Product Recall Notice

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Farming Practices

Food Safety

Where can I buy your products?

Our products are available nation-wide in the US and Canada at mainstream grocers as well as natural food stores. There are also many online retailers who carry our products if you’re unable to find a specific product at your local store. To find a retail store near you that carries our products, visit our store locator.

What is your stance on GMO/GE food?

Lundberg Family Farms recognizes the consumer’s interest in knowing how their food was produced and what ingredients are present. For this reason, our products go through the Non-GMO Project’s verification process to assure that they have been produced according to best practices for genetically modified organism (GMO) avoidance.  For more information, visit the About page

View Non-GMO Project Certificate | View Non-GMO Project Verified Products

How does sustainability factor into your business practices?

Lundberg Family Farms has been an early leader in organic farming, energy conservation and renewable energy, providing safe and fair working conditions, and many other practices that are environmentally and socially responsible. However, with one of our core values being continuous improvement, we know there is always more to do when it comes to sustainability and inspiring greater change beyond just us. Our annual Sustainability Report chronicles our progress in reaching our sustainability goals.

What is the difference between brown and white rice?

All rice is brown (or another color such as Red, Black, or Purple) at first– it is the milling process that determines whether rice is brown or white. When it comes to white rice, the husk, germ and bran are removed in the milling process. In contrast, only the husk is removed when producing brown rice– the whole grain, including the bran and germ, is left intact. Rice that is to be milled for white rice is harvested earlier than rice that is to remain brown. An earlier harvest ensures that the rice has a higher moisture content which reduces breakage during milling. At Lundberg Family Farms, we grow a majority of our rice for brown rice production. Because of this, we allow our rice to mature in the fields for a longer period of time to increase its flavor and improve its appearance. Brown rice is whole grain and contains significant amounts of B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. To learn more about whole grains and the health benefits of eating brown rice, visit the Whole Grains Council website.

Are any of your products vegan?

Yes, we have a large selection of products for our vegan consumers. Each vegan product is labeled as such on the package. You can also visit the Products section of our website to view all of our vegan products. 

Are any of your products kosher?

Yes, a large selection of our products are Kosher certified by OU Kosher and are labeled on the package with an OU or OUD symbol. For a list of our products that have been Kosher certified, visit the Products section of our website or the view the OU Kosher Certificate: View Certificate | View Rice Chips Certificate

My rice isn’t cooking correctly. What am I doing wrong?

The cooking directions printed on our packaging have been carefully tested but may vary depending on factors such as elevation, cooking appliance, and even cookware. Below are a few suggestions to ensure your rice cooks up as intended:

Using the right saucepan and lid

  • A heavy bottomed saucepan with triple-ply layers will ensure even heat and prevent burning on the bottom, before the rest of the rice is cooked through.
  • Use the correct size for the amount of rice being cooked:  use a medium size (2 quart) for 1 cup of uncooked rice; use a 3 quart for 2 cups rice. If you use too large a saucepan the liquid will evaporate too quickly as you are bringing the water to boil.
  • You will want to choose a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Part of the cooking process is keeping the steam in the saucepan in contact with the rice. If the lid isn’t sealing well, then too much water is evaporating before it is absorbed by the rice, resulting in underdone or crunchy rice.

Do Not Disturb!

  • Resist the urge to lift the lid and take a peek while the rice is cooking or steaming. You are letting the steam out! Steam is what penetrates the rice and softens the kernels.
  • Don’t stir while cooking! Once you have put the lid on the saucepan to cook on low simmer, let it cook without stirring. Otherwise the outer layer of rice will get mushy, while the interior will still be hard because you have let the steam out.

Crunchy or chewy rice

  • Check that your measuring cups are accurate and that you are using the correct measuring cups for the job.  We recommend dry ingredient measuring cups for rice. Use a glass measuring cup for liquids.
  • Don’t lift the lid to check on your rice while it is cooking or steaming. (See above) You are letting the steam out!
  • It is important to let the rice steam for 10 minutes after cooking on the stove. Don’t be impatient! The steam is penetrating the rice kernels and making it tender throughout.
  • Once your water and rice have come to a full boil, immediately put the lid on and reduce the heat to a low simmer. If you wait too long, too much water will have evaporated. Add back 2-4 tablespoons of water and cook as directed.
  • Be sure that you have turned your heat down enough, for a low simmer. You should have slow bubbling. If the heat is too high, the water will cook off before it has a chance to penetrate the rice kernels.
  • Use the correct size burner for the saucepan. If you put a small saucepan on a large burner you have too much heat on the exterior walls of the saucepan, resulting in burned or crunchy rice on the edges.
  • Use the correct size saucepan for the amount of rice. (See ‘using the right saucepan’ above)
  • If you are cooking a small quantity of rice (less than ½ cup) the water may have evaporated before the rice was cooked. Try adding additional water (1-2 tablespoons) or try using the Pasta Method.
  • If you are cooking on a gas stove that doesn’t have a low enough flame for a low simmer, or you are cooking with propane, try using a diffuser to spread the heat.
  • Allow extra time for cooking at high altitudes; as much as 10 extra minutes. You may need additional water, 2-4 tablespoons.

