3. Much of the rice in Bali is GMO
It’s true. In order to grow enough rice to feed its growing population, the Indonesian government embraced the Green Revolution and in 1971, introduced genetically modified rice to Bali. However, the new high-yield rice disrupted the traditional “subak”, or water management system, which regulates co-operative use of farmland, crop rotation, and irrigation through a sophisticated network of water temples.
RICE FARMERS USUALLY KEEP A FLOCK OF WORKER DUCKS, WHICH EAT UP PESTS IN THE PADDIES. THEY ALSO PROVIDE EGGS AND SOMETIMES, BECOME BEBEK GORENG…
In addition to this, the GM rice also led to growing outbreaks of pests that required ever-stronger pesticides to control. Although Balinese farmers are slowly returning to the time-tested subak system and growing organic produce (complete with resident worker ducks), GM rice is still common in Bali – so not all the rice paddies you come across are as beautiful as they appear.
What to make of this: Ask if the rice you’re eating in Bali is organic! Even better, go on a tour of some rice terracesto learn about rice growing in Bali and support the continued existence of these spectacular landscapes. Do it for the ‘Gram.