Throwing Rice at Weddings Causes Harm To Birds–Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The old tradition of throwing rice at a departing wedding couple should be avoided because birds eat the rice, it expands in their stomachs, and they are harmed by it. Some folks say the birds can even explode!
The consensus of the multiple organizations we checked with is that this is Fiction! It’s an urban legend that some say got started, or at least propelled, when Ann Landers gave advice in her column in the mid-sixties that the rice would do bad things to birds.
The folks