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Rice Fields Of Asia: From Above and Below

For such a small grain, rice feeds an awful lot of people — 3.5 billion of them to be exact. Take a look at the grandeur of the rice paddies where this crucial grain comes of age. The following series of photographs are paired with aerial satellite views of their locations. After visit GlobalPost's ongoing look at a tiny grain with a giant footprint: Rice 2.0.

Rice 2.0: In Africa, rice is complicated

NAIROBI — Demand for rice is increasing by 6 percent per annum in West and Central Africa, which is the continent’s “rice belt.”

Mapping the food crisis

A visual look at the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa
Can't wrap your head around the Horn of Africa food crisis? Tens of thousands of people have already died in Somalia and an estimated 13 million people have been affected. Somali refugees are entering Ethiopia and Kenya by the thousands.

Even the rice might be unsafe

New food safety concerns in China follow report of widespread heavy metals in rice
In the past few years, China’s seen food scares over everything from melamine in baby milk to soy sauce made from human hair. Now it seems even the rice is toxic.

Rice wars: Has the US pirated Thailand's finest rice?

BANGKOK, Thailand — In rice-reverent Thailand, the “fragrant jasmine” species is considered the champagne of grains. Prepared correctly, it fluffs exquisitely, clings to the fork and smells faintly of flowers. Like champagne, it is deigned that only a select region — about five sun-baked provinces in Thailand’s northeast — can grow the best jasmine rice crops. Much of it ends up on ships bound for the United States, which imports more rice from Thailand than any other country.

Food crisis threatens India

NEW DELHI, India — Alok Kumar, a 30-year-old father of two, is worried. Though the monthly salary he earns as a chauffeur in New Delhi amounts to about half the sum the average Indian earns in a year, high prices have forced him to stop giving his children their allowance and eliminate essentials from his family's diet.

The brain grain

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