Cook rice like your mom did and keep deadly diseases like cancer/diabetes/obesity at bay


Most of these diseases such as diabetes/obesity/cancer often have multiple causes and complicated science behind them. We don’t want to be sounding like a simple solution to solve all these diseases. But let’s go through some of the well researched facts already out in public domain and decide for ourselves if rice cooking method really has anything to do with these diseases.
But let’s first start with the background of why we are writing about this. I remember my mom, visiting us in the year, 2014. It was then that the 60 year old lady used an electric rice cooker for the very first time in her life and needless to say, she seemed to like how conveniently rice could be cooked. Seeing her admiration for the simple daily use appliance, I offered, if I could buy one for her back in our native and to my surprise, her answer was a quick and resounding “NO”. She preferred her traditional boil-and-drain method of rice cooking (rice is cooked in plenty of water in an open vessel and the extra starch is drained out). “I don't like the extra starch that remains when you cook in these electric rice cookers as your dad is pre-diabetic and must avoid any excess sugar consumption,” said she.
These few lines coming from a simple user's perspective left me thinking and reflecting back. It also made my health-conscious wife, who had to deal with gestational diabetes, to switch to mom’s age old rice-cooking method! However, this comes with a heavy price. A very time-consuming and tedious process, where you have to keep watching to see when the rice gets cooked and at the precise moment, drain the hot extra starch, lest the rice gets soggy n sticky. In addition, this process involves a risk of injury due to spillage of the hot liquid. Not convenient at all.
Risk of Cancer - It was only sometime back that I came across an article with this heading: “Your rice cooking method might be poisoning you with Arsenic!” I was left stunned (you can read it here http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38910848 ).
 
It said that due to the widespread use of pesticides, rice contains traces of arsenic, which act as a slow poison for humans and are known to be cancer-causing. By cooking rice in 5:1 water-to-rice ratio and draining the excess starch water, we can reduce the arsenic content significantly. In contrast, the use of normal rice cookers only lets all the starch and the arsenic get absorbed back into rice.
Risk of Diabetes - one of the most dreaded diseases all over the world today, has been linked to high carbohydrate consumption, which for Indians, primarily comes from rice. Our country is known as the diabetes capital of the world. Public driven forums, like DLife in India (link http://www.forums.dlife.in/) and globally, like this one from UK ( http://www.diabetes.co.uk/) have millions of people advocating and helping each other to follow a low-carb lifestyle to fight diabetes and obesity. Draining the excess starch water after rice is cooked automatically lowers our carb/sugar intake without having to reduce our potion size and is one of the easiest ways to reduce the carbohydrate intake for a rice eater.
Therefore, our good old Indian boil-n-drain method of cooking rice seems like the best way as it helps keep diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and so on at bay. Ayurveda also supports this. But the fact remains, it is nevertheless a lengthy & laborious process and there's no easy way to do it yet!
This very thought inspired me to develop my product, a modern fully automatic electric rice cooker which cooks rice in the Indian traditional boil & drain method. We have moonlighted on this project for last 2 years, thinking through the problems, designing a solution, prototyping and testing it. We did all this using the services of another small Indian engineering company and other freelancers. The product development has reached a stage where we feel it's a practical solution to go into our own and other consumers’ homes. 
Manufacturing something of this magnitude and complexity is an expensive proposition for people of middle class background and limited resources like us. We ask for your support, by placing a pre-order with us. We are currently accepting contact details from prospective backers on our site. We plan to open the pre-order in July and deliver before December'17. If you like our product and would like to be among the first backers, please show your love by registering on our site today. If the product is not relevant for you (like you don't consume rice) please don't forget to share this info on your social media platforms. Someone you know and is dear to you might benefit from this product and thank you for it. Eat HumbleRice!

9 comments

  • HumbleRice

    Copper is possible, mud probably not.
    Open to air , not possible.

  • HumbleRice

    Yes, Mr. Gaurav.

  • AYurveda

    Can u make it using mud vessel or copper instead of teflon or aluminum.also is it possible for cooker to be open so it cooks with contact to light and air as per ayurveda this is right method of cooking else they say food is poisoned just few suggestions

  • Gaurav

    Will it still be an advisable method for cooking brown rice?

  • HumbleRice

    Hello Mr. Venkatesh. Thanks for your kind words.
    Reply to your queries.

