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Is Rice A Good Survival Food?

Survival food is an important concept. Whether you are stockpiling food for an emergency, building a survival bunker, or if you are just preparing for a long wilderness adventure, the food that you prepare can mean the difference between death and survival. This leads many to wonder if rice is a good food for a survival situation.

Rice is a good survival food. Rice can be easily stored for long periods and is high in carbohydrates. Some rice types are rich in several nutrients and can sustain a person for a long time. Rice is not perfect and should be paired with other foods to maximize its effectiveness as survival food.

There is so much to consider when deciding which survival foods are best for you, but rice is a food that should be on every survival food list. Let’s take a closer look at the qualities of rice that make it a good survival food and which foods to pair it with to maximize its effectiveness.

Is Rice Healthy?

Rice is a very common food all over the world. There are few types of foods that are as widely eaten as rice, but is rice really healthy, or is it just a filler food?

Rice is healthy, but some types of rice are healthier than others. Brown rice and other colored rice, such as red and black rice, contain the most nutrients. White rice is still healthy, but it is less so than the other rice varieties.

Regular white rice is the most common type of rice in the world. This is generally because it is easy to store and can be kept for a very long time without spoiling.

This is because white rice goes through a process to remove the majority of its natural oils and nutrients. These oils and nutrients are the most components in rice to spoil, so removing them helps keep the rice good to eat for significantly longer periods.

The other types of rice, commonly referred to as colored rice, such as brown, red, and black rice, have not been subject to this type of process, and so they retain all of their nutritional value.

Rice is very high in complex carbohydrates, which in high quantities and without other food types to balance it in the die can be unhealthy, but overall, rice is an inherently healthy food item.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of Rice?

Rice is an inherently healthy food, but as we have learned already, the different types of rice hold various nutritional content, so what nutritional value do the various rice types hold?

Each type of rice, including White, Brown, Red, and Black rice, contains its own set of nutritional contents. Let’s take the time to better understand the nutritional value of these four main types of rice.

Nutritional Info: White Rice

The nutritional value of one cup of white rice:

  • 205 total calories
  • 0.4g total fat
  • 1.6mg of sodium
  • 55mg of potassium
  • 45g of total carbohydrates
  • 0.6g of dietary fiber
  • 0.1g of sugar
  • 4.3g of protein
  • 1.2% of total recommended daily calcium intake
  • 11% of total recommended daily iron intake

Nutritional Info: Brown Rice

The nutritional value of one cup of brown rice includes:

  • 218 total calories
  • 1.6g total fat
  • 2mg of sodium
  • 154mg of potassium
  • 46g of total carbohydrates
  • 3.6g of dietary fiber
  • 4.6g of protein
  • 1.5% of total recommended daily calcium intake 
  • 5.8% of the total recommended daily iron intake

Nutritional Info: Red Rice 

The nutritional value of one cup of white rice includes:

  • 218 total calories
  • 1.6g total fat
  • 2mg of sodium
  • 154mg of potassium
  • 46g of total carbohydrates
  • 3.6g of dietary fiber
  • 4.6g of protein
  • 1.5% of total recommended daily calcium intake 
  • 5.8% of the total recommended daily iron intake

Nutritional Info: Black Rice

The nutritional value of one cup of black rice includes:

  • 712 total calories
  • 66.6g of total fat
  • 151g of total carbohydrates
  • 4.4g of dietary fiber
  • 17.8g of protein
  • 4.8g of iron

Black rice is also very high in antioxidants, significantly higher than all other rice types, and among the highest of all food items.

Can Rice Be Stored Long-Term?

One key attribute of good survival food is that it must be capable of long-term or at least semi long-term storage without going bad. Can rice be stored long-term?

Rice can be stored long-term. White rice has the longest shelf life of any rice type and can be stored for several years without spoiling. The other rice types, including brown, red, and black rice, can only be stored for a few months before going bad.

The key to storing rice for any length o tie is to leave it uncooked and as dry as possible. Rice absorbs moisture extremely quickly, and this moisture absorption is likely to cause the rice t spoil within a few days, especially after it has been cooked, but this can occur even if the rice just gets wt.

This means that storing rice long-term involves keeping it dry, preferably in sealed containers, and out of direct sunlight.

The processing that white rice is subjected to removes its germ shell and removes the majority of the oils and complex nutrients from the rice. This process affords white rice the ability to be stored for several years when kept raw.

White rice can be stored safely for up to ten years in some cases without going bad if it is kept under optimum storage conditions.

The other rice types, including brown rice, red rice, and black rice, can only be stored for up to six months. This is because these rice types are unprocessed and so retain their full nutritional content, including their natural oils.

These oils and the liquids contained within the rice are the first to spoil, which drastically reduces the lifespan of the food. 

To maximize the storage lifespan of these colored rice types, it is best to keep them within sealed, dark containers and to keep the rice as dry as possible.

There are retailers of colored rice types that pack rice specifically for survival food, and these companies claim that their colored rice types can last for decades in storage.

This may be true, but it is likely due to the addition of preservatives, which significantly degrades the nutritional qualities of food, which makes this type of rice less than ideal.

Is Rice A Good Survival Food?

We have discussed some of the fundamental qualities of various types of rice, but it is time now to answer the main question that we have posed here: is rice a good survival food?

Rice is excellent survival food. No survival food stores are complete with a large store of rice of any kind. Rice is easy to store, long-lasting, and very high in nutrition, especially the colored rice varieties. Rice is also inexpensive to buy and very easy to find.

The nutritional value of rice makes it the perfect survival food for every situation.

If you are storing rice in a food cache in case of emergency, or if you are packing rice as a food source for a long wilderness adventure, it is a food type that should always be held in high regard.

There are few other types of raw food that can be stored for the same length of time as rice, and this food holds many of the essential nutrients that are required by the human body for survival.

The main advantage for rice as a survival food is the high content of complex carbohydrates present in rice. Complex carbohydrates are the main energy source of the human body. Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates gives a person the energy they need to keep going.

With that being said, rice is not a perfect food, and it is best used as survival food in combination with supplementary foods that will supply the nutrients that rice does not.

Which Type Of Rice Is Best For Survival Food?

We have established that the colored rice types such as brown, black, and red rice are significantly higher in most nutrients than white rice, but white rice can be stored for drastically longer periods with spoiling. So, which is best for survival food?

The best rice for survival food is a combination of the various rice types. Keeping white, brown, and black rice stored is the best option. The black and brown rice will need to be changed out more frequently, but the nutrition that this rice offers cannot be turned down.

White rice is best for very long-term storage, but the six-month lifespan of black and brown rice is not too bad for storage, as long as you replace the rice before it spoils.

The reason why the best survival rice is a combination of these three rice types is that white rice has such a long shelf life but supplementing white rice with the other rice types significantly increases the nutritional function of the rice.

The best option is to store large amounts of white rice that can be kept for a long time and store smaller amounts of brown and black rice that can be consumed easily before they spoil and must be replaced.

The smaller amounts of colored rice can be used to supplement the white rice, increasing the nutritional content of your food and effectively extending the life of the white rice.

Can You Survive On Rice Alone?

Rice is such a healthy food and makes an ideal survival food, which leads many to ask the question, can you survive by eating rice only?

You cannot survive for very long by eating only rice. There are accounts of people living for up to a full year by eating only rice, but this is not ideal. Rice is full of nutrients, but not all of the nutrients required for the human body to survive long-term.

For rice to be an effective survival food, it must be consumed in conjunction with other food types. The nutrients in rice will offer energy for the body, but they will not provide the vitamins that the body requires to maintain normal function and a healthy immune system.

In fact, consuming only rice for extended periods of time may even result in health problems and ailments due to lack of nutrition. Malnutrition is a real possibility if a person consumes nothing but rice.

However, in a survival situation, and if there is nothing else, rice is enough to sustain a person long enough to make it out alive.

What Food Should Be Paired With Rice For Maximum Benefit?

Rice is high in several nutrients, but no variety of rice contains all of the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients required by the human body for extended survival. This raises the question, what foods can be paired with rice for maximum nutritional benefit?

The best survival foods to combine with rice for the maximum nutritional benefit include beans, nuts, and dried fruits. These foods provide the nutrients that rice lacks, and vice versa, making these combinations extremely high in nutrition while also being excellent survival foods.

Beans are an excellent option here as they have a storage life of many years if preserved in the right way. Beans are some of the most nutritious survival foods, and eating them in combination with rice enriches your nutrient intake significantly.

Dried or dehydrated fruits are another excellent source of nutrition. Dehydrated fruits that have been vacuum-sealed can be stored without refrigeration for several years, and regular dried fruit can be stored for as long as a year before going bad.

Fruits are very high in vitamins, which are lacking in rice, and therefore make an excellent supplementary food item to combine with rice.

Nuts are another good survival food that can be included in your diet along with rice to provide some of the other nutrients that the body requires, although they are not as nutrient-rich as beans or dried fruits.

Conclusion

Rice is excellent survival food. 

Rice can be stored for very long periods without going bad, and it is very dense in carbohydrates, fats, and some rice varieties are very rich in proteins as well.

There are few food items that are considered to be better than rice as survival food, and they top the list of many survival food guides. 

However, rice is not ideal for sole consumption. To get the maximum benefits from rice in a survival situation, the rice should be consumed along with other nutrient-rich food items such as beans or dried fruits.

These foods will supplement the nutrients missing from rice, and a person can survive on these items only indefinitely.

References

Frank Pearmain

As a homesteader, survivalist, and previously a safari guide in Africa, I have extensive bush and wilderness experience. I am passionate about living a self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyle and continuously learn and strive toward that goal!

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