Rice is a staple diet in Asia that has a long history. Rice is a healthy food source that falls in the vegetable category. Whereas in china it is eaten alone or with fish, the Western countries eat rice with meat and even in desserts. For the Chinese people, they prefer to eat it as we eat bread.
The Northern region of china has a very mild climate and therefore, does not grow rice. In contrast, the Southern region of China is abundant with rice plantations, which are flooded to help produce this crop. The water level must be maintained at a certain level and remain consistent in subtropical weather for the rice to grow.
The Chinese myth is that rice was sold as a gift to the gods in lieu of animals. It is believed that after the lands were flooded, all living plants were destroyed. Animals were scarce, making hunting difficult. One day, a dog came abounding across a field and as it approached the Chinese people, they noticed its fur was covered with yellow seeds. Not knowing what these seeds would produce, they planted them and as a result, rice grew. Even today, the Chinese people have a strong belief that the precious things of life are not the pearls or jade, but the five grains with rice being number one.
This grain fed thousands of people for longer periods than any other grain did. When it comes to cultivated rice, three primary species are grown. The first is O. Sativa and the second, Glaberrima. The first one is found in Africa and while it is the most widely used, it is not cultivated. It is believed that this particular species was developed from other forms approximately 15 million years ago. The third species, Rufipogon is grown in china among other regions.