Rice, a cereal grass. Its grain is a leading source of food for more than half the world's population. More than 90 per cent of the world rice crop is harvested in Asia, with China and India being the leading producers. The crop in the United States is relatively small.

Rice is not mentioned in the Bible, but Chinese records indicate that it was raised 5,000 years ago. European rice was first harvested in Italy, in 1468. The first American rice was planted in South Carolina, with seed imported from Madagascar, in 1685.