Brown Rice.....White Rice....is there really a difference??? Is brown rice worth the twice as long cooking time?
When rice is harvested the seeds are run through a rice huller/husker to remove the hard inedible outer shell. The end product is brown rice. White rice takes a few extra steps. The germ and bran (inner husk) are removed and the grain is polished with glucose or talc; creating the white shinny end product.
The extra processing involved in white rice production removes many of the all natural nutrients. White rice is lower in Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Niacin, Folacin, Potassium, Iron and many others. Often times these vitamins are added back to white rice with the use of synthetic chemicals; bad for the environment and the consumer.
Furthermore, white rice has 25% of the fiber that brown rice contains. Fiber from natural sources is essential for digestive health; why eat something that is robbed of its full fiber potential?
Additionally, with all the extra processing and chemical additives involved with white rice we see a negative impact on the environment. More processing = more energy...usually from some pollution producing plant. More chemicals = more environmentally harmful bi-products released into the atmosphere, sewers, and even ground water.
Lastly, brown rice has a much lower glycemic index (GI) than white (brown rice= 50 (low GI) and white rice= 69 (medium to high GI)). Eating foods high in the glycemic index causes a raise in the body's insulin response, which leads to sugar spikes and food cravings. Consuming a high GI diet also increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
So is brown rice worth the extra cooking time....most definitely! Plus many stores make it easier for us by selling already prepared brown rice, usually available in the freezer section and takes about 3 minutes in the microwave! No more excuses :).