Taiwanese researchers make colorful rice

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Edited from this story

With Taiwanese youngsters increasingly drawn to Western hamburgers and fries, government researchers are trying to lure them back with something more traditional – sort of: rainbow-colored rice.

Yellow rice gets its hue from curcumin, an herb that’s a spice in curries and is believed by some to be an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer. Green rice comes from the nutritious bitter gourd, often used in Asian soups and stir-fried dishes. Pink comes from tomato, and purple from a mixture of vegetables.

The colored rice will likely cost about twice as much as plain rice.

Besides the obligatory “wow aren’t they weird in Asia” reaction (which is ridiculous, because didn’t green ketchup start in the US, after all?), it seems like the story is equal parts science and technology, culture, marketing, fashion, and of course economics (2x for healthy rice? nice price!).

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