Health Food: Macrobiotic Brown Rice

Brown rice became popular in the United States as part of the whole and organic foods movement that began in the 1960s and 1970s. Health food stores sprang up to meet the new consumer demands for such things as whole wheat products, tofu, miso, and brown rice (to produce the familiar white rice, rice is "polished" by removing its nutritious outer coat of bran). Today, organic and whole foods are found in every neighborhood grocery store, and many restaurants serve brown rice and vegi-burgers as a matter of course.
This bag of rice was donated by Michio and Aveline Kushi, two of the foremost teachers of macrobiotics. Macrobiotics, meaning literally "big life," is a spiritual, nutritional, and therapeutic system that focuses on the interrelationship of mind, body, spirit, and society. Whole foods, such as brown rice, are central to a macrobiotic diet, and many of the first customers and owners of the alternative food stores were students of macrobiotics. Macrobiotic principles are Pan-Asian in origin, dating back several centuries. In the 20th century, a few creative and brilliant teachers, such as the Kushis (who immigrated to the United States from Japan after World War II), emerged who distilled the wide-ranging ideas and interpreted them for modern, urban, and industrialized life.
Currently not on view
Object Name
macrobiotic food
Great Eastern Sun
Great Eastern Sun
Physical Description
rice, cultured organic brown (overall material)
overall: 19.5 cm x 11 cm x 4.5 cm; 7 11/16 in x 4 5/16 in x 1 3/4 in
place distributed
United States: North Carolina, Asheville
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cultures & Communities
Family & Social Life
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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