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Ghansal Rice: A small-grained wholesome wonder

Rice is a fundamental food in many cuisines around the world and it is an important cereal crop that feeds half of the world’s population. It contains a number of well-balanced nutritional elements such as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and vegetable protein which is a source of vital energy.

IIt is found to increase the functioning and metabolic activity of all organs. Studies have shown that rice provides energy, prevents obesity, is gluten-free and controls blood pressure.

For the last 25 years, Japan’s population has boasted the longest life expectancy in the world. The one key factor contributing to long life is the Japanese diet - a cuisine that places rice at its centre.

According to a 2010 study conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the average life expectancy of a Japanese woman is 86.44 years.

The staple food for people living in coastal areas in India is rice. Every variety of rice has a different taste depending on the region where it grows.

The ‘Ghansal Rice’ is a variety of rice which is grown in Ajara located in the Southern part of Kolhapur district in Maharashtra, India. It is a small grained rice and is known for its nutrition, taste and aroma of a typical kind. The Ajara Ghansal is a typical local variety of rice which is not grown elsewhere in India.

In fact, naturally grown Ghansal rice (free of chemical residue) is packed with health benefits. It is rare and special and therefore the production is in smaller quantities. Because of its simple taste it pairs well with an array of vegetables and side dishes.

Reshma Desai, founder of Beautiful Minds Store in Pune says :

“I switched over to eating rice three years ago when I realised that I am gluten intolerant. We have many misconceptions about eating rice regularly. In my experience rice has helped me to maintain good health."

"I am very conscious about the food I consume and what I feed to my family. Being from an agrarian background, my focus is primarily on consuming naturally grown seasonal vegetables, fruits, cereals and pulses from a verified source”.

“With this thought in mind, I decided to grow ‘Ghansal Rice’, free of chemical residue, implementing the traditional method of using natural fertilisers". (desi cow dung manure)

Since our village Watangi is located close to Ajara, and the soil and weather conditions being similar, I grew Ghansal on an acre of land. We produced a 100 kilos of Ghansal Rice in the first year.

This has given me an opportunity to improve the health of my family and it has indirectly helped marginal farmers to lead a respectful and quality livelihood.

We believe that whether eaten as polished or unpolished, white or brown, Rice has the power to support health!

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