Rice is such an important food in some countries that "to eat" means "to eat rice." Nearly half of the people in the world get approximately 50% of their calories from rice. Without rice, or something to take the place of rice, many people would go hungry.
Botanically, rice is the seed of an aquatic grass. It has been cultivated for more than 8,000 years. The Latin name for rice is Oryza sativa. There are many varieties of rice, such as arborio, jasmine, and basmati. It also comes in red, black, and purple, with the colors coming from pigments in the bran layer. The more you learn about the different types of rice, the more you'll appreciate this simple food.
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