Dear Mainstream Media, Leftover Rice is Not That Bad For You, Sincerely Asians

As a staple food in most parts of Asia, rice, in essence, is life.

Whether it’s prepared in clay pots or rice cookers, Asians know it like extensions of our own body, enjoying spoonfuls as soon as it’s ready.

And when there’s more to finish, we can always save or re-prepare for later consumption — with a myriad of recipes at our disposal.

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Which is why it touches a nerve when others — especially those who barely eat it — school us about rice, how to prepare it or even what kind is “acceptable” to consume. That includes the wasteful idea of throwing it away when it’s passed a day.

But Asians, particularly those in developing countries, are likely among the last on Earth to ever think about wasting food. For many of us, throwing away excess rice almost feels like a punch in the gut, the sort that haunts your conscience.

The consensus is simple: Asians have no problem eating leftover rice until their judgment says otherwise.

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For one, we’ve seen this in commentaries to a Delish article re-published on Insider last year, titled “Why leftover rice can make you sick.”

The article cited data from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which warned of food poisoning that comes with reheating rice that is not properly stored. This is how it opened:

“Although reheating a Chinese takeout when you’ve got a hangover is one of life’s great pleasures, leftover rice can actually be scarily bad for you, the NHS says.”

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Insider, which shared it on Twitter, got these responses:

See, this is not about whether or not these people read the article. The issue is in the headline, as leftover rice, per se, does not make someone sick.

Instead, it could have been How leftover rice can make you sick,” because the problem lies somewhere in the process of its preparation (being improper storage).

Stamp that with a pair of chopsticks on the thumbnail and that’s what you get.

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It’s fine to eat leftover rice — just make sure it’s been properly stored. That’s what the NHS is saying, so forget about the Chinese takeout.

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