[Evidence for unpolished as against polished rice goes on accumulating. The Poet the other day raised the voice of humanity against the ravages wrought by rice mills and milled rice. Prof. Basu, Professor of Physiology of the Presidency College, Calcutta, sums up the case for unpolished rice under the following points, and even shows that unpolished rice is a good equivalent of wheat. - Ed.]
a) The pericarp which is rich in protein and vitamin B, a substance which
confers immunity, especially to the digestive tract against bacterial
infection, is nearly absent in milled rice, although it is present in
b) I have been able to show by Van Slyke's micro-method that the proteins
are decomposed much more readily in milled rice than in Dhenki-hulled
rice, when both are stored in warm and humid atmosphere (vide
Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress, 1935).
This is probably one of the reasons why Beri-Beri breaks out in an
epidemic form either during or after the rains.
c) Large intake of milled rice causes an incidence of premature births and an
increase in infant mortality (Annual Review of Biochemistry,
1934). This has been found due to absence of vitamin B.
d) The absence of vitamin B probably interferes with the combustion of starch
in milled rice. (Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1934).
I may further point out in this connection that people who argue in favour
of wheat (or atta) either do not know or ignore:
1) That whereas atta contains 11 per cent protein, and rice (reddish variety)
contains 8 or even 8.5 per cent protein, the biological value of
protein, of rice is 88 per cent (according to Robertson) or 94 per cent
(according to Dr. K. R Bose of Dacca). But that of wheat is only 40 per
cent (the biological value of protein of milk being taken as 100 per
cent). Accordingly, for protein supply to our body rice is to be
preferred to wheat.
2) That rice starch contains a small amount of phosphorus, an essential
ingredient of our body, but wheat starch does not.
3) That rice is regarded as an excellent fuel for our body (vide Annual
Review of Biochemistry, 1935) and is, therefore, particularly useful
It may be contended that wheat can be taken in larger amounts than rice
without unduly loading our stomach. But the necessity of taking large
amounts of rice for the supply of protein disappears, if we take
sufficient amount of dal which is very rich in protein (vaiying
from 18 to 257). Further, rice can be taken in various forms, such as
parched rice (chura), boiled rice, fried rice (muri or as
I may mention one great disadvantage of rice, as an article of food, viz.,
it is an acid food, but this defect can be corrected if it is taken with
sags (green vegetables) or citrus fruits which are regarded as alkaline