California Rice is Different

We are vocal about the steps we take as a company to make sure our rice is great for the planet. Every kernel is sourced locally (within 100 miles of our mill), our warehouse is solar powered, and the family farmers who grow Planet Rice employ responsible and sustainable farming practices. 

What’s more is that we believe California-grown rice is something unique. Growing rice here is about more than just providing a nutritious and filling meal. Sure, the clay-like soil and water from the river delta here in the Sacramento Valley contribute to it being the most efficient rice growing region in the world (500,000 acres of rice per year—that’s 10.4 billion servings), but we’ve found so many more opportunities in this stretch of land. Opportunities to nurture the environment that makes our rice possible.

Our California rice paddies host wildlife and support biodiverse ecosystems. The Sacramento Valley growing region, often called the Pacific Flyway, serves as wetland habitat to thousands of migratory birds, fish, and other species too. 

Global conservationists and wildlife scientists recognize the Pacific Flyway as a critical pathway for birds as they make their bi-annual migrations up and down the western hemisphere. Most of California’s natural wetlands have been covered up because of urban sprawl, leaving rice land as the last remaining wetland. California’s rice growing region now constitutes approximately 95% of the state’s wetland habitat.

In addition to supporting migratory birds, California rice growers are finding new ways to improve the health of native salmon in the Sacramento River Delta. The population has dwindled for years. So, the rice community here has partnered with wildlife and research groups like California Trout, UC Davis, and Ducks Unlimited to create new solutions to this persistent problem. Research shows that by allowing fish fry to begin their development in rice paddies they become, on average, 3 times larger than when the fish fry begin their development in the river.

Over the past 20 years, California has led the world in sustainable rice growing practices. Rice growers here have improved land use by 30%, water use by 40%, reduced emissions by 80% and energy use by 22%, all while protecting against soil loss and increasing waterfowl habitat in our region tenfold. The family farms growing Planet Rice work to produce nutritious food while helping wildlife thrive. They cultivate rice in ways that improve the environment, leaving it better for future generations. That’s the California difference.

Bring home a bag of California rice using our store locator or buy online if there are no Planet Rice retailers near you

posted in: Rice 101

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