Rice Farming

 - From the Editor -

Don’t leave any rice ‘on the table’

By Carroll Smith

As members of the rice industry, it goes without saying that we all love rice. Not just because it is our livelihood, but because it is one of the most nutritional and delicious foods that goes with almost everything.

Recently, I ran across a story about a little three-year-old Asian boy who loved rice so much that he ate it for every meal. Unfortunately, he was a messy eater – as children often are – and he inevitably had pieces of rice stuck all over his face and hands. He also had a habit of getting up in the middle of the meal to walk around the apartment before coming back to the table for his second bowl of rice.

One day his dad was playing with him on the floor and noticed dried up pieces of rice scattered about. He pointed them out to his young son and asked him where the rice came from. The little boy said he didn’t know. His dad told him the rice fell from his face and hands when he got up from the table during the middle of dinner to run around the apartment.

“If the rice doesn’t get picked up,” his dad said, “guess what will happen? The ants with shiny teeth who also love rice will come in at night, smelling the rice on the floor, and may mistake you for a big kernel of rice and carry you away. That’s why it’s important to stay at the table and carefully eat every kernel, not leaving any behind.”

That night the boy’s dad heard noises and found his young son crawling around the floor looking for dried kernels of rice. “What are you doing?” he asked. “It’s still dark outside.”

“I wanted to get all of the rice up so the ants won’t come and get me,” the boy answered.

Feeling bad for frightening his son, he assured him that the ants wouldn’t come get him because they were only characters in his favorite book.

“I told you that story hoping you would be more careful when you eat your rice, so not a kernel would be wasted since you love it so much,” his dad explained.

The young boy looked relieved, promised not to leave any rice behind and promptly fell asleep.

This winter, as you begin making plans for the next growing season, remember the little boy and think about ways to maximize your rice production operation in order to capture every kernel possible and not leave any rice “on the table.”

Send your comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Call (901) 767-4020 or e-mail csmith@onegrower.com.