I'm not really surprised by this...how about you?

Good morning everyone,

Did you enjoy the gorgeous weather yesterday while I was slaving away at work?! I'm going to be enjoying it today as it's looking like it's going to be sunny and even warmer than yesterday! Tomorrow and Tuesday...ahhh...not so much. It'll be a few degrees cooler and rainy. But luckily, it won't be as cold as they were predicting a couple of days ago. Now, they're saying it'll only drop down to around 17C or so. Then by Thursday, it'll get up to 23C with partially sunny skies and stay that way for Friday and Saturday.

rice2

Everyone knows that Japanese people love their rice, right? Well, you wouldn't be wrong. Japan is definitely a rice consuming nation, and the little white grains are most certainly one of Japan’s staple foods. But would you believe that Japan isn't in the top 10 when it comes to rice consumption? In fact, would you believe that it doesn’t even break the top 25 nations?

This chart ranks countries by individual rice consumption per day and, as you can see, Japan is wayyyyyyy down at the bottom at number 50. That’s well below most other Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, China and Indonesia.

rice1

Reading the chart, one sees that an individual Japanese person consumes about 119 grams of rice per day, or around two and a half “onigiri” rice balls‘ worth (the common snack item conveniently happens to be portioned into one standard serving of rice). If you think the majority of busy Japanese people are still prepping grilled fish, rice and miso for breakfast, by the way, you might want to check what decade it is. Just a quick straw poll of my students suggests that less than a third of people still make a 'traditional' Japanese breakfast.

Bangladesh is the rice eating capital of the world, where people eat an average of 473 grams of the stuff per person per day, or 10-and-a-half onigiri worth. That doesn’t seem to leave much room in the average person’s diet for anything else.

There is, of course, a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, which may become clear when you notice that many of the higher-ranking countries are significantly poorer than Japan, and a strong economy tends to lead to more diverse diets. For those in some of the top-ranking countries, rice is an economical source of energy; but for a modern Japanese, consuming too much rice is a great way to grow out of your old college party jeans astonishingly quickly.

How about you? Do you think you eat 2 1/2 onigiri worth of rice everyday? I'd say that I do. I have rice for both lunch and dinner almost every day.

Have a great day!


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