China has taken processed foods to a whole different level by making rice out of plastic. Certain rice production factories in China are producing rice made of synthetic materials (mostly plastics). They are doing it because it’s an incredibly cheap way to make money off of unsuspecting hungry humans.

The toxic synthetic rice is made of sweet potatoes, potatoes and synthetic resin (plastic). The end result actually looks and tastes like rice, and with the addition of fragrance spray it also smells like Wuchang rice.

It might trick your taste buds, but your body is going to know the difference. In fact, this rice is incredibly toxic. According to one Chinese official, eating three bowls of this “man-made” rice is the equivalent to eating a plastic bag.

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The rice has not yet found its way into US food supplies, but it has shown up in other countries outside of China. If you think there’s any risk that your rice could have originated in China, or you’re going overseas, try these tricks to ensure you’re eating real rice and not some plastic alternative.

King Wu via EarthPrintsOnDemand

1. See if the rice sinks or swims in a glass of water.

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Stir one tablespoon of rice into a glass of water and watch. If the rice sinks, it’s probably legit. If it floats, it’s likely plastic.

2. Look for a weird layer of residue while rice boils.

While boiling your rice, be leery if you notice a thick layer of residue forming on the top.

3. Try the fungus test.

Cook up a cup of rice, then put it in a container and leave it on the counter for a few days. If you notice mold forming, you’re looking at real rice. If mold doesn’t form within a few days, you’re looking at plastic rice.

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For now, the rice you buy at American grocery stores should be safe to eat. This still serves as an important reminder to be cautious what you buy and where it originates.

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