Wheat and rice look quite similar and have similar properties. Another unique aspect is that both wheat and rice have counterfeits as well. The “tares”. In the Cambodian language it is called “song-gnie”. It looks very similar to rice when growing, yet when it turns harvest time it is more than clear what is rice and what are tares. One you can eat, the other has no nutritional value. One has value, the other is worthless.
Last week Typhoon Ketsana flooded much of northern Cambodia. Most rivers broke their banks and flooding and destroying an estimated 75,000 acres of rice fields, just as they are nearing harvest time. 11 people died as the strong winds collapsed their houses. Most of the dead were women and children. Roads were destroyed, crops destroyed, schools flooded, and typical of most rapid responses, they simply pass out a box of instant ramen noodles, a bottle of soy sauce and about 10 pounds of rice to each victim. A week later, the photographers are gone and so is the not so healthy food, but the roads are still washed out, the fields are destroyed, the schools are still knee deep in mud and water. We can help some of those affected in a tangible way.