'Magic rice' as disaster relief meal wows visitors

Just add water: Ms Teoh showing the dehydrated rice meal.

GEORGE TOWN - One of the many attractions at the FitForLife Fair Penang 2015 is a dehydrated rice meal designed as disaster relief food to efficiently nourish large masses of people suffering from catastrophes.

Only room temperature water is needed to transform the mix into bowls of white or brown rice full of condiments like azuki beans, corn, peas, vegetables, mushrooms and seaweed.

Visitors were encouraged to sample mouthfuls of these meals at the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merits Society booth (A31) and were amazed with the rich flavours.

"It is so easy to prepare. We have used these meals to feed thousands of victims in winter, flood, earthquake and typhoon disasters," said society volunteer Teoh Bee Hong yesterday.

So, disaster relief teams did not need to carry cooking gas, pots and pans, she said.

Created by the society in 2006, the meals would be ready after about an hour when mixed with cold water. With hot water, it would take only 20 minutes.

"When we brought it to the Philippines to feed victims of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the villagers called it 'magic rice'," she smiled.

At the fair, Great Eastern Life has incorporated elements of mental and emotional fitness by setting up the Great Escape Challenge secret agent game powered by Breakout Malaysia and the Live Great Mental Fitness Corner curated by BookXcess.

The corner features thousands of books and limited edition titles at up to 90% discount.