Consumer FAQs

What is the difference between brown and white rice?

When rice comes from the field, the kernels are encased in an inedible, protective hull. This is called rough or paddy rice. To remove the hulls, rough rice is passed through machines called shellers.

After the hulls are removed, the remaining grain is called whole grain brown rice. It still retains the bran and germ layers, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, oil and various phytonutrients suggested to have health benefits. Brown rice is a 100% whole grain food and takes about 40 to 45 minutes to cook. Because of the oil in the bran layer, brown rice has a limited shelf life of approximately six months. Refrigerator or freezer storage is recommended for longer shelf life.

To turn whole grain brown rice into white rice, the grains are passed through machines that rub the grains together to remove the bran and germ. White rice has the outer husk, bran and germ removed. This process gives white rice an extended shelf life and a shorter cooking time of approximately 15 minutes. Most white rice in the United States is enriched with thiamin, niacin and iron, and fortified with folic acid, to restore nutrients lost during processing.

Which is better nutritionally: brown or white rice?

The answer is both! The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate recommend that “at least half of all the grains eaten should be whole grains,” meaning the other grain servings for the day should come from either whole or enriched grains, like brown or enriched white rice.

Where is rice grown in the United States?

Nearly 85% of the rice consumed in the U.S. is grown here! Farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri and Mississippi produce about 18 billion pounds of rice each year. Meet our farmers to learn more!

What is the difference between long, medium and short grain rice?

Long grain rice has a long, slender kernel, three to four times longer than its width. Cooked grains are separate, light and fluffy. It is perfect for pilafs, stir-fry and Southern favorites such as jambalaya and gumbo.

Medium and short grain rice have shorter, wider kernels. Cooked grains are more moist and tender, with a greater tendency to cling together. Short and medium grain rice are good choices for dishes that have a creamier consistency, such as risotto or rice puddings, as well as sushi and other Asian dishes. Learn more about the many varieties of U.S.-grown rice.

What is the best way to store uncooked rice?

Milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked) will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants. Brown rice, because of the oil in the bran layer, has a limited shelf life of approximately six months. Refrigerator storage is recommended for longer shelf life. Read more about rice storage here.

How do I reheat rice after it is refrigerated?

For each cup of cooked rice, add two tablespoons of liquid. Cover and heat on top of range or in oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. Or, in a microwave oven, cover and cook on high approximately one minute per cup. Frozen rice may be cooked two minutes on high power for each cup. Fluff with a fork before serving.

What is wild rice?

Not a true rice, wild rice is the grain of an aquatic grass native to North America. Today, most of what is sold as “wild” rice is actually cultivated and then mechanically harvested and processed.

USA-Rice-Infographic

10 Reasons to Eat Rice Grown in the USA

Click here to download the infographic »