Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rice kills Birds

The myth I will be discussing is: “You shouldn’t throw rice at weddings because it will kill birds.” Rice is thrown at the bride & groom as they leave the wedding to wish them a bountiful life. The idea here is that birds die from eating raw rice. This myth started in 1996, according to Judy Lewis, as shown on the web site http://www.weddingzone.net/px-pl057.htm. The myth is somewhat controversial because some people think that it is true, while other people think it is not true. A survey conducted in class showed that 33% believed that this idea is true while 56% believed it was not true. The people who think it is true are not concerned if people have a wedding indoors, that way they don't have to worry about birds dieing from eating raw rice . However, other people don’t believe the myth. If the wedding is held outdoors, they will not have to worry about this actually happening. This myth comes from the idea that eating raw rice can kill birds. Raw rice can puff up in the bird’s stomach and burst it.


The science that seems to be behind the myth is related to the fact that we cook raw rice by putting it in hot water. It then puffs up, and becomes soft enough to eat. A bird’s stomach too has water in it, and it is warm. So, the raw rice can puff up and burst the bird’s stomach. However, the water is not warm enough to cause the rice to puff up. The raw rice will pass through the bird’s stomach, and the bird poops it, without hurting the bird.

This myth is false, according to http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/birdrice.asp. The reason is that uncooked milled rice is no more harmful than rice in the field. Many migrating ducks and geese depend on winter-flooded rice fields each year to fatten up and build strength for their migration. If they don’t die then there is no reason why any bird would die. According to http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/backyard_birds/myths/myths.aspx, birds have no trouble digesting rice or any other ‘expanding’ vegetable. Also quoted by George "When a pigeon eats any grain including rice it enters the pigeon's crop .There it is soaked preparatory to the grinding process in the gizzard. In the gizzard the grains are ground to a pulp.From the gizzard,food is passed into the small intestine to be digested. I feed my birds brown rice and paddy rice and I have NEVER HAD A BIRD EXPLODE." He has been feeding rice to birds for days and they never once died or exploded.
Keywords: myths, birds, rice, weddings

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