How Much Rice Anyway?

Food rich in carbohydrate

Food rich in carbohydrate

Saturday afternoon about five I just returned from a shopping spree with my family. I sank myself in a couch. I did not know what else to do. So to drive away the ennui I grabbed the TV remote and I switched the TV on. The first scene appeared on the screen was a talk show programme aired by Global TV. It seemed that someone had previously tuned in to the station. Yes, the programme is called “Asyiknya Bertani” (the engrossing farming). Actually it is not one of my fave programmes yet I was clueless why at that moment I could focus on the programme.

I do not know how the show kicked off but all of sudden I noted that the female presenter of the programme which is an Indonesian TV personality made a comparative slip-up, remarking (it approximates to): “Corn has more calorific value and less costly than rice”. Okay, let’s leave the economic facet out in that I am not too interested. Let’s focus on the calories produced by two objects. Can you see what is critically missing from the presenter’s remark above? Yes you are right, the units that should be applied to both objects are not there! How much corn is she talking about? a kilo of corn? Just a grain of corn? a cob (or an ear) of corn?? And how much rice is she talking about too? a grain of rice? a tablespoon of rice? a plate of rice? or is it possibly a kilo of rice? To make a comparison useful especially if we are talking about a quantitative comparison, interconvertible and well-defined units should be applied to all objects being compared. If we fail to do so the comparison will likely be futile, perplexing and misleading. Of course it is not just to compare the calorific values between a tablespoon of rice and an ear of corn. The rather fitted comparison might be between a plate of rice and an ear of corn but the most acceptable comparison is to use a mass or weight unit like kilogram, gram, pound, ounce and whatnot so the comparison can be analysed through a more fair basis.

The TV presenter is LK if I don’t mistake someone else for her. What rather surprised me is that she holds a degree in medicine. Considering a degree she holds she ought to make a better comparative remark than that she had. I would not be so taken aback if such remark came out of my domestic employees who did not pass grade school. But of course as an old clichΓ© said: to err is human and slip-ups got nothing to do with a degree someone holds. I am sure I am prone to mistakes as well. I do not want to be something that borders on a cynic but this article rather reminds us to be very critical and analytical upon digesting a bit of information…..

Post scriptum:

After hearing out Kang Anggara‘s voluble address on ethical blogging in Pesta Blogger 2009, I decided to abbreviate the subject’s name. I realise that in the last paragraph of the post, it merely touches on subjective matters rather than the objective issue. So it is my mistake. It proves out that mistakes work on me too!

9 responses to “How Much Rice Anyway?

  1. maybe she just reading the script and doesn’t confirm the units afterward.

  2. mungkin maksudnya adalah dalam kuantitas yang sama, jagung lebih berkalori dibandingkan nasi. semisal: 100g jagung memiliki nilai kalori yang lebih tinggi dibandingkan 100g nasi. berarti orang diet karbohidrat musti menghindari makan jagung dong. termasuk nasi bekatul. hehe.

    padahal sebenarnya nasi jagung itu baik lho. nasi dan jagung itu kan saling melengkapi alias komplementari, mas. nasi yang miskin lisin dilengkapi oleh jagung, sebaliknya jagung yang miskin triptofan dilengkapi oleh nasi.

  3. wow..englis-englis nih,..but honestly, I understand.
    good posting

  4. i still eat rice as the corn also not really long as I had vegetable everyday, then i feel much healthier.

  5. @mandor tempe

    Well… the programme is completely off the cuff and the chance for her to read a text is slim as you know that autocue is of little use in an impromptu programme.


    Betul sekali mbak Yulfi, memang saya juga sebenarnya berasumsikan berdasarkan berat yang sama, namun bagi orang awam masalahnya bisa jadi lain. Sebab mereka lebih terbiasa dengan satuan sepiring (untuk nasi) ataupun sebatang (buat jagung) dan mereka tidak mau pusing2 dengan gram dan kilogram ataupun sebagainya. Untuk itu sebaiknya ditambah sedikit kalimatnya dengan “jagung lebih mengandung menghasilkan kalori dan lebih murah(?) PER GRAMNYA”. Atau yang lebih pas buat orang awam mungkin: “Satu batang jagung lebih besar kalorinya dari NORMALNYA sepiring nasi (misalnya)”.

    Memang betul, bagi mereka terutama yang vegetarian murni (tidak makan telur, susu dan seafood) makanan seperti jagung bisa jadi melengkapi spesies asam amino esensial yang kurang dari beras begitu pula sebaliknya dan memang bagi para vegetarian murni harus berusaha untuk makan berbagai macam sayuran dan makanan pokok agar asam amino esensial yang dikonsumsi bisa seimbang dan dapat membentuk protein2 yang diperlukan di dalam tubuh manusia. Namun bagi mereka yang masih makan telur atau susu, kekurangan salah satu komponen asam amino esensial untuk pembentukan protein tidak menjadi masalah… πŸ˜€


    Good for you. You don’t need to understand word after word to get the points of this article… πŸ™‚


    Yes, I still have rice as the staple. But now and then I also consume grilled corn too. I agree with you I’m rather suspicious that corn is not less costly than rice, I need to check it to make sure.

  6. Aku sekarang dah jarang makan nasi tuh … soalnya di sini orang bikin sayur/selada banyak-banyak utk pembukaan … belum lagi makanan utamanya selain daging/ikan ada sayurnya lagi … paling makan nasi itu utk mendampingi makan ikan … itupun cuman 4-5 sendok nasi …

  7. I don’t ever care about calories, etc. Sing penting eating anything tetep langsing, hehe….

    • Eating anything tapi kalorinya pasti tetap terbatas kan?? Sebab kalau kalorinya masuk terus tapi anda tetap langsing tapi kerjaan hanya fesbukan melulu, ya berarti, there is something wrong with your body’s system…. bener kan?? Huehuehue… πŸ˜€

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