Ricing Bad River  
OJIBWE WILD RICE  
line decor
  HOME  ::   NUTRITION  ::  RECIPES  ::  DISTRIBUTORS  ::   HARVESTING & PROCESSING
line decor
   
 
Ecology
 
reseeding rice bed

Management
  While Native Americans have traditionally respected and protected the important wild rice fields in northern lakes and rivers, development following European immigration to the Great Lakes region has taken its toll on wild rice stands. Some historic rice fields no longer exist, and others are far less abundant. The valued plant has suffered from environmental changes such as water level fluctuations from dams, the use of motorized boats tearing up the fragile stalks and the introduction of exotic plants. Consequently, GLIFWC, an intertribal organization representing eleven Ojibwe bands in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, has pursued the protection and enhancement of wild rice beds since 1984. GLIFWC works with a wide coalition of other natural resource interest groups to restore historic wild rice beds, protect existing beds, and establish new rice beds. Besides being an important food source for the people, many species of wildlife, especially ducks and geese, also depend on it for food and habitat. Protection of native manoomin translates into sound habitat and watershed management.
  GLIFWC performs annual surveys of important rice beds to measure abundance and provides public information on proper harvesting techniques and management practices.

Taste of the wild

Paddy vs. Wild Rice

Real Wild Rice vs. Paddy Wild Rice
  Many consumers confuse paddy-grown wild rice with the true wild rice, hand-harvested from northern lakes and rivers. Frequently, the wild rice offered for sale in local grocery stores or at roadside markets is paddy-grown rice – a different product than the true wild rice taken from naturally growing stands of manoomin. Paddy grown rice has larger, darker (almost black) kernels, takes longer to cook and lacks the distinguishing nutty flavor and fragrance found in native wild rice. Paddy rice is farmed in large rice paddies and mechanically harvested. Commercially grown, paddy wild rice comes mostly from large paddy fields in Minnesota and California.
  Carefully hand-harvested, true wild rice is lighter in color, has a softer kernel and generally cooks more quickly than its paddy-grown counterpart.