Before rice ends up on your plate in a restaurant or at home, it has gone through various pairs of hands, and it has grown in various circumstances.
Somehow, ricefields had an infinite attraction to me while travelling through Vietnam. The green of the ricefields seem to be more brilliant than any other green in the landscape, more fresh, more vibrant. At the same time, the ricefields seem to inspire the workers to enormous labour. Continuously bowing towards the earth, often directly under the merciless rays of the sun, those working the ricefields have a hard life.
From a distance, from above, from close by, the ricefields are inescapable to any visitor to Vietnam. One of the successes of the country was made on these fields: while it used to import rice some twenty years ago, now Vietnam is an actual exporter of the produce. Next time, before you take another spoon or chopstick-full of rice, realise that each plant produces no more than around 20 grains. Then, realise how much work someone has done to collect just your plate. Bon appetit!