When you first embrace veganism, you may have a lot of questions. Since it’s a lifestyle that embraces plant-based food and turns its back on animal-derived products, you may have questions about what to eat, what you should buy, and what you should avoid.
If you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. After all, embracing a new lifestyle is a huge leap, so it’s perfectly normal to have a lot of questions.
One of the most common questions we have come across is this: is rice vegan?
Well, you came to the right place. We’re here to give you the answer to this question, as well as other relevant matters and nutritional information about rice
How is rice grown?
Before we ultimately give you the answer to your question, let’s first discuss how farmers cultivate rice. This will give you a solid foundation as to whether or not it is indeed vegan.
Rice is a cereal grain from the seed of the Oryza species of grass. It is grown by flooding the paddies after planting the seedlings underneath the soil. In most developed countries, the planting is usually done by machines, while other countries opt to follow tradition and plant them by hand.
Once the grass is big enough for harvesting, it has to go through a series of processes to extract the rice grains from the plant. Farmers start by draining the paddies, cutting the plant off, and leaving them to dry out completely for a few days.
Once the rice plants have dried down, it’s time for them to go through another process called threshing. This will be the stage of the harvesting process where the grains are removed from the stalk. The resulting grains are then dried out in the sun for another couple of days.
Depending on the type of rice being harvested, it would either go through another final milling process. This is the stage where the husk is removed from the grain, which is a common process in harvesting white rice. However, the grain must already be dry enough when it goes through the milling process to ensure the best rice quality.
Throughout these different stages, harvesting can either be made manually or with the help of a machine. No other ingredient is added to the rice, and that can give vegans peace of mind.
From this discussion, it’s easy to see that rice, by itself, is completely plant-based. So to answer the question: is rice vegan? We can confidently answer in the affirmative.
Is white rice vegan?
Not a lot of people know this, but there are around 40,000 rice varieties out there. While we have discussed that rice is generally vegan, you might be curious to know if all varieties of rice fall under that category.
So with that in mind, let’s start with one of the most popular rice varieties and answer the question: is white rice vegan?
From our earlier discussion about how rice is grown, we mentioned that white rice results after a final milling process that separates the husk and bran from the grain. That results in a white-colored grain that’s refined to ensure long shelf life.
Much controversy as to whether white rice is vegan stems from the fact that it is often infused with nutrients. This is due to the fact that the final milling process strips it off of much of the minerals and fiber content.
Fortunately, the nutrients infused in white rice are all plant-based, making them safe for vegan consumption.
Is brown rice vegan?
Now that we know that white rice is vegan, let’s now proceed to discuss this question: is brown rice vegan?
Brown rice is the un-milled version of white rice. As such, it retains the husk, germ, and bran – which are the biggest sources of minerals, nutrients, and fiber. This is the reason why brown rice is especially popular among the dieting community.
From a nutritional standpoint, there’s no denying that brown rice is healthier to consume. Aside from being a high source of fiber, it is also rich in magnesium, selenium, and manganese. As a result, brown rice is known to help regulate our blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels.
However, it may not have the same shelf life as white rice.
Since brown rice also undergoes the same process as white rice, minus the milling and the additional nutrient-fortification, then we can also say that brown rice is vegan.
Is Jasmine rice vegan?
Jasmine rice is another popular rice type. It comes in both white and brown varieties and is popular for its fragrant scent, sticky texture, and slightly sweeter taste.
This type of rice is similarly harvested as all other rice varieties. White jasmine rice is also milled to remove the bran and husk, while the brown jasmine rice still has them intact. As a result, the latter has more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Since both varieties of Jasmine rice similarly has a chewy texture, it is generally more enjoyable to eat.
But the real question is: is jasmine rice vegan? Fortunately, this rice variety is not infused with any animal-derived substances that could make it any less vegan. Thus, both white and brown Jasmine rice is vegan.
Is Basmati rice vegan?
For those who are consciously watching their sugar intake, you may be familiar with basmati rice. This rice variety has a low glycemic index, making it perfect for diabetic people and others who simply want to watch their sugar. But, is basmati rice vegan?
This type of rice is characterized by its longer grains and floral aroma. It also has a nutty taste to it that adds more flavor to whatever you’re pairing it with. And fortunately, this flavorful grain is vegan.
Basmati rice is especially popular in South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan and is a popular side dish for Indian cuisine.
Is Taco Bell rice vegan?
One of the best things we love about rice is that it is highly versatile. It can be paired with a lot of dishes, and that makes it a great choice for your every meal. That’s also the reason why a lot of food chains serve some of their meals with rice.
Take Taco Bell, for example. This Tex-Mex food chain offers several menu items that contain rice. If you love Taco Bell before going vegan, you might be curious about one question: is Taco Bell rice vegan?
We have to make a qualification.
While the rice that Taco Bell uses is vegan, remember that rice is merely served as a side dish. As such, you have to consider whether the main dish itself is vegan or not.
Some of our vegan favorites at Taco Bell include their Beans and Rice Bowl and the Veggie Power Menu Bowl minus the cheese and ranch.
Is Uncle Ben’s rice vegan?
Uncle Ben’s Rice is one of the leading manufacturers of ready-to-cook and pre-cooked rice, making it convenient for rice lovers who are always on the go. And so we ask, is Uncle Ben’s Rice vegan? We have to make another qualification.
Uncle Ben’s Rice offers a variety of flavors, and some of them may now be vegan. This is especially true for their microwavable options which are pre-cooked, which may already contain eggs, meat, and other animal-derived products.
Fortunately, this brand offers vegan alternatives. Make sure to check the label first before you proceed to buy a pack from Uncle Ben’s.