How to buy rice in bulk

Written by liza blau
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Rice is one of the most popular and healthy kitchen staples consumed on a daily basis all over the world. There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice, which is grown on every continent except Antarctica. Americans eat twice as much rice now as they did 10 years ago due the growing awareness of the many health benefits of rice, its versatility and the popularity of the rice-based cuisines of Japan, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Buying rice in bulk offers terrific savings on money and time. Properly stored, most varieties of rice can keep for years.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Rice in bulk
  • Storage containers

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  1. 1

    Know which variety of rice you consume most frequently, making it economically prudent to buy in bulk. The most popular varieties include basmati, jasmine, arborio, wehani and wild rice. Brown rice has the highest oil and moisture content, which can cause rancidity, and only keeps for six months. White rice stores safely the longest.

  2. 2

    Decide whether you'd prefer organic rice. Although organic rice is not sprayed with pesticides, keep in mind that it carries a higher risk of being contaminated with insects and mould. Rice will only be organic if stated upfront, and is usually more expensive.

  3. 3

    Comparative shop online. Many bulk grain distributors, such as Costco and Sam's Club, offer large selections of bulk rice and competitive prices in shipping. Grain suppliers ship in buckets or bags ranging from 4.54 to 22.7kg.

  4. 4

    Check speciality food stores in your neighbourhood for bulk rice. Food co-ops, Asian and other ethnic food markets, health food stores and gourmet speciality shops often sell rice in bulk. The benefit to buying locally is that you'll be able to visually inspect the grain bins for freshness and possible insect infestation. You'll also be spared from the shipping costs of purchasing online. Don't buy if the rice is improperly stored in open bags or bins, and the grains appear dried out or cracked with a flaky appearance. This is an indication the rice is beginning to spoil.

  5. 5

    Store the rice in 6-gallon buckets with gasket covers, Mylar bags, glass jars or other airtight containers. For optimum freshness, the containers must be kept dry and tightly sealed in a dark, cool location below 21.1 degrees C.

Tips and warnings

  • Store a bay leaf with your bulk rice to help keep it fresh.
  • To extend the life of brown rice, it can be kept in the refrigerator.
  • Whether you purchase bulk rice from an online distributor or a local food shop, ask the store manager or online customer service if they have a rapid turnover rate. It's wisest to buy bulk gains from the venue with the highest customer traffic to ensure that you'll be receiving the freshest possible rice for long-term storage.

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