Welcome to the 'rice' section of our website! Here you will find information on lots of different types of organic rice, for both savoury and sweet dishes. In this section we also have a number of non-organic rice lines. We try to offer as many types of rice as we can, as it is such a versatile food and such an important element of a wholefood diet.
This section does not deal with rice pasta, crackers, breakfast cereals, syrup or milk made with rice, but you can find these easily in other sections of our site.
Eating organic rice has many benefits both for you and the environment. These include:
- Lower fertiliser use: in an organic system, soil fertility is maintained with manure, crop rotation and, in the case of rice, with flood water. For rice production with a high water use, eliminating the use of synthetic fertilisers reduces contamination from run-off. In developing countries, where there is not always the infrastructure to clean contaminated water, maintaining water cleanliness is vital. In addition, synthetic fertilisers are a major source of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas.
- Fewer pesticides: most fungicides, insecticides and herbicides are banned in an organic system, leading to greater biodiversity.
In addition to the basic rules and regulations of organic production, there is an underlying ethos of care: care for the health of the workers and the environment, care for ecology and for fairness. Eating organic rice promotes this general view. For rice from the developing world, we offer a Fairtrade option.
Benefits of brown organic rice
White rice is simply brown rice that has had the bran and germ covering removed. The effect of removing the bran and germ on the nutritional value of the rice is considerable - and it also has an environmental impact.
In nutritional terms, the fibre content of white rice is reduced by over three-quarters; in addition, vitamins B1 and B3 are lost, as is much of the iron content. This is sometimes added back, making the white rice 'enriched', but one important mineral that is lost and is not added back is magnesium. Losing the bran element of the rice also means that the oil in the bran is lost. This oil has been associated with lowering cholesterol.
In terms of the environment, the less a food is processed, the less its impact on the environment. Processing foods takes energy, as does adding back lost vitamins.
Most restaurants use white rice, so eating brown rice probably means eating it at home. However, the switch to brown rice is easy, and once you have made the transition, the larger, chewier, slightly nutty flavour will become a firm favourite at home.
Brown rice and diabetes
A study by Harvard University published in 2010 suggested a clear link between the consumption of white rice and the development of Type 2 diabetes, with a high consumption of white rice leading to a greater incidence of Type 2 diabetes. By contrast, switching to wholegrain brown rice reduced the risk of developing this type of diabetes.
10 reasons for eating organic brown rice
Among the main reasons for eating brown organic rice are:
- Taste: one of the best reasons for eating any food is the taste! While white rice needs to have a flavouring added, with brown rice, there is a taste of its own. It can be eaten on its own, and indeed, adds its own flavour to rice dishes.
- Texture: unlike white rice, brown rice still has its rice bran and rice germ, giving the rice more texture and bite - you really know that you are eating a wholefood. With brown rice, you get the whole grain, not just part of it.
- Smell: the smell of brown rice cooking is one of those 'comfort' smells, homely and inviting. It speaks of home cooking, with the smell reaching you and getting the taste buds working long before the rice is ready, feeding your anticipation of the wholesome delight to come.
- Cost: at Naturally Good Food we try to price our own packed brown rice at a lower price than our white rice equivalent; you can see the difference in our basmati rice prices.
- Range of recipe ideas: to help you enjoy our organic brown rice, we have a number of recipe ideas for you to try. These take account of the special properties of brown rice and are a great introduction to eating brown rice.
- Reducing your risk of diabetes: recent studies have shown that eating brown rice reduces your risk of developing diabetes, whereas eating significant amounts of white rice can increase your risk. For more information, see our previous blog.
- Higher nutritional content: brown rice contains high levels of the vitamins betaine and choline, niacin and folate, as well as the B complex vitamins. Brown rice is a rich source of the minerals phosphorus and potassium and also offers magnesium, calcium and iron. Brown rice has plenty of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as several essential amino acids, such as glutamate, aspartate, leucine and arginine. In terms of fibre, 1 cup of brown rice has 6.5g of fibre.
