Is Rice Vegan?

Is Rice Vegan?

Rice is the primary food source for more than 50 percent of the planet’s population, accounting for more than 1/5 of our daily caloric intake.

When you are vegan, you could enjoy it plain, with some sauce or roasted vegetables on top, with tofu or tempeh, in soup or other dishes.

However, have you ever wondered whether rice is actually vegan?

In this article, we will answer this question as well as offer some tips on how to choose the most vegan rice possible.

What Is Rice?

This is probably a question with a straightforward answer anyone could give as everyone knows that rice is a starchy grain.

However, what many might not know is that it is a seed that comes from Oryza Sativa, a plant that produces what we call ‘Asian rice’ or simply ‘rice.’

There are also other kinds of Oryzas from which other types of rice come, like the Oryza glaberrima which produces the ‘African rice,’ for example.

Is Rice Vegan?

As a result, and as a plant-based food, rice is 100% vegan.

As all types of rice come from a different Oryza variety, there isn’t any rice – white, brown, wild, and so on – that is not vegan.

And while many of the pre-cooked, microwaveable rice packages sold in the supermarkets might contain some additives, those are usually vitamins that are also completely vegan.

Even so, several vegans argue that rice’s environmental cost violates more expansive concepts of the vegan diet.

How Do Farmers Grow Rice?

Answering this question will provide you with a strong basis for determining how vegan rice is after all.

As a product derived from the seed of Oryza, rice grows by flooding the rice fields after the seeds have been planted beneath the ground.

Most advanced economies use machinery and equipment for planting seeds, whereas other nations prefer traditional methods and manual labor.

When the grass has grown to the point where it can be harvested, it needs to undergo some process steps to obtain the grains of rice from the Oryza plants.

So, what all growers do is drain the rice fields, cut the Oryza plants, and then let them fully dry for a couple of days.

After the plants grown are fully dry, they need to undergo a further process known as threshing.

That is when the growers remove the rice grains from the Oryza stalks and then separately dry them even further for several days.

This point is where rice production differs, as some farmers go on with milling their rice while others don’t, and this decision is based on the rice variety they have grown.

So, in the case of white rice, for example, the husks need to be removed from the grains.

To guarantee the finest rice quality, rice grains must be dry enough when they enter this milling stage.

Even so, there are no other ingredients incorporated into white rice or any other rice, which can provide vegans with lots of relief.

Is It ‘Ethically’ Vegan To Eat Rice?

Water Consumption

One common argument about rice would be that it necessitates a significant amount of water to grow.

For certain vegans, this does not affect their vegan ‘authenticity,’ but for other vegan eaters, this not so ‘green’ issue might influence them to give the rice the ‘green’ light.

Water Transfer

Water Transfer

Providing adequate water to plants can consume a significant amount of energy, which adds to CO2 emissions and global warming.

Given that global warming is bound to destroy numerous types of wildlife as well as our lives, it is only logical for several vegans to take this into account.

High-Level Agriculture

Rice production is by no means flawless. With all vegans, carnivores, and vegetarians enjoying rice in their diets, it is one of the highest-produced crops.

Therefore, those who chastise veganism frequently refer to the harm caused by plants such as soya, almonds, and rice and their mass production.

Greenhouse Gas

Rice generates more greenhouse gas emissions per calorie than other grains, and this is another aspect that is critical and impactful in deciding the extent to which rice is ‘ethically’ vegan.

The Bottom Line

Rice is derived from the Oryza plants and is 100% vegan.

However, its mass production and several other aspects of its growing process make it a questionable vegan product in terms of ethics.

Nevertheless, it is a nutritious grain that can be consumed as part of a balanced, vegan diet.

Brandon White
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