Photo Favorite: Sifting Rice For Dinner at The Rice Terraces of Batad

By Mark Wiens 8 Comments
Sifting Rice
Sifting Rice

Location: Batad, Philippines

While I was visiting the amazing Batad rice terraces in the Philippines, I was able to help a family pound rice for dinner.

It was a lot of work.

After taking turns pounding the rice grains with giant mallets in a big stone basin, he would place all the rice in a flat basket. A couple of fast shaking jerks would separate the grains of rice from the roughage.

The chickens had the pleasant privilege of eating the rice chaff!



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  • Renee

    5 years ago

    Certainly puts things within a new framework. Here I am gleefully pouring my rice out of a box not thinking about how hard others work to get the same meal. Definite food for thought but I’m glad that you enjoyed it, Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks Renee! When you have to take care of the entire process of making your food it really does make you appreciate it more.

  • Dona

    5 years ago

    I think that having so much work to prepare rice dinner, would make very hungry and this would be the most delicious dinner I would have had – prepared by me!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      It was some of the best rice ever, and I was so hungry!

  • Kat

    5 years ago

    This is why I usually finish all the rice that I have on my plate. My grandfather used to be the one to prepare the ground, plant the rice and harvest it. My grandmother was the one who’d clean it up for cooking. It sort of makes you feel a little guilty knowing that someone made all that effort for you just to have a plate of rice.

    I tried my hand at sifting rice when I was a kid. Spilled some and I cried, but the chickens were happy. 🙂 Cheers Mark!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing that Kat! Yes, I’m sure your grandparents know all the hard work that goes into rice cultivation. It sure makes one appreciate rice more and eat every last grain!

  • Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    5 years ago

    We once pounded rice with some VERY young girls in Laos. I was shocked at what labor intensive work this is and that two children were responsible for it. One of those experiences that creates the frame through which you see your own work. I try to remember those girls when I want to bitch about my work.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Sounds like that was an interesting experience Caanan! Thinking about the work others have to do to either make a living, or for survival is often a great way to be thankful and to stop complaining about work!