- More filling: brown rice is more filling than white rice and releases its energy more slowly, so you eat less and also don't feel so hungry later. It helps if you wish to lose weight, especially after some Christmas (or holiday) indulgences!
- Organic brown rice has lower pesticide levels.
- Fairtrade status: our white basmati rice is also Fairtrade, but this is still a good reason to buy organic brown basmati rice from us! Fairtrade means that the farmer gets a fair return for the effort involved in bringing you a superb rice.
With all these reasons to eat organic brown rice, it is difficult to see why some people still eat white rice! To encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of brown rice, why not buy a large sack and give your friends a portion to try? Buying in bulk means that your rice will cost less per kilo than if you buy a smaller packet in the supermarket, so you can afford to give some away and still save money.
The brown rice you purchase from Naturally Good Food will keep for at least six months in normal conditions. If you store the rice in a hermetically sealed container, then it will remain fresh for much longer. White rice will keep longer than brown rice, as it does not have the oil in the bran: some commentators suggest that white rice will keep for many years.
Cooked rice needs to be treated correctly:
- It is best to serve rice as soon as it is cooked.
- If this isn't possible, cool the rice within an hour and keep refrigerated until reheating or using in a cold dish.
- Throw away any rice that has been left at room temperature overnight.
- Don't keep cooked rice and grains for longer than two days and don't reheat them more than once.
Best ethical organic rice buy
||The Ethical Buyer's Guide to rice lists the Crazy Jack range of organic rice as among their best buys, giving you great taste, full organic status and an ethical best buy.
Type of rice
Included in the range of organic rices we offer are:
- Arborio: a short-grain, Italian-produced rice named after the town of Arborio. Arborio rice is firm, creamy and chewy; it can be used to make risotto and also rice puddings. See 'risotto rice' below.
- Jasmine or fragrant rice: a long-grain rice sometimes known as 'Thai fragrant rice'. Jasmine rice is originally from Thailand and has a nutty flavour.
- Red Camargue: from the wet Camargue region of southern France, red Camargue rice works very well in salads, being nutty in flavour, with a firm, chewy texture.
- Risotto: short-grain rice with a high starch content. When cooked, it will stick together and, if plenty of stock is used, produces a delicious, creamy risotto.
- Basmati white: from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. The grains of basmati rice are longer than most other types of rice. When cooked, the grains are separate and fluffy. Basmati rice has a fragrant flavour and aroma and is the rice generally used in Indian dishes.
- Basmati brown: produced in the same region, brown basmati rice has a higher fibre content and a richer, stronger aroma. Basmati rice can be cooked with spices to great effect.
- Long-grain brown: a distinct nutty flavour, with a chewy texture, the grains remain separate when cooked. For this type of rice, the longer and thinner the grain, the better.
- Short-grain brown: a full-flavoured rice with soft, round grains that stick together after cooking. Ideal in rice balls, croquettes and paella.
- Sushi rice: this type of rice is short-grain and becomes sticky when cooked, encouraging handling with chopsticks! Long-grain rice does not work in the same way, as it is drier and doesn't stick together.
- Easy-cook: for those unsure about cooking rice, this is a 'parboiled' rice, where the rice has been boiled for a brief time before packing, reducing eventual cooking time and lessening the chance of the rice becoming too sticky.
- Pudding: rice pudding is an often overlooked pudding, but with slow cooking and lots of nutmeg, it makes an absolutely splendid dessert!
- Wild rice: this is not a true rice at all, as it comes from a grass. Wild black rice is an uncultivated seed variety with a very intense flavour.
Save on rice
We offer a normal 10% discount if you buy a case of rice from us. If you want further savings, and rice is a regular part of your diet, you might like to consider buying a sack.
If you regularly eat rice, or can share a sack of rice with a friend, then far and away the cheapest way to buy rice is through bulk purchase by the sack. Our range of 25kg sacks can be seen both on this page and on our specific bulk rice page.
Organic rice: hints and tips
See our PDF on cooking with brown rice.
Here are some tips and hints on rice that we have picked up over the years.
Organic rice recipes
There are lots of different recipes using rice on our site that you might like to try.
Rice news from Naturally Good Food!