Top Rice Flour Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/11/22 •  11 min read

What are rice flour benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are rice flour pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

rice flour benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on rice flour benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about rice flour benefits and side effects. This will include rice flour benefits for your health and potential risks, rice flour water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if rice flour is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if rice flour is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about rice flour benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Rice Flour Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Energy: rice flour is good for / helps aid digestion, prevent constipation, cramps and diarrhea

Longevity: rice flour is good for / helps bone health, boost immunity, liver health, reduce the risk of osteoporosis

Appearance: rice flour is good for / helps improve skin appearance, remove dark circles, tighten skin (when applied topically as an exfoliant), muscle building, weight loss

Additionally, rice flour is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: moderate, it takes 2,628 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rice flour / 315 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rice flour

Carbon footprint: likely moderate, 2.7 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of rice, a car driving equivalent of 6.25 miles or 10 kilometers

Destruction: low, rice flour production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Rice flour is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, rice flour production does not require any animals

Harms: none, rice flour production does not require any animals

Animals indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from rice flour production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Rice flour is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Rice flour…

Where is most rice flour from?

Most of the world’s rice is grown in Asia and where much of the world’s rice flour is produced and used. The world’s top rice flour exporting country is Germany, followed by Thailand, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, India, Belgium, Portugal and UK.

Is rice flour nutritious?

Rice flour is high in protein and vitamins (note that flour from brown rice contains a higher level of B vitamins).

rice flour is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is rice flour gluten free? Yes, rice flour is gluten free. Rice flour does not contain gluten. Instead, rice flour is made from rice and not wheat, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. A great gluten free substitute for wheat flour is rice flour.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

rice flour is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is rice flour a common food allergen? No, rice flour is not a common food allergen.

Some people may experience allergic reactions to rice flour but it is relatively rare by comparison. Rice flour is a great option for those who suffer from wheat allergies.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

rice flour has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does rice flour have a high or low water footprint? Rice flour has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of rice flour? It takes 2,628 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rice flour / 315 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rice flour.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

rice flour likely likely has a moderate carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does rice flour have a high or low carbon footprint? Rice flour likely has a relatively moderate carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of rice flour? It takes around 2.7 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of rice, a car driving equivalent of 6.25 miles or 10 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

rice flour is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is rice flour eco friendly? Is rice flour sustainable?

Rice flour production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

rice flour is vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is rice flour vegan? Yes, rice flour is vegan. Rice flour is flour made from finely milled rice and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

rice flour is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is rice flour a product associated with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns associated with rice flour production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even be subjected to harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment has been likened to modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about rice flour benefits and side effects for your health, the environment, animals and laborers.

Sources:

FoodData Central, rice flour

Rice Flour Standards and Labeling Guidelines Established

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.