Earth911 Podcast: Lundberg Family Farms’ Bryce Lundberg on Growing Rice the Regenerative Way

Rice farmers have a story to tell about sustainability and innovation. Founded in 1937 in the northern Sacramento Valley of California, Lundberg Family Farms has been committed to leaving the land better than they found it and learning from previous generations. The company, now led by the third and fourth generation of Lundbergs, recently introduced its Regenerative Organic Certified white basmati rice. Bryce Lundberg, whose great-grandfather started the farm, joins us to discuss rice, regeneration, and baby ducks. Under the family’s leadership, the company has built a network of about 40 farms and partners that grow, mill, and distribute 107 certified organic, non-GMO products while preserving soil health and embracing renewable energy and aggressive recycling and reuse practices. Lundberg Family Farms recycles 99.7% of its company waste and is exploring sustainable packaging options. We’ll explore the evolving organic and regenerative certifications and how a staple like rice can be delivered sustainably with a circular approach to packaging.

Bryce Lundberg, vice president of Agriculture at Lundberg Family Farms
Bryce Lundberg, vice president of Agriculture at Lundberg Family Farms, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

Brown, red, or other colored rice is more nutritious than white rice because they contain more iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Lundberg Family Farms primarily grows brown rice, unmilled whole-grain rice left in the fields longer to improve its flavor and nutritional benefits. Surprisingly, most rice consumed globally is a white variety that has been milled and polished. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the United States grows about 10.7 million tons of rice a year. In California, about 500,000 acres are planted with rice annually. As California struggles with drought and this year’s flooding following record winter snowfall, rice cultivation, which involves flooding fields late in the season, will need to make better use of water. At a time when their almond-farming neighbors are cutting down trees, the Lundbergs face challenges that many farmers will during the climate crisis.

You can learn more about Lundberg Family Farms at lundberg.com.