As September comes to Louisiana, things begin to pick up. Schools have opened, football teams have begun their seasons, and (fingers crossed) cool fronts are heading our way. For our state, and specifically us in Acadia Parish, the month also is important as the celebration of one of our most influential crops: rice!
That’s right! September is National Rice Month for the United States! A month-long celebration of all things rice, September is a time to highlight events, retail partnerships, farm and mill tours, the National Rice Month Scholarship, and more! The yearly boon for U.S.-grown rice increases awareness and consumption, focusing on retail, foodservice, and consumer outreach.
And while it may be a national celebration, each rice-growing state likes to put their unique signature on how they celebrate this beloved crop. Arkansas dedicates each week of the month to a different aspect of health and wellness through rice, featuring an Instagram takeover by the rice industry. Delta Rice Promotions hosts their annual Rice Tasting luncheon in Mississippi, which brings around 1,000 attendees from across the country to try over 300 different rice dishes. And here in Louisiana, we give back by honoring Hunger Action Month with Second Harvest Food Bank, as well as hosting the annual NRM Cook-Off Contest!
Falcon Rice Mill and Acadia Parish’s own Robbie Trahan, chair of the USA Rice Domestic Promotion Committee, said, “National Rice Month is a great opportunity not only to promote U.S.-grown rice, but to connect with our local communities and build lasting relationships with new retail partners. It’s a lot of fun, and something we all look forward to every year.”
Rice is the oldest known food still consumed today. Rice was first grown about 130 million years ago in the south-eastern part of Asia, and it is the second highest grain produced worldwide after maize (corn). Of rice consumed domestically, around 85% of it is grown in six states: Arkansas, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and our very own Louisiana.
Adapted from AcadiaParishToday.com article done on 9/16/2020.