Mighty Rice: A Fragrant Revolution
A company in Mauritius is producing a revolutionary type of rice which could have a lasting and beneficial impact on those who consume it. Mighty Rice is certified low GI (glycemic index) and grown in a totally pure environment rich in volcanic soil and nutrients, fed by clean rainwater and mountain streams.
With global rates of diabetes skyrocketing, the demand for low GI foods looks set to continue. The glycemic index is a way of measuring any given food’s impact on a person’s blood sugar levels, and foods with a low GI release sugar into the body more slowly, helping to prevent the fast spikes in energy which accompany high GI foods. After tests by the University of Sydney – the world’s leading authority on GI foods – Mighty Rice was certified as having a GI of 48, even lower than basmati which is otherwise the lowest GI rice available.
A delicious alternative
On top of that, Mighty Rice simply tastes delicious. Available in two varieties – long-grain white and long-grain brown – the rice is an excellent healthy alternative to the standard imported types used by the people of Mauritius, who consume on average 76,000 tonnes of rice per year. As a result, more and more people are making Mighty Rice their accompaniment of choice for flavourful Mauritian curries, pilafs, stir fries, salads and other rice-based dishes.
Supporting local farmers
Launched in 2009, Mighty Rice is a small boutique producer based in Port Louis who helps to support local farmers convert their lands from sugarcane production to rice. With the end of guaranteed prices and quota-free access for Mauritian-produced sugar to the EU, it makes economic sense for smallholders to switch to a crop for which they’ll receive a fair and guaranteed price.
The company’s Rice Outgrower Scheme helps local farmers make the shift by providing expertise, equipment and support; an investment which not only helps to improve the livelihoods of farmers but also contributes to the food security of Mauritius, which previously imported 100% of its rice. Now, outside the production of sugarcane, Mighty Rice is the largest agricultural development in Mauritius.
Environmentally, regular rice farming is one of the main contributors of methane gas in the atmosphere, which is a considerably more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Mighty Rice, on the other hand, is grown without disturbing the soil via tillage between the planting seasons. Instead, the rice straw is not burned but used to form a protective cover over the top soil, which increases the amount of water and organic matter. Though more expensive, this zero-tillage method is far better for both the soil and the community. The rice is also Non-GMO Project verified, and as the only rice grower on a remote Indian Ocean island, neither is it subject to wind-blown contaminants and pollens from other farming operations nearby.
In addition, Mighty Rice is demonstrating its grass-roots commitment to the communities in which it operates by sponsoring environmental events, local sport and schools like Cluny Village Hall Pre-Primary School, who’ve received educational support in the form of reading books and other equipment.
For now, Mighty Rice products are only available on the island of Mauritius, but the company is actively working to make its rice available to international markets, so keep an eye on your local health, gourmet and natural food stores. For more information visit mighty rice.