Freerice: Feeding the World through Playing and Learning
Following my previous article on the differences in food costs around the world, I’ll continue on the subject of food. This time, instead of focusing on statistics of expenditures, I’ll introduce you to the famous Freerice.com
Freerice is a program launched in 2007 by the World Food Program and the United Nations, whose purpose is to feed people in need with rice that is “donated” by internet users. I’ve put the word “donated” in quotes because it’s not really donated per se (so don’t send your package of Uncle Ben’s rice). Instead, you must answer questions on various topics. The site offers 10 grains of rice per correct answer to WFP.
Okay, so 10 grains of rice… When you know there are 19,200 grains per 400g of rice – a daily serving for one person – this sounds ridiculous and might think that we should spend hours playing to make any difference. I’ll tell you this is not true. 10 grains is better than 0 and, above all, there are players around the world also making “small” donations. In the words of Jean-Baptiste Danone, “little by little, it becomes less little.”
But giving free rice isn’t the only interesting aspect of the website; it’s also an interesting game to help improve one’s knowledge. There are many subjects in English, a few in French as well like world capitals, flags, map puzzles, general culture, chemistry, English, French, German and Italian vocabulary…
To date, 96,097,522,600 grains of rice have been distributed. Don’t strain yourself; I’ve already calculated the results for you. That’s 2,000 tons of rice, or 4,853,410 daily rations. Not bad for a free learning games site, eh?
Feel free to give it a try; it’s really fun! It’s also a good way to enrich your vocabulary or geography. Too bad there aren’t any math games. Maybe it’d be too simple … 7 +5? (Note that if you do not want to appear in the standings, you do not have to register.)
So, hurry up and bookmark this page in case you have a hollow point in your day!