Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rice Crisis in Nigeria

Rice Crisis in Nigeria

I wrote a blog post “Do not throw away rice to birds"”
Why I say so, I will enumerate in a list form later but let me take on the Nigerian initiative to grow rice as a staple.

First two headlines

News 1

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Custom Service said it intercepted 102 bags of a brand called Best Tomato Rice after the recipient of a gift of rice alerted authorities. The health ministry released a statement on Friday urging Nigerians to remain calm after preliminary findings found no evidence that the rice was plastic or consisted of toxic chemical substances. Yet, the country's National Agency for Food Drug Administration Control has not released their investigative report.
The health minister's statement contradicts earlier reports from customs officials.
Mamudu Haruna, comptroller of the Federal Operations Unit, called it "plastic" rice at a press briefing in Lagos Thursday. "We have done the preliminary analysis on the plastic rice. After boiling, it was sticky and only God knows what would have happened if people consumed it."
Haruna described the importers of the fake rice as "economy saboteurs" seeking to capitalize off of Nigerians looking for bargains during the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
It is unclear where the shipment of rice originated. "A consultant said he was given 221 bags to distribute," Jerry Attah, the public relations officer for the assistant superintendent of customs, told CNN. 

This rice is probably from China!

Ceylon is the next likely candidate. 

News 2
A number of outbreaks of food poisoning attributed to Bacillus cereus have been reported recently and all have been associated with cooked rice usually from Chinese restaurants and `take-away' shops.

The decision to grow rice in Nigeria is their purgative but let me list a few (ten or more reasons in reality) why one should not eat rice.

It is very unhealthy very rich in starch lacking in few amino acids that causes protein (Kwarshikor) calorie malnutrition in both children and adults, unless supplemented by vegetable proteins as gram or dhal or animal protein like sprats, fish or meat.
Adding gram and dhal add more starch and calories.

Please note what I say here does not apply to growing children but ADULTS.

That is why our teachers teaching hygiene is so FAT.
Our generation in Ceylon in mid 1970s did adequate research and produced what is called “Thriposha” and I am glad to say one of our current business pioneers (after 40 years) has made a snack called 4G (meaning four grains) which is an excellent snack for children.
Our Thriposha Program was a failure since we could not produce it in a commercially viable package and what was produced was contaminated and full of “rice bugs”.

Mind you “Jevani” or Rehydration Salt Packet for all diarrhea's including Cholera came from the Formulary Notes, dating back to Professor Senaka Bible’s time.
Unfortunately there is delay of 40 years for the knowledge to hit the supermarkets but with it we created a another problem which I am a subject now and I cannot eat rice.

I have survived without rice and celebrating its fourth anniversary soon.

Below are few of the pests that harm rice in storage.

Granary, rice, and maize weevils (Sitophilus spp.) are slender insects with a conspicuous snout projecting forward from the head. They are dark brown, sometimes with four orange spots on the wing covers. They are less than 3/16 inch long. Larvae are white, legless, and looked wrinkled and are only found inside whole kernels or seeds. These weevils attack only whole grains or seeds, leaving small round exit holes in infested kernels. They rarely are found in nuts, dried fruits, macaroni, and caked or crusted milled products such as flour. (A different, larger species of weevil can be found in homes during the fall due to emergence from acorns or hickory nuts collected and stored inside). 
Sawtoothed grain beetles (Oryzaephilus surinamensis) are about 1/10 inch long, slender, flattened, and brownish-red to almost black in color. They are easily identified by the saw-like teeth on each side of the thorax. Larvae are cream-colored, slender, and about 1/8 inch long, although they are rarely noticed by residents. Saw-toothed grain beetles are found in many different food items, including dried fruit, cereals, nuts, dried meat, macaroni, and seeds.

My problem
My problem was over 7 years or more.
Mind you I ate only one rice meal unlike an average Ceylonese.

I used to suffer after a rice meal and I contributed it to something in the meal including Coca Cola.
I dropped Coca Cola first, then one by one every curry including dhal.

Finally, I ended up with Milk Rice.
Even that did not help me.

So I finally said Good Bye to rice and within 24 hours I was OK.

Problem was I did not have a substitute since I hated bread.
I became a Milk, Chocolates and Cookie man.

So my conclusion was that there was /were something in the rice (most likely a chemical in significant quantity that cooking does not inactivate) that I was reacting to.

Sort of an allergic reaction to rice based chemical not rice.

I do not know what the poison is?
It is the Rice industrialists’ TOP SECRET.

1. Is it the fertilizer remnant?

2. Is it the insecticide remnant?

3. Is it a chemical remnant that is added (parboiling included) during milling?

4. Is it a chemical remnant that is added during storage?

Now I do not CARE.
I stopped eating RICE.

We have the highest number of Chronic Kidney Diseases in the farmers of the Dry Zone.

The answer is blowing in the wind.

From mid 1960s from the time of C.P. De Silva, our obsession was not traditional rice farming but American Tradition of using chemicals to increase the yield.

We borrowed the American RRI techniques in Manila.

They were poisoning us with DDT during Malaria and it decimated our biodiversity.

Now it is in rice farming.

