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Is Rice a good emergency food?

Rice is an excellent survival food. It is a great source of carbohydrates and is capable of being efficiently stored for long periods of time. Besides the benefits of long-term storage, it is also calorie-dense as compared to the space it takes to store it.

Rice is a grain that is easily accessible via grocery stores in most of the modern world. It has been prominent throughout history since it can be stored for indefinite periods of time, a safeguard against famine for centuries. This same principle can apply on a smaller scale for your personal emergency food stockpile.

When you cook rice and cool it, it gets higher in resistant starch. Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut. (It's okay to reheat the rice before serving.)

Rice can be used as a main dish, side dish, or mixed directly into a lot of different recipes. Some cultures eat rice daily and sometimes it is even served with every meal.

Types of Rice

While there are many kinds of rice I will be sticking with white rice and brown rice because they are the most widely used, and therefore the most popular and readily available.

White Rice

White rice is the most popular kind to eat. This is probably because it is the cheapest and has a long shelf life.

White rice is also referred to as “polished rice” because the germ and bran have been removed from it, giving it a bright white appearance.

This process strips away some of the nutrition from the grain but gives it much longer shelf life. When stored under proper conditions, white rice can last for decades.

Brown Rice

Brown rice derives its name from the grain’s color. The husk and bran are left on the grain which gives it a brown appearance.

Additional nutrients are found in this outer brown layer which is why brown rice is often a better food option to consume.

However, brown rice does not come without a downside.

Because there is more oil in this type of rice, the potential for brown rice to become rancid is higher. This gives brown rice a shelf life of roughly six months.

Why Is Rice the Best Food for Storing Long-Term?

•It can increase your energy levels

•It normalizes your bowel movement

•It can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your system

•It lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack

•It optimizes the transportation of oxygen in your body through your bloodstreams

What is the Best Rice for Long-Term Storage?

When evaluating the viability of long-term storage for rice, you need to look at multiple factors to determine shelf life, including the type of rice you are storing, whether or not it has been cooked, and the method of storage you plan to use.

Brown and white rice have drastically different shelf life due to the difference in composition as well as the differences in oils and other nutrients. Brown rice maintains many of the oils and nutrients that are capable of spoiling and has a drastically shorter shelf life staying fresh for about six months. White rice is typically stripped of most of the oils capable of going rancid and is easily stored for years.

Cooking the rice has an enormous impact on the viability of storage for the rice. Cooked rice lasts six months in a freezer, a few days in the refrigerator, and less than a day at room temperature. This difference happens because the cooking of rice introduces so much moisture content allowing the food to grow bacteria which eventually causes spoilage.

Storage methods make a big difference in shelf life. The colder and drier you are able to keep your rice the longer the shelf life will be.

Rice is a great emergency food. Stored properly, it lasts for over 20 years, without refrigeration or freezing.


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