RICE is the principle food of one half of the population of the earth. It is more widely and generally used as a food than any other cereal. It should be recognized, however, that natives everywhere live on undressed rice, a very different thing from the polished rice of commerce, the only usually offered for sale by English grocers. No human being could live on polished rice solely, any more than they could live on white flour only, both having been robbed of most of their valuable mineral salts and much of their flesh forming elements.
It is very strange how people, who consider themselves to be both civilized and educated, should be so deceived regarding the kind of food necessary to keep their bodies in perfect health and fitness. Experience will convince anyone that the greatest enjoyment after all is obtained by the eating of simple natural foods, rather the highly manufactured residues that have ceased to be either whole or natural.
Rice and wheat provide good examples of the kind of food “highly civilized” people are content to put up with. But few demand the best or the second best. In fact they have never troubled about the matter, and for this very reason the scourge of constipation claims its thousands, nay, tens of thousands of victims. The equivalents of the two foods and their results as regards constipation may be summed up as follows:.
Rice Wheat Flour. Constipation.
1st and Best Undressed Wholemeal Practically
2nd Best Unpolished Brown or
Standard Subject to
3rd Ordinary dressed Ordinary
Seconds Sufferers from
Worst Highly polished White Patent
and glazed Flour Never free from If any readers consider that experience does not confirm these facts, let them try to live on either white rice or white flour alone, as the writer of this article has done. They will not require any other proof.
The relative content of the proteins, fat and mineral matter contained in the undressed and highly polished rice will be seen by the following analysis:.
Rice. Proteins Fat. Minerals.
Undressed 11.0 7.2 5.2
Highly polished 7.4 0.3 0.4.
The chief flavour of the rice being in the organic salts and fats, the undressed rice is much superior in this respect also, which accounts for the fact that travellers universally speak of the delicious quality of the rice eaten in Oriental countries. To quote Mr. J.G. Paton, in a very informative article that appeared in the News-chronicle of April 5th, “Japanese workers live mainly on rice” rice” while they think that “British workers live mainly on indigestible meat.”
He further remarks: “The standard of living of house is nor necessarily lower than that of a dog because the horse eats not meat.” He might also have pointed out what is equally true, that humans never expect-let alone get-work of nay kind from carnivorous animals.
Before being cooked, undressed rice is much browner than ordinary rice, but after being properly cooked, even in colour there is little to choose between them. Undressed rice will also digest more readily than almost any other form of food. Plain boiled undressed rice can be perfectly assimilated by the ordinary human digestive organs in an hour, while most of the other cereals.
legumes and many vegetables require from three to three and a half hours, while some flesh foods take up to five hours. Thus 75 per cent. of the time and energy usually expended in the system a much higher reserve of energy. In face of this fact, civilized peoples should drop the false impression that the human digestive system is the sole machine in the world that never requires either a rest or a holiday.
The average annual consumption of rice per head in Japan is 400 lbs., in the United States 6 lbs., while in England it is still less. It makes one wonder whether rice may not have more to do with the “Japanese trade menace” than cotton.
When rice is spoken of a being the staple food of a large portion of the worlds inhabitants, including the teeming millions of India, China, Siam, Japan and Africa, it should always be remembered that it is a rice that has been once milled only, the outer-uneatable-husk alone having been removed.
If the rice eating nations treated rice in the same manner as it is treated by, or for, the English speaking people, doubtless the nations in question who are now practically all vegetarians, would require to add to their menu, fish and fowl, which the Englishman now considers necessary additions to his highly refined white bread, although the lives of many of the eaters of wholemeal bread have proved animal food to be quite unnecessary in the attainment and maintenance of perfect health and strength.
Perhaps the most wonderful of the many great performances, mental and physical, accomplished by oriental nations, is illustrated by the achievements of the Japanese during the Japanese-Russian war, whose deeds of strength and valour compel our admiration and wonder. The Japs rapid recovery from wounds and their comparative freedom from disease, must be largely attributed to the wonderful medicinal and healing properties of the natural undressed rice, which is their chief article of diet.
With all natural dried foods such as rice, that require cooking, it is important that this should be properly done. This article has already become too long to give cooking instructions here, but a very useful booklet on Undressed Rice, published 2d., containing much useful information together with 100 recipes can be obtained from the “Pitman” Health Food Co., 471 Vitaland, Four Oaks.