Trend Spotlight

Health and Flavor Go Hand In Hand with U.S.-Grown Rice

Volume 1, Issue 3 | July 2017

Health is top of mind for many college students, and can even play a role in where students choose to apply.

As a response, many colleges and universities across the country are revamping their menus to appeal to health-minded students. U.S.-grown rice is an ideal addition for college dining halls—it’s packed full of nutrients, is a perfect base for adding global flavors and is an easy, cost-effective solution for making large-scale meals.

CU 3 Stat1 - Trend Spotlight
U.S.-grown rice offers beneficial antioxidants and more than 15 vitamins and minerals. This tiny but mighty grain is full of nutrients that supply energy, complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. College students today are more likely to be familiar with functional foods that promote wellness—adding U.S.-grown rice to campus dishes means that not only will students get a delicious meal, but they’ll also get a wholesome, functional ingredient that will keep them energized throughout the day.

Consumer Trend Report
Recipe image of a rice bowl with tomatoes, cheese, and parsley

The Nutritional Power of Rice
Here’s the scoop on U.S.-grown rice:

  • It’s a “hundred-calorie pack”: one half-cup serving of rice contains only 100 calories
  • It’s a “free” food: naturally sodium-, cholesterol-, gluten- and GMO-free
  • Rice packs a nutritional kick: it provides essential vitamins and minerals including, folic acid, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, selenium, fiber, iron and zinc
  • Whole-grain goodness: one cup of brown, wild, red or black rice provides two of the three recommended daily servings of whole grains
  • White rice’s “wow” factor: one cup of enriched white rice has 23% of the recommended daily value of folic acid, a B vitamin the body needs to make new cells

Try adding rice bowls and ethnic rice plates for nutritious and trendy one-dish solutions. Energy boosting bowls and plates featuring U.S.-grown rice give students a variety of colors, textures and flavors, because rice pairs perfectly with other healthy energy-boosting foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean protein, seafood, beans, nuts and soy. Also, don’t restrict your offerings to one rice: try mixing two types of rice together, like brown and white or wild, for a more complex taste and texture.

Add beans to rice on dining hall menus and you get a nutritional power couple! Beans and rice is a popular dish in many parts of the world, and is a simple foundation for great flavors like fresh cilantro, garam masala and spicy jalapeño. When eaten together, rice and beans provide all essential amino acids and deliver a complete high-quality plant-based protein, making it a perfect dish for vegetarian students or for Meatless Mondays.

Plus, U.S.-grown rice is a cost-effective ingredient, often off-setting the price of more expensive vegetables and proteins found in rice bowls and plates. Give your students a healthy choice while keeping costs low with U.S.-grown rice.

Menu Inspiration

These rice dishes are packed with flavor and nutrients

CU 3 recipe2 - Trend SpotlightGreek Rice Salad Wrap
Crisp garden vegetables and fresh herbs mingle with rice, feta cheese and Greek olives… View recipe

Seven-Rice Tabbouleh Salad
A luscious whole grain salad from the chefs at The Culinary Institute of America… View recipe

Country Breakfast Cereal
This delicious and gluten-free brown rice breakfast bowl is full of cranberries… View recipe

The Nutritional Power of Rice
This bowl employs classic Southeast flavors and soybean tofu. Substitute other vegan… View recipe

CU 3 Rice101 - Trend Spotlight

Learn how to step up your whole grain intake with U.S.-grown rice.

Trend Spotlight CU Products - Trend Spotlight

Did you know that are thousands of rice types grown around the world? Check out this quick guide to the 16 most popular grown in the U.S.

Learn more about U.S.-grown rice for foodservice today!

Meet the Farmer

CU 3 Farmer - Trend Spotlight

Every quarter we will highlight one of our American rice farmers and the legacy they are creating.

Missouri’s Bootheel is prime rice country. Just ask Rance Daniels, a farmer whose rice acreage there is around 1,800 acres. His family began growing rice in the late 80s and really started to expand their stake in the crop in the mid-90s, about the time Rance graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in Agriculture Business and Economics.

After college, Rance returned to the family farm. As his duties there increased so did his urge to travel to rice-producing areas in the United States and around the world to see how others farm rice and to bring back their best practices to his family’s operation. “The opportunity to travel opened my eyes to new ideas and farming methods but it also made me realize the importance of marketing and promotion, what happens to my crop after it leaves my farm, and ways to broaden the appeal of U.S. rice here as well as in overseas markets.”

Rance and his wife, Robin, have three children and so far it looks like their only son is interested in farming and looking forward to getting involved in the family business as he gets older. Rance is excited by the prospect of passing the farm to the next generation.  “I can’t think of a better way to make a living: being outdoors and spending time with my family, working hard to keep this land viable so we can keep feeding our hungry world.”

Learn more about U.S. rice farmers.