Ceylon was the testing ground (Guinea Pigs) and not the battle ground.
Poisoning the masses was their ulterior motive.
My point here is it is not the Cholera cereus that is killing us.
The chemical contamination is over 50 years including the soil and the rivers and with it the water.

What British did with the tea in the rain forest American did it in our watersheds.

We were a STUPID nation.

We killed our fellow beings for a loaf of bread in 1970s.
So we have to import American wheat to feed our nation with equally bad refined flour.
Now we have diabetes, hypertension, obesity which was not heard 60 years ago.
I had only one diabetic patient (clerking) during my entire medical student days and not a single in my internship.
I did not know how to use Insulin which I learned in UK where even children have diabetes. 

Now we have to buy all these American drugs to survive.

We were part of a grand western conspiracy.

It is time to understand it at least now.

Why Birds should not be offered cooked rice?

1. First reason is animals not domesticated (except perhaps cats and dogs-even that I may be wrong) eat raw food or ripened fruits.

2. There digestive enzymes are able to deal with grains unlike ours.

3. Birds scatter seeds (not rice) helping the ecosystem.

4. Cooked rice get contaminated with bacteria because of the high content of water.

5. One of the nasty bacteria called Bacillus cereus (means coming from cereals).

It causes under 24 hour illnesses (within 2 hours vomiting or food poisoning or after 8 hours infection with diarrhea).

6. Infectious one was named Cholera cereus decades ago why they gave a respectable name, I am puzzled.

7. The toxins are heat resistant and mild heating does not destroy them.

8. They form endospores which are also heat resistant.

9. Cooling and reheating encourage spore formation and these spores can contaminate other food items in the fridge/freezer.
Rice uncooked can be preserved in dry condition for ages.

Cooked rice can be kept only for two hours the most.

So eat your rice and do not throw away the rice to rot and then expects the birds to eat.

Bird do not eat the stale rice but the ant do take them and store.

10. You have more ants in your pantry or back garden.
My advice is to cook only the desired amount of rice or if you are lazy buy a rice packet.

11. Birds prefer the seeds and better still watch them split the husk before eating.

House sparrows (extinct species) were very clever at that.
Their bills are built for that purpose and for building nests.
If you watch how a parrot takes the bean out of the pods one by one, you will never throw rice at them.
The bottom line is, the stale rice is very unpleasant sight and awful.

Why do want your pantry smelling?

12. Mind you our gecko loves cooked rice (apart from all the insects) and they grow in numbers and are very active at dusk.

I hate gecko specially their smelly droppings but not so much the cockroaches.
There is a nasty venomous snake that love geckos as food.
Otherwise we can never exterminate them.
You may have to breed the deadly snake (Thel karawala or the Ceylon krait) instead.

Below is a American lady’s experience with rice.
Yes Americans do eat rice. 

Hope they  eat a lot like us and get poisoned by their own marketed chemicals.

4 Signs Your Cooked Rice Has Gone Bad
Rice is one of those pantry staples that seems to have an indefinite shelf life. And while this is mostly true with uncooked rice (the exception being brown rice), cooked rice has a limit to how long it will last. You've done the sniff test, but are you still not sure? Maybe you can't remember how long it's been in the fridge? Here's how to make the call on when to toss it.

As for how long cooked rice lasts, it can vary, and it largely depends on how the rice is cooled and stored. But it's generally a good idea to call it quits if you've had it for three to four days.

Most foods offer telltale signs that they've gone bad, but with rice it's not always quite so obvious. You also need to rely on other (less obvious) signs that your rice has gone bad.

1. It's super hard and dry.
This is your visual clue that the cooked rice in your fridge has reached the end of its days. Leftover rice will dry out more each day it sits in the fridge. But once the grains have become super hard, dry, or even crunchy, chances are that it's been in the fridge well over a few days. Rice is best when eaten a few days from when it's cooked. Any more than that and it's safest to just toss it. Maximize the shelf life of cooked rice by storing it in an airtight container.

2. It was left unrefrigerated for too long.
It's best to minimize the time cooked rice is left at room temperature. The moisture-rich environment offers ideal conditions for bacterial growth. And while refrigeration doesn't stop that growth altogether, it certainly slows it down.

Uncooked rice can contain spores of a bacterium known as Bacillus cereus. Even after cooking, these spores can still survive. When the cooked rice isn't handled, cooled, stored, or reheated properly, the bacteria can cause food poisoning.

So, if you left cooked rice sitting at room temperature for more than two hours before stashing it in the fridge, it might be better to cut your losses and toss it in the compost or trash.

3. It's been cooled and reheated multiple times.
It's best to minimize the number of times rice (and most foods, for that matter) are cooled and reheated. This presents an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. A good rule of thumb is to reheat leftover rice no more than once. After that it's safest to toss any additional leftovers.

Instead, if you find yourself with more rice than you can eat in a meal or two, go ahead and freeze the leftovers for another time.

4. It has an unpleasant smell.
If there's an unpleasant smell coming from your rice, it's a clear sign that it's time to toss it immediately. By this time that rice has certainly been in the fridge for more than four days, and it's no longer safe to eat.

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