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For the Love of Rice


BY SWETA VOHRA//

Clear glass jars of red, white, black and bamboo-infused rice line the kitchen counters in the home of Caryl Levine and Kenneth Lee. Pictures of rice farms and farmers in exotic locations hang on the walls in the hallway. Books and articles on global agriculture, entrepreneurship, and rice cultivation are neatly stacked on a bookshelf and strewn across the coffee table.

These earthy images, products and colors don’t simply decorate the home; they illustrate the life that Levine and Lee follow. This quaint house on a quiet street in El Cerrito is the headquarters for Lotus Foods, Inc. Levine and Lee, co-founders of Lotus Foods, are self-proclaimed lovers of rice. But more than that, they are using their love of rice as a tool to connect Americans with small family farms in places like India, Madagascar and Bhutan.

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