Conventional White Rice Flour
Western Foods is employee owned (ESOP), efficient manufacturing practices, and environmentally aware. Recently they started working with local farmers to grind Garbanzo beans into high protein gluten free flour. Garbanzo beans are a rotational crop for Tomatoes, creating value added incentives for farmers to grow additional crops and remain Organic.
In the northern part of the central valley of California, farmers have experienced prolong drought conditions. After three years of drought and fallow fields, farmers have automatically qualified for Organic production, a hidden benefit to a difficult period.
After an El Nino year in 2015/16, California received a normal snow pack and rain fall, meaning enough water was able to flow into the valley, allowing rice farmers to produce Organic California short and medium grained rice. In the Southeast Asian region (Thailand, Vietnam and India), El Nino has caused lower rain fall and lower rice yields, and a higher price for SE Asian rice. This means Organic Californian rice and rice flour has become increasingly accessible and affordable.
When we picture rice production, we often picture a fully flooded field built on terraces. In California, a clay pan on the valley floor seals in the water that is flooded in the rice fields. Fields are flooded with 3- 4 inches or water, which is then allowed to sit for about one month.
95% of California’s historical wetlands have disappeared. While the rice fields are flooded, they provide habitat and water refuge for 230 species of wild life. Acquiring and restoring the amount of land required for the seven million ducks and geese that make rice fields their home would cost about $2 billion. http://calrice.org/
Once the fields are drained in early September, the water flows to return to the rivers, providing habitat for fish, ducks and shore birds. http://calrice.org/blog/?id=1439299200&author=California+Rice+Commission