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Old 09-01-2006, 03:15 AM   #1
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Brown vs. white rice

One of my favorite cooking books is How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I find the following under Grains, The Basics of Rice.
Quote:
Brown rice is rice with an intact bran layer. It takes longer for the water to penetrate the bran layer and soften the starch and it never becomes soft - bran is largely unaffected by cooking. It is more nutritious than white rice (even "enriched" white rice), especially in its thiamine content. But since most Americans don't eat rice for its nutrients, this isn't necessarily important.
I suspect this is the majority attitude but it sounds strange to me when stated directly. Had he said this about sugar or alcohol it wouldn't resonate oddly at all but, for a staple like rice, does anyone else out there think this is symptomatic of warped societal attitude toward our food?

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Old 09-01-2006, 05:00 AM   #2
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well I think he could include the UK in that statement also, incl me.
I don`t eat rice because I`m thinking nutrients, I just like it for it`s own sake, it tastes nice, its flexible etc...
in fact most foods I cook are for that reason too, it just turns out that good food well planed happens to be nutrient rich and good for you too.
the only time I really conside nutrients and such are when it comes to feeding my 14 month old daughter, then you have to be carefull of different aspects such as Salt content etc...
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
One of my favorite cooking books is How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I find the following under Grains, The Basics of Rice.
since most Americans don't eat rice for its nutrients, this isn't necessarily important.
... does anyone else out there think this is symptomatic of warped societal attitude toward our food?
It's really a little sad, when you come to think about it. What's more, it could quite easily apply to many, many other countries in the world. Do we consider pizza, taco salad, burritos, chile con carne, BigMacs, SloppyJoes, hash browns, takeaway Chinese, and a gorge-yourself-silly -at-the- Big-Lobster nutritious? I think not.

Most of the time ( and you can hurl Molotov cocktails at me if you don't agree ) I get the feeling that most of the population eats to live, not lives to eat. Fast Food fills the stomach and resolves the lunch break. I doubt anyone actually reads the TacoBell Nutritional Information as they whack down their double- cheese Taco with extra ground beef. Office workers and corporate execs have less and less and less time, as impressive international business consultancies warn them of over-staffing and under-employing . Your official work hours are 8 per day, but if you want to reach the top, hey, don't leave till 9pm!!! Eat crap and climb the Corporate ladder!

When these bizzy people actually get to sit down for a proper meal, they often don't know what to do with it.

The other side if the coin is poverty. I live in a designated "Third World" country. I've actually visited houses ( shacks would be a better description) with dirt floors, kids running around naked, the man of the house drunk because he has no job and cannot be bothered to look for one, where breakfast lunch and dinner is an arepa; a "hamburger-bun-sized - cornbread", maybe with a little protein ( meat, cheese?) in it, and maybe not. a "Refreshing" drink for the kids is the same cornmeal blitzed with water, sugar and perhaps a squeeze of lime juice. OH! But I should warn you that the aforementioned house has the most unbelievable stereo/aroundsound DVD/blah sound system you could ever dream of!!Marketing and consumerism. These people don't give a monkey's about nutrition; they only care about hunger. Meanwhile, we have serious, but I mean, serious, obesity problems in the USA, in Canada, in the UK, in Australia, in Spain, in Italy...FAR more dangerous than smoking!!

Oh dear. I ended up with a sermon, when all I wanted to do was try and put things in perspective! Sorry to you all - I'm awaiting the Molotovs! ( now where's that hotdog with all the trimmings and the deep-fried chicken and bacon salad with parmesan croutons....)
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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I just think that Bittman is off base. The preference for white rice has nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with tradition. Most people through out the world eat only white rice, even though most of the nutrition is in the bran layer. I suspect that many people would not like brown rice, simply because they've never had it before and would find that it doesn't taste like they think rice should. It is different -- brown rice is much more flavorful than white.

In any case, I wonder how Mr. Bittman would explain the preference for white rice through out Asia and the Indian subcontinent, even among the hungry masses.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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When I do make brown rice I do it specifically because it is healthier and more nutritious than white rice.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
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When I make brown rice, it's because I like it. But, I'm a child of the 60s, and I even think tofu is good!

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Old 09-04-2006, 07:42 PM   #7
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I always make brown rice.

I really try to check the food counts of the meals I prepare. I don't always do it but getting the nutritional information of the foods is very important to me.

I use www.fitday.com to keep track of the calories, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sodium, protein, fat and fiber in the food I eat. It has pie charts that show you how well you are doing.

If fitday doesn't have the food listed, it is very easy to put it into the file.

I must admit that doing this is like a 2nd job and I get tired of it but all the info is still in the back of my mind. Heck, I know what to eat and why but journaling keeps me honest with myself.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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I like brown rice much more than white not because of the great nutrition
but because of the great flavor,but the white rice is good in asian dishes.I also like basmati and all the others that are more different plain white rice.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:02 PM   #9
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Good nutrition isn't bound up in one product or another, but the whole package of food we eat. If we eat healthy most of the time, I see no reason not to eat white rice if that is what we like. We eat brown rice often and like it, but others may not care for it at all so they may have to make other adjustments in areas to include white rice in their meal plans. We eat mostly fresh foods, some frozen and very few canned. We limit fat, salt,sugar and other additives. I think many of us are tired of having food police come up with a different agenda every other day to make it seem like we are poisoning ourselves and our family and laying a guilt trip on us. I realize there are people who don't eat as we do, but they probably won't change until they get the message on their own. Even the "in the knowers" don't agree on how foods affect us and change their mind from one newscast to another. I think we should enjoy good food within limits and only indulge in those less nutritious occasionally. But, that is my philosophy for my family. Yours may be different.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
I like brown rice much more than white not because of the great nutrition
but because of the great flavor,but the white rice is good in asian dishes.I also like basmati and all the others that are more different plain white rice.
Couldn't agree with you more. The type of rice I choose has more to do with the type of dish I want it to complement. Sometimes long-grain white rice really is the best choice. Other times, it has to be Basmati or Jasmine. I do prefer short-grain white rice with most Asian dishes, but I've discovered that short-grain brown rice is delicious.


I've always loved the taste and texture of brown rice, but then I never had an aversion to whole-wheat bread as did my school pals. They wanted their food white, soft, and squishy.

One drawback, though, for some may be the longer cooking time required for any type of brown rice. I takes 45 to 50 minutes if cooking it conventionally. I throw it in the fancy rice cooker (fuzzy logic one) and turn it to the brown rice setting. It takes about an hour and a half (which includes a soaking period). I do it early, and it stays perfect on the "keep warm" setting.

I can't for the life of me figure out why Bittman would single out rice for such a qualification.
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