinc. White rice has reduced levels of these nutrients, but is often fortified with iron, and some B vitamins. Because brown rice has more of it’s natural oils it tends to go rancid more quickly than white rice.

HOW TO COOK & USE YOUR RICE: Rice can be easily cooked in a pan on your stove, in a rice cooker or in a pressure cooker. Each method will use a slightly different ratio of water to rice, depending on what temperature the rice will be cooked at. Generally the ratio is 1 c. rice to 1 1/2-2 c. water when cooking rice on the stove top.