My Rice Rant

Note: I’ve never seen brown rice in Latin America. This post is about white rice.

A Facebook update from November 2009 (facebook.com/post.colin):

I’m spending 6 weeks in the States and I’m not eating one grain of rice the whole time!

My January 13 tweet (twitter.com/colinpost):

Life in Latin America is a daily struggle to minimize my consumption of rice.

Rice has no taste. Rice is nutritionally worthless. Rice is filler crap, the most abused filler crap in the world.

I went broke in Bogota, so I’m living and working in America for the summer. People here are always surprised at my refusal to eat rice. I didn’t have anything against rice before moving to Latin America. If you grew up in the States, you wouldn’t think anything of it because you rarely eat it. It wasn’t until my one-year point in Latin America that I grew weary of rice. You can’t escape it. If you eat in restaurants, then you’ll have to eat rice EVERY FUCKING DAY.

Rice tastes like nothing. If someone wanted to create a purely fuel food that eliminated all flavor in life, it would taste like rice. However, it wouldn’t be rice because rice is nutritionally worthless.

I’ve already decided that, whenever I start a family, my kids won’t eat rice more than a few times a week. I’d rather not keep it in the house. High consumption of rice may be why Colombia and other countries suck at sports on a global level. How many rice-eating countries make it to the World Cup finals?

The only public good rice serves is in alleviating famine. It’s cheap filler crap for countries that have trouble feeding themselves. I’m not from such a country.

Nutrition Facts, 1 cup of rice (link)

Calories 193
Total Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 44g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g

For every 44g of simple carbohydrates, rice has only one gram of fiber. A cup of rice contains no significant amount of vitamins or minerals save a measly 10% RDA of iron, which I don’t need given my high intake of eggs, beef, chicken, fish, and beans. From a nutrition standpoint, the only functional reason to eat rice would be immediately after lifting weights to spike insulin. However, you’d still be better off drinking a liter of milk for the same effect PLUS protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and, most importantly, all the essential amino acids. (Read why Milk is the Ultimate Post-Workout Food)

Here’s a list of carbohydrates better than rice:

  • Potatoes – more fiber and rich in Vitamin C
  • Oats – more fiber, protein, and complex carbs for energy throughout the day.
  • Beans – complex carbs with lots of fiber and protein, plus B vitamins.
  • Carrots – more fiber plus Vitamin A and beta carotene.
  • Fruit – simple carbs plus fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. And FLAVOR! See my post about the kick-ass fruit in Colombia.

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5 comments

  1. Well, it’s true that rice is basically a staple meal in Latin America. I remember eating rice almost every day and it only is worthwhile if I ate it as a side with steak, mole, or some other main dish. I grew up eating it all the time which is why I don’t overtly hate it. It is only good to fill you up for a little while though. Your theory linking soccer to meat eating countries and not rice-eating ones is hilarious, but I must say, up until this day Mexico can’t for shit get past the second round in the World Cup, so until proved empirically otherwise, that theory has some truth to it. Hehe, Mexico can’t win a fricking World Cup because rice is one of its staple foods and the majority of the population is so poor they really can’t afford meat. We do have the almighty tortilla and bean combination. So far that hasn’t brought many accolades to the country. Hilarious post otherwise.

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  2. I concur about rice.

    I live in SE Asia and rice is eaten 3 times a day.!!!

    In Latin America there is also potatoes ,beans,bread..

    In Asia you got to hit Carrefour for those luxuries.

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  3. Brian – I agree grains in general make shit food, but I disagree that rice is better than oats. After all, oats have a ton of fiber (1g for every 6g carbs), iron, and protein. But judging from the link you passed along, I imagine we have a similar diet of all meat, fruit, and vegetables unless I’m cheating 🙂

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  4. i am with you on the rice Collin i have been here in Bogota for 3 weeks now visiting family and i can stand the table maggots after 2 days of eating here
    we need to meet up . I am over in Barro Florenceia have you tried Ibague yet
    i was there for a total of five hours and had 4 chicas wanting to take me to a motel to run a train on me it is a great place to visit

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