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A city gal’s adventures on a rice farm

As a nutritionist, from time to time, I get invited on press tours for various foods or brands. If the food is healthy, and I recommend it to clients, I try to attend, provided my schedule permits. We learn so many interesting things about the products, while also getting to experience nature and see how they are grown (one of my favorite pastimes as a NYC gal.)

This tour was a Harvest rice tour hosted by Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale California to learn about how rice is grown, harvested, and more. When I mentioned to some of my NYC colleagues that I was going to a rice farm, their response, a rice Farm? Will there be cows?

My answer, yes and no. Yes, a rice farm, and no there will not be cows. Not all farms have cows!!

My experience was terrific. I drove on a rice harvester (a John Deer combine) and spent time with Grant (CEO), Bryce (VP agriculture), and Jessica (VP Human Resources and director of the Nursery) learning about rice and the Lundberg family traditions. We even saw rice cakes being made which was cool. And all of our meals contained Lundberg rice ingredients!

Lundberg Family Farms is a family-owned and operated business committed to producing great tasting rice while also supporting eco-positive farming methods. The company was founded in 1937 when Albert and Frances Lundberg moved to California from Nebraska. In the 1960’s, Albert and Frances’s four sons, decided to sell the rice they were growing directly to the public as it was grown so differently from conventional rice. Now, 80 years later, the third generation Lundberg family members with the help of their children (fourth generation farmers) are carrying the family tradition.  They are all about sustainable agriculture and have a no-waste policy. They don’t even discard the broken rice cakes; they feed them to the animals.

Being very close with my family, I loved seeing the cousins’ work together and care so much about the integrity of their brand.


Now, let’s talk rice nutrition (since I am a registered dietitian nutritionist). Here are 6 facts to know.

1.Rice is a member of the grain family. A ½ cup (cooked) serving of rice naturally contains 80-100 calories, mostly in the form of carbohydrates, with a few grams of protein and very little fat (unless added).

2. The healthiest rice to include are whole grain varieties which contain fiber, a carbohydrate that promotes a healthy colon, keeps you regular, and prevents some chronic disease. Choose brown rice instead of white rice.

3. While on the Farm, we learned that Lundberg produces 17 varieties of rice, of varying colors, blends, and grain type (long, short)! You can have more than brown rice to get your fiber fix! Wild rice, black rice, and red rice are also whole grains! My favorite: the wild blend rice—a mixture of brown rice and wild rice.

4. Whole grain rice is also rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

5. Rice is gluten free and can be eaten for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

6. Contrary to some opinions (Paleo and keto lovers!) that starch and grains should be omitted on a weight loss diet, whole grain rice along with other whole grains (quinoa, soba noodles, oatmeal, kasha) are not fattening and are a healthy addition to a weight loss program in thoughtful portions.

Have a very rice day!




Disclosure: I was not paid for this post or asked to write it. I was, however, invited on a Harvest Tour along with other media foodies, complements of the Lundberg Family Farms. The opinions are my own.  

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