Rice has been around for an extremely long time. You can trace its origin back thousands of years. It’s filling, versatile, and many cultures use it as a staple.
Most people do not spend much time thinking about rice farming, though. They might buy rice at their local grocery store, but they don’t consider how it got to them. They don’t ponder the best rice farming practices that let them enjoy this side dish they set down on the table for lunch or dinner.
Let’s talk about sustainable rice farming practices now.
What are Sustainable Rice Farming Practices?
When we talk about getting the best rice for consumption, we’re essentially discussing the implementation of sustainable rice farming practices for improved yield. A crop’s yield means how much edible food the farmer gets from it. Farmers want better yields from their crops, but they also must practice sustainability.
Sustainable farming means practices that don’t harm the environment. When we talk about this, we don’t just mean rice farming. We also mean any farming or agriculture method that produces food and don’t impact the planet.
Why Does Sustainable Farming Matter?
Agriculture helps humans, but it frequently harms the planet. You might plant a simple vegetable garden in your backyard and water it with a watering can. The sun warms the earth and helps the plants grow. That won’t harm the environment.
If you plant crops that might feed thousands of people, though, you need more soil, water, and other resources. In these instances, you must practice sustainable agriculture. Humans can understand this when they look at what mass food manufacturing does.
If you utilize sustainable farming practices, you protect the planet for future generations. You can also harvest food crops while expanding the Earth’s natural resources, not depleting them.
If you can plant and harvest crops so that you maintain or improve soil fertility, that’s even better. Some farmers do these things. Others are not so conscientious.
Soil Enrichment and Clean Air and Water
Any time you can grow rice, or any other crop, so that you’re implementing soil enrichment, that’s excellent. You want to let the soil retain water while storing carbon. You should keep the water and air clean while you farm.
You should also create greater biodiversity through your farming practices if you can. Most critically, though, you should use farming methods that continue these practices indefinitely. If you’re farming correctly, you have implemented practices that someone could continue, in theory, one hundred years or even five hundred years from now.
Obviously, that is wishful thinking. Sustainable farming practices do not guarantee a crop like rice can continue growing the same way when future generations take over. If you use sustainable farming practices, though, you give those generations the best possible chance to enjoy the same crops that we do today. The rest of the world must cooperate to achieve that goal, though.
What Should You See from Your Rice Company?
Getting back to buying rice in the grocery store, you might feel you should support sustainable farming, even if you’re a consumer and not a farmer yourself. You can do that.
Start by researching your rice company. Look at the name on the box or bag and look it up online. You should see that the rice company from which you buy supports large-scale and small-scale farmers. You should also look at any information the company provides about its distribution network.
Their distribution, sales, and warehousing should all exist as harmoniously as possible. They should not pollute the planet, but they should also treat their employees respectfully. They must pay them a good living wage and not overwork them.
The company from which you buy should operate transparently. They should show you on their website the process by which the rice gets to you, even from halfway around the world.
Rice Companies Should Work Closely with Their Suppliers
Rice companies should know their rice’s origin. They can tell you where they grow it and how they gather it. They should only source and supply the highest quality rice.
They must improve rice farmer livelihood whenever possible. They should mention the agricultural practices they use and how they don’t harm the planet. They should support agricultural development chances for local farmers.
Their distribution networks and storage should produce a consistent product that tastes great and lets you know you’re supporting the most modern, sustainable practices.
You’re Part of a Global Network When You Purchase Rice
If you toss some rice in your shopping cart, you may not ponder where it comes from or how a farmer produced it. However, you are the end user following a complicated growing, harvesting, storing, and distributing system that takes many months. If you know more about your place in this complex economic dance, you can decide whether you should continue supporting this particular company.
Don’t assume all rice manufacturers have similarities. If you learn about them, you might learn some harm the planet, while others will immediately mention their sustainable practices.
The rice you put on your plate may come from a different country, but the farmers and harvesters that produce it work hard to feed their families, just as you do. You should support them as they put themselves out there every day, growing and cultivating the rice you use as a staple.
A little effort on your part increases your awareness. If you learn about sustainable rice planting, harvesting, shipping, and storing, you might learn about other food companies and how they operate as well. By supporting the ones that don’t inflict environmental harm, you’re helping the planet, even in just a small way.
If you have doubts regarding your rice company, you can contact them and ask them any questions about their sustainability and general farming practices. Some will gladly talk about these things. They want their customers well informed, and you’ll feel good about yourself as you become better educated.