By Evan Ackerman
Rice is a staple food for most of the world, with over 200 million metric tons being harvested annually. That works out to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,257,477,920,000 grains of rice, in case you were wondering. And in order to cook all of that rice, you’d need something like 170 billion rice cookers. Or would you?
Japanese developers have created self heating boxed rice, which (with the simple addition of cold water) steams itself. The rice is precooked at 4,000 atmospheres of pressure, which preserves it. An exothermic agent inside the box reacts with the added water to heat up the rice in about 15 minutes. It’s designed for disaster areas (does my apartment count?), but according to the news report, the product is currently on the market, and side dishes are in the works. “Hotto! Raisu” is about $2.75 per box, which includes pickled ume plums.