for me each time he rings my bell.
It’s such fun to tear open the box and reveal a delightful selection of healthy, green, natural,
organic or plant-based/vegan goodies.
This week, when I opened the box, I was pleased to unwrap a wholesome selection of organic
rice and ramen products from Lotus Foods.
Organic brown rice and rice ramen dishes are my ‘go-to’ comfort foods–so I eat them regularly.
I believe that it is our responsibility to vote with our pocketbooks by choosing organic products
that are produced sustainably.
Lotus Foods’ earth-friendly motto and mission: “Healthier Rice for a Healthier Life” resonates
That’s why I am delighted to talk about Lotus Foods’ healthier, sustainably grown rice products
as my focus for my MidWeek Munchies post this week.
The Healthiest Rice For People & Planet
Lotus Foods’ products have been dubbed “The Healthiest Rice For People and Planet”– so I was
curious to find out why!
Their products are marketed as the most distinctive ancient and new rices now available in the
marketplace and are recognized for their exceptional cooking quality, taste, texture, and superb
They attribute this to the fact that they are grown on family farms in limited quantities, on healthy,
chemical-free soils, whether in the pristine valleys of Bhutan or on the organic Raun Family farm in Texas.
And while their delicious heirloom rices are new to many US consumers, they have been prized in some
cases for hundreds of years in the regions where they originate, with the best seed carefully selected and
saved season to season and handed down generation to generation.
Now found in specialty gourmet, natural foods markets and grocery stores, as well as, “white table-cloth”
restaurants around the US, their rices have become a favorite of consumers seeking healthier options,
as well as of chefs and “foodies” across the country.
Sustainability Is The Core Of Their Business
At Lotus Foods, “sustainability” is not just a buzzword.
It is what motivates them every day as a company and as individuals.
Most of us tend to think of sustainability in terms of agriculture or the environment.
Their broader definition is more in tune with the Earth Charter, which believes that sustainable
living and development is premised on an ethical framework that includes “respect and care for
the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic
justice, and a culture of peace.”
More Crop Per Drop = A Grassroots Rice Revolution
“More Crop Per Drop” is how Lotus Foods’ refers to their rice that is grown using the System of Rice
SRI is a not a new seed or input, but rather a different way of cultivating rice that enables small-scale
farmers to double and triple their yields while using 80-90% less seed, 50% less water, less or no
Why is SRI Is So Important?
SRI addresses some of the most important challenges we face this century – namely to feed several
billion more people with dwindling land and water resources and without further degrading the
SRI has been largely grassroots driven, fueled by marginalized women and men farmers and the non-profit
NGOs and individuals.
The reason these farmers are so excited about SRI is because it represents an opportunity for more food,
more money, better health, and more options – in short, for a way out of poverty.
“Of particular importance, the time women had to
spend in the fields was reduced by at least half,
freeing them to pursue other activities which
significantly improved community well-being
and quality of life.”
LESS Means MORE Benefits For People And The Planet
According to Lotus Foods’, “More Crop Per Drop” practices resulted in a significant
reduction in resource usage.
Less Seed: Conventional rice cultivation in developing countries requires 60-70 kilos
of seeds per hectare (a hectare is about 2.5 acres), SRI just 5-7 kilos. That’s 80-90% fewer
seeds – a huge savings of rice to eat or sell.
Less Water: Conventional irrigated paddy rice production requires 3,000-5,000 liters
of water to produce one kilogram of rice.
That is the equivalent of four months of one person’s daily water requirement (according
to per capita minimum water requirements designated by the World Bank).
With SRI, water use cut in half, freeing up water for household and ecosystem use.
Reducing the amount of water in paddies also decreases methane emissions into the
atmosphere, which contribute to global warming.
“Cultivation of rice in non-flooded fields
improves men’s and women’s health
and reduces populations of water-borne
disease vectors like malarial mosquitoes.”
Less Chemicals: Farmers do not need to purchase expensive fertilizer and pesticides.
In fact, organic materials (compost, manure or any decomposed vegetation) improve soil
structure and boost yields.
Farmers report that when SRI methods are used correctly, rice plants are better able
to resist damage from pests and diseases, reducing or eliminating the need for chemical
This reduces the amount of poisonous chemicals stored near houses, seeping into wells
and waterways, and absorbed in soils.
Reduced chemical use for health reasons has been a big driver of SRI adoption.
Less Cost: Since farmers do not need to buy seeds or high-yielding varieties — they
can use saved seed of their locally evolved rices — and fewer or no agrochemicals,
production costs are lower.
And with 50-100% increase in productivity, this means no debt and no dependence
on input sellers or moneylenders.
Less Land: By raising staple-crop yields, land and water resources are freed up
for production of a more diverse diet of fish, fruits and vegetables.
Producing more food from the same amount of land also takes pressure off uncultivated
ecosystems, thereby protecting important centers of biodiversity and endangered
plants and animals.
Less Labor: As communities learn how to use SRI, more labor can be required for
careful transplanting and weeding, or to improve infrastructure for water drainage.
However, as farmers gain skill and confidence in SRI methods, it can be labor saving.
Working with smaller seedlings in puddled rather than flooded fields reduces drudgery.
Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts featuring my healthy and delicious Lotus Foods’
organic rice and ramen creations.
Note: This post contains some Amazon Affiliate links.
Have you tried brown rice ramen or volcano rice yet?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.