Asia

China’s New Ingredient for Rice: Plastic

For more than four years, Chinese companies have been creating and distributing rice that contain plastic. This rice is slightly different than regular rice. After cooking, rice containing plastic, remains hard and can be slightly hard to consume. Villages in China receive this type of rice, without knowing the truth about their food. An journalist went undercover and released that only 800,000 tons of real rice were produced while 10 million tons of rice were sold, making 9 million tons of rice come from either plastic or unknown sources.

Villages in China are not the only victims to the distribution of plastic rice. Many people only started realizing that the rice had clear indications of plastic after the rice was sold internationally to countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, United States, Canada, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. The country of Nigeria, in particular, has identified 2.5 tons of plastic rice. The rice was seen as very sticky and hard after being cooked. Though this seems like it would draw alarm to the fake rice, it doesn’t. Many people in and outside of China do not know they’re eating fake rice. The difference between real grown rice and plastic rice can be microscopic.

Bags of fake rice in Nigeria

Just recently, videos of fake rice being made have surfaced and caught the attention of thousands of people worldwide. A video of a man putting large handfuls of plastic into a machine was recently released. These machines churn the plastic so that they look like long strings of rice and another machine turns the plastic strings so it looks like rice. This video has alarmed thousands and has caused them to doubt the rice that comes from China. In 2015, a woman reported plastic rice in Nanjing, China, after seeing floating plastic rice in her plate.

Eating 3 bowls of fake rice is equivalent to eating a plastic bag. This toxic rice is highly fatal and can cause major digestive problems. People have become so afraid of consuming this poison that they have created tests to see which type of rice is plastic and which type of rice is “real.” By simply observing if the rice sinks or floats in water, checking for residue on the rice, and lastly, checking if fungus can grow on the rice after having it outside for a period of time. This production and distribution of plastic rice has thousands of people scared of what kind of toxic ingredient is in their food. For now, eating rice that doesn’t come from China would be the best idea for all rice lovers.

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Arusha Kumria

Arusha Kumria is an Indian-American 17 year old from New York. In her free time she likes to read and write. She is very passionate about women's rights and equality.

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