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Uncle Ben’s

Uncle Ben's is one of the top-selling rice brands in the United States, and Uncle Ben’s smiling visage adorns every package of his famous rice. But is it really his? Introduced by Converted Rice Inc. in 1946 and later bought by Mars, the rice is par-boiled and treated to avoid weevil infestation and contains more nutrients than regular rice. The elderly, bow tie-clad African-American man whose face appears on every package might have been influenced by a Chicago maître d’ named Frank Brown, and the company maintains on its website that "a black Texan farmer — known as Uncle Ben — who grew rice so well [that] people compared CONVERTED® Brand Rice to his standard of excellence" inspired the brand name. This could all be marketing ploy, as it sounds a little too good to be true, and the company did not respond to our inquiries, so we’re going to go ahead and say that the jury is still out on this one.

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