    1. Capacity – 4 ltr. Can cook rice of up to 500 gms. We have decided the size keeping in mind a family of 4. Idea is, for 500 gms of rice (assume roughly 500 ml volume) will require 2.5 litres of water to cook even in case of red rice or the native variety (generally used in places like Mangalore) which bloat a lot and take long time to cook. A gap of 1 litre is required for the boiling process. So for the white rice, which doesn’t bloat much, more than 500 gms can be cooked.

    2. In HumbleRice cooker, user will chose the type of rice white/brown/red and be instructed to use 1:5 ratio of rice to water. So for example 1 cup of rice :5 cups of water, 2:10 and so on. Time required will vary by type or rice and volume of rice+water. Our sensors measure the weight/volume and decide the time. Also, some user may like to change the consistency or rice cooked to be more harder or softer (maybe for kids or for older people). So they can change the preference (harder/softer), and this changed preference will be saved for next uses for same type of rice and volume. So the cooker keeps learning the user preference for different volume and type of rice and gets user customised over a period of time. HumbleRice cooker will be faster than cooking with same process in an open gas stove because of it’s thermal efficiency, but it will take longer than normal rice cooker, because it’s heating more water. Rice will take same to cook irrespective of the kind of cooker. Hope that answers your question.

    3. One of the areas where old cookers are very difficult to clean were the caps, which are not removable and hence many people seldom cleaned them. In HumbleRice cooker that problem is resolved as the cap which comes in contact with rice is removable. Cleaning the area near coil with water is tricky since it’s a electrical component. Will think more how this can be resolved, for now it’s still a problem i think.

    4. We thought about this a lot and this is how we handled it. a. We found some reports which claim, the keep warm function is a cause of cancer as it degrades the rice. b. The keep warm in normal rice cookers generally make the rice at bottom of cooker more sticky, but it’s OK in normal rice cookers as keeping the rice light and fluffy is anyway not their primary function claim. But still we recognise the need to make rice warm before meal time, so we have a function where the cooker can be used on timer. So before meal time, the rice can heated for say 1-2 min to make it warm.

    5. Absolutely yes, i answered the question in point 2.

    Thanks Sir, it’s a indeed a very big learning experience to take something from an idea to a usable product. We are planning for fully functional demo worthy product to be available by next 2-3 months. Once ready we plan to go to different large apartments in Bengaluru to demo and explain the science behind carbs/diabetes/obesity etc…Do help us to reach out to more such places. Will be obliged for help in spreading the word among your friends and family.

  • Venkatesh

    Very nice effort! Much appreciated and much needed innovation. A few questions:
    1. What is the capacity of your first product? [how much rice can be cooked in one go]? We are a family of 4 and hence if the cooker is too big, it may be an issue.

    2. From your current experiments, how much time does it take for normal cooking?

    3. Have you designed it in such a way that it is easy to clean? I have had issues with older electric rice cookers – they get dirty and it becomes difficult to clean near the coil areas, where you dont want to touch with water.

    4. Is there a keep-warm mode, after the rice has been cooked? [similar to the existing electric cookers now]?

    5. Can you control the softness of the cooked rice? Amma is old and prefers the softer done rice.

    thanks!
    ps: I am also from namma bengaluru and you can reach out to me. I can personally come over and look at your invention.
    BTW, REALLY GREAT JOB my friend! Hats off for your dedication, and taking on something from a simple remark that your Ajji made.

  • HumbleRice

    Thanks Susanta for your suggestion,
    We plan to make another video showing the operation around Sep’17, after a market worthy prototype is ready. The prototype we currently have is not having the look and feel we want to show people in video.

    Thanks Mehul for your kind words.

  • SUSANTA KUMAR DAS

    Sounds interesting. Need to see how it works. My suggestion please prepare an Video on how it function. Or an operational video and share or upload in YouTube.

    I WILL TALK TO Vitesh and shareyour details.

    -Regards

  • Mehul Shah

    Hi
    Fully appreciate your efforts. Happy to see people who actually make use if modern technology to revive or maintain & cibserve traditional methods which gave been list while gaining our freedom from Britishers. I would say that is what evolving technology actually means to aid human development otherwise what we see today is more & more technologies are evolved to profit more & remove human interactions…how good can it be.. .
    Keep up the good work, your product will definitely succeed so will you, & invent more products like these which are actually adding more nutrition rather than just reducing nutrition by reducing cooking time….

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