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Is Rice a Vegetable? (Cooked or Not)

Is Rice a Vegetable?

I’ve not considered what food group rice belongs to in quite some time! So, is rice a vegetable?

For anyone who hasn’t been exposed to eating rice for long, this can be confusing to figure out. There’s a wonderful dish known as vegetable fried rice out there. That’s exactly what that is, though, fried rice with vegetables.

Before I’d eaten veggie-fried rice, I was confused by the name. I didn’t even understand how one could fry rice. I just ate it and knew what it looked like.

Then, I got a little older, and my grandmother explained several fun rice facts to me! She had always served me a lot of rice, but until I began cooking it, I had no interest in what it was.

I assumed most veggies came from underground and fruit came from a vine or tree. That’s easy enough to assume, but the world soon after childhood tends to show you how assumptions don’t usually end well!

Rice on the Food Pyramid

Now that I’m older, I see that rice doesn’t look like most other veggies. It looks a lot like grass. Since I have no idea if grass can be considered a vegetable or not (because we don’t typically eat it), the easiest way to figure out the answer to our question is to look at our food groups.

  • Fats, oils, and sweets. Okay, rice isn’t sugary or liquid so it’s definitely not any of those unless combined with something.
  • Milk, yogurt, and cheese. Well, it’s safe to say that rice doesn’t come from an animal like those do. I think we’re clear there.
  • Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, nuts, and eggs. Rice isn’t hunted. It isn’t used to make chili. It isn’t used in trail mix. Eggs are usually served with fried rice. Okay, that’s another group we’ve cleared, then!
  • Vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens are shown. Not positive yet, let’s keep moving in order to find out for certain.
  • Fruits. I see apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes. I’m 100% certain rice is not a fruit.
  • BreadsThis includes cereal, pasta, rice, and other grains! 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how a lot of people that don’t eat bread do eat rice. That means they’re still getting their share of carbohydrates!

So, is rice a vegetable or not?

Not in the way we eat it, anyway. Heck, I had forgotten how many times I’d heard the phrase “rice grain” until just a moment ago. That would’ve made this question a lot easier to answer!

Don’t be fooled by the fact that it grows and is definitely a plant. It is dehydrated and served as a grain before we eat it! Boy, does it taste good with veggies and meat, though!

In closing, we can’t judge everything by its appearance, as someone in our lives has probably already mentioned. I still have a lot to learn about what I eat. I hope this has helped clear any confusion for someone else!

About Brittany Davidson

Brittany is the main writer and content creator for Food Questions. She believes life is worth living if you're constantly learning, enjoying, and admiring things. Passion is her backbone and she tries not to do anything without it. Sharing information is as valuable as sharing a smile, Brittany says.

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One comment

  1. Botanically, rice is actually a fruit!

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