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How Many People Rely on Rice for Food?

More than half of the world’s people rely on rice for food, making it the most popular grain. It is estimated to be grown in 112 countries. The popularity of rice is thought to be because it contains more carbohydrates and protein than similar amounts of wheat or corn, so it can feed more people with the same quantity of crops. Also, there is a much lower likelihood of allergies or intolerance with rice than with other grains.

More about rice:

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, the percentage of people who rely on rice for food increased by 50% from 1990 to 2010, which was the fastest increase of any region.

  • An estimated 95% of the world’s rice crop is produced and eaten in Asia.

  • Since 1998, all white rice in the US has been enriched with folic acid, a vitamin that is thought to reduce birth defects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that neural tube birth defects decreased by more than 25% after the fortification of grains began.

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