How do I recycle Lundberg Family Farms packaging?

8 ounce wild rice bags: currently these are not recyclable due to a special coating that we have on the plastic. We are exploring new recyclable or compostable films. You can reuse the re-sealable pouch for other uses though, such as bulk rice, beans, or for packing carrots in your lunch!

1 and 2 pound rice bags: these bags are recyclable where services are available (go to Earth 911 to find out what services are offered in your community).

12 pound rice bags: currently these are not recyclable due to a special coating that we have on the plastic. We are exploring new recyclable or compostable films or using an all paper bag for this size.

25 pound rice bags: these are recyclable paper. If you have curbside recycling service at your home or business, just drop it in there. If you don’t have curbside recycling, you can take it to your city or county recycling center. Other uses: use it as a fire starter, cut it open to make a nice drawing canvass, or use to line your kitty litter pan.

Rice Cakes: the internal plastic liner is not recyclable. We are exploring new recyclable or compostable films for this layer. The outside bag is #4 plastic, which can be recycled anywhere that recycles plastic shopping bags (go to www.plasticbagrecycling.org to find out where in your community) . This includes all Safeways, Whole Foods, and many other grocery stores. Most curbside recycling will not accept plastic bags. Other uses: save the outside bag to use as a lunchbag, sandwich bag, or take it with you to the natural foods store to fill up with our bulk rice!

Rice Chips: our current rice chip bag is not recyclable, but we are exploring new recyclable or compostable films.

Risotto, Couscous, Rice & Seasoning Mixes, Pasta & Sauce Mixes: the outside box is made from recycled paper and can be recycled again in most curbside recycling programs. You can also recycle it with mixed paper or cardboard. The internal bag and any spice pouches are not recyclable, but we are exploring new recyclable or compostable films.

Rice Pastas: the box is made from recycled paper and can be recycled again in most curbside recycling programs. You can also recycle it with mixed paper or cardboard. Please just remove the small plastic window and place that in the trash before you recycle the cardboard.  The 10 pound bulk penne cartons are also recyclable cardboard.

Rice Syrup: the glass jar can be recycled in most curbside recycling programs. The tin lid can also be recycled in most curbside programs. Please rinse out both before you recycle. Other uses: wash out and re-use for storing beans, rice, jams, etc. or use for carrying hot tea to work! They also work great for storing nails, screws, and other odds and ends in your garage!

Heat & Eat Rice: the plastic film on the top is not recyclable but the rigid plastic bowl is #7 recyclable plastic. If your curbside recycling allows #1-7 rigid plastics, then you can add this bowl. If they do not, most city & county recycling center will take rigid #7 plastic. Other uses:  wash out the bowl and re-use for taking on a picnic, backpacking, or fill with beer and place in your garden to catch slugs!

Does Lundberg Family Farms grow all of their own rice?

Lundberg Family Farms manages approximately 5,000 acres of farmland. We also proudly work with a strong network of rice farmers who grow an additional 12,000 acres of rice for our products.

How are your Eco-Farmed products different from your Organic products?

At Lundberg Family Farms, we don’t grow typical conventional rice. All of our certified organic and Eco-Farmed rice is grown with a concern for the environment – treating the soil, air, and water as important resources, respecting the delicate balances of nature. Regardless of how the rice is grown, farming methods must, in some form, address the same issues: soil fertility, planting, irrigation & water management, pest control, harvest, straw incorporation, and storage. To see a visual comparison of each farming method, click here.

Whether Eco-Farmed or Organic, Lundberg Family Farms pursues a positive program of ecological stewardship by:

  • Returning rice straw to the soil after harvest (instead of burning) to enrich the soil and protect the air and the environment.
  • Practicing crop rotation; utilizing nitrogen-fixing crops for soil enrichment.
  • Providing valuable habitat for a variety of animals including migrating waterfowl that rest in flooded fields during the winter, helping to decompose straw and improve soil fertility.
  • Practicing water-conserving irrigation.
  • Never growing genetically engineered rice varieties.
  • Using only natural pest control systems in our handling and processing facilities.
  • Generating and purchasing green power for our handling and processing facilities.

Eco-Farmed

Many years ago, we developed our “Eco-Farmed” growing system as an improvement on many typical conventional rice growing practices. This system blends organic practices and integrated pest management techniques with minimal application of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, only as needed. Additionally, many of our growers are transitioning their non-organic fields to organic – a 3 year process required by organic certification standards. During this 3 year period, a field and its crop are treated as organic, but are not able to be certified organic. In this instance, offering the rice as Eco-Farmed benefits not only the environment and price conscious consumer but also the farmer and the growth of organic farmland in the US. We think that you will find the growing system of our Eco-Farmed rice above and beyond that of conventional rice.

Organic

Lundberg Family Farms’ products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic” are grown, handled, and processed in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program. California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) inspects our fields, farms, granaries, rice mill, production facilities, organic system plan, and records; these inspections are part of the process that allows CCOF and others to certify our organic products. We believe that our integrity and commitment to organic farming provides a trustworthy foundation for our organic rice, but we know that customers appreciate and depend on the assurance and experience that CCOF and other certifiers provide. Even though we continue to grow some Eco-Farmed acreage using a reduced input approach, our organic acreage is now close to 75% of all acreage grown and continues to grow as demand for organics continues to grow. To see a list of our Certified Organic products, visit the Products page or view our CCOF Client Profile.

View Global Market Access Certificate | View National Organic Program Handling Certificate | View Client Profile

Does all of your rice come from California?

The vast majority of the rice used in our products comes from California. All of the rice in our 1 pound, 2 pound and 12 pound packaged rice, with the exception of wild rice, comes from California. In addition, our rice bowls, 25 pound bags labeled as “California rice”, roasted brown rice couscous, risotto, and rice cakes contain exclusively California rice.

Occasionally, when the available rice supply in California is not sufficient to meet the demand, we work with our rice grower and processor partners located in the Southern United States. This generally happens when we have challenging growing conditions that reduce yields in the field, or when demand grows substantially faster than we anticipate. Currently, the products we sell that may utilize rice from other US rice growing regions are: 25 pound bags of American Basmati (white and brown), 25 pound bags of American Jasmine (white and brown), and 25 pound bags of Long Grain (white and brown), rice syrup, rice chips, and rice pasta. Additionally, much of our wild rice comes from growers in Minnesota.

We believe that expanding organic practices across the country is a positive thing for the environment, for the farmers who work the land, and for consumers.

Where does the farm's water come from?

Our fields are nourished by water from the snow melt of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range which flows naturally to the fertile Sacramento Valley by way of the Feather River. This “surface water” comes to our fields through gravity-fed streams and canal systems, some of the most efficient and effective in the world. For fields without access to surface water, or during periods of extended drought, ground water is pumped from underground aquifers. All of our farms utilize practices to reduce our water consumption as well as maintain a high water quality.

Why do you flood your fields and how does this impact the environment?

Rice fields are flooded for planting because the most productive and most common varieties of rice are aquatic, meaning they grow in water. Flooded rice fields often raise concerns about conservation of California water and the environment but as the California Farm Water Coalition points out, “The consumptive use of water in rice is about the same as any other crop grown in the same region”. The difference is that the water used in rice farming is visible as it sits atop the soil. Once the rice plants have matured the fields are then drained, returning the unused water to the creek and river systems to be used by the environment or people downstream. To learn more about the use of water on California farms, visit the California Farm Water Coalition‘s website.

Flooded fields not only provide favorable growing conditions for rice, they also provide invaluable habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. As noted by the California Rice Commission, rice “is the only crop that replicates the once-abundant wetlands.” In addition, we make water quality a priority on our farm and actually improve its quality as it flows from our fields back into the waterways. To learn more about the role of rice fields in the environment, visit the California Rice Commission‘s website. 

How do you assure the quality of your products?

We regularly review our carefully selected growers, handlers, and processors to ensure food safety regulations and agricultural standards are consistently met. Our strict quality requirements, which range from kernel moisture to prepared rice appearance/flavor/texture, are routinely monitored from harvest through final processing and packaging. Our organic fields, as well as those of our growers, are certified to USDA Organic standards. All Eco-Farmed rice meets our Eco-Farmed criteria (See above for more information on our Eco-Farmed products). In addition, we verify that all of our rice is not genetically engineered, through our participation in the Non-GMO Project. Our facilities also meet the food safety & sanitation standards of AIB International.

View AIB International Certificate

How do you read the code dates on your products?

All Lundberg Family Farms product packages have a Standard Day Code to identify the date of manufacture. In addition, most packages also have a Best Before Date.

Standard Day Code

The Standard Day Code identifies the day that the product was manufactured. This can appear in two different formats depending on the type of product:

  • YYMMDD (Example: April 15th, 2012 = 120415)
  • YDDD (Example: 2063 = March 4, 2012. “2” is the year, and “063” is the day of the year)

The day of the year can be found using the Julian Calendar

Best Before Date 

The Best Before date is the second code printed in the series of codes and can be formatted in several different ways depending on the product:

  • YYMMDD (Example: 120815 = August 15, 2012)
  • YYMMMDD (Example: 12AUG15 = August 15, 2012)
  • MMMDDYYYY (Example: AUG1512 = August 15, 2012)
  • YYYYMMDD (Example: 20120815 = August 15, 2012)

Canadian Products with Best Before Date

The date is listed: YYMMDD, but the months are listed as follows: 

  • JA-January
  • FE-February
  • MR-March
  • AL-April
  • MA-May
  • JN-June
  • JL-July
  • AU-August
  • SE-September
  • OC-October
  • NO-November
  • DE-December

What is the shelf life of your products?

Raw rice is stable for at least one year with proper storage. As with any natural grain, deterioration can be caused by heat, light, and pests. To maintain and extend shelf life, store rice in a cool (below 55 degrees F), dark, pest-free location; the refrigerator and freezer are great options.

The following is a list of products’ shelf life and is reflected in the Best Before Date printed on the package: 

  • Brown rice (raw):  12 months 
  • White rice (raw):  12 months 
  • Heat & Eat Rice Bowls:  12 months 
  • Rice & Seasoning Mixes: 12 months
  • Pasta & Sauce Mixes: 12 months
  • Brown Rice Pasta:  24 months
  • Risotto: 12 months
  • Brown Rice Couscous: 12 months
  • Rice Chips:  10 months
  • Multigrain Chips: 10 months
  • Rice Cakes:  12 months 
  • Brown Rice Syrup:   18 months
  • Brown rice Flour: 12 months

Are all of your products gluten-free?

While rice is naturally a gluten-free food, not all of our products are gluten-free. We do proudly offer a large selection of gluten-free products but urge our gluten-free consumers to look for a “gluten-free” statement or logo on the package and review allergen statements and ingredient lists. To see a list of all our gluten-free products, visit the Products section of our website.

View Gluten-Free Certification Organization Certificate

Is your facility gluten-free?

No. Facilities where our products are manufactured may produce gluten-containing products. Our in-house cleaning policies assure that all products with allergens are appropriately processed and stored. Any item in our warehouse that contains allergens will be stored separately from products without allergens.

View Gluten-Free Certification Organization Certificate

My family suffers from food allergies. How do I know your products are safe for us?

At Lundberg, we take allergens seriously and follow a strict honesty policy when labeling products. Our product labeling will say “contains allergens,” but never “may contain allergens.” We adopted this straightforward policy to ensure your safety when selecting Lundberg products for your family and friends who may be prone to specific food allergies. 

Our in-house cleaning policies assure that all products with allergens are appropriately processed and stored. Any item in our warehouse that contains allergens will be stored separately from products without allergens. Additionally, items that contain allergens will be specifically labeled to ensure that all employees take the safety and quality provisions necessary with these products.

Do your products contain arsenic?

Arsenic has been in food as long as humans have been consuming food. Because arsenic exists in the soil and water, incorporation into most plants and food, including rice, is inevitable. To find out more on this issue and how we are addressing it, visit Arsenic in Food.

Where do you get your seeds and how do you maintain their purity?

Saving good, clean seed for next year’s crop may be one of the most important parts of our harvest at Lundberg. Seed is taken from the harvest yield every year and prepared for the next year’s planting. After being taken from the field, the seed is cleaned—straw, weed seeds and other foreign material are sifted out and the seed is then dried and stored in separate seed bins according to variety. To check for additional purity in each load of seed, samples from every seed bin are taken and checked on-site, which lets us know our purity levels are constant. These samples are also sent to several outside labs, which perform additional checks to assure that our seed for each individual variety is clean and pure.

Our on-site nursery maintains seventeen different varieties of rice. At Lundberg, we do not support the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Through smart, attentive and natural farming practices, we have improved and maintained the quality of our seed which has allowed our company to grow and produce nutritious food for over seventy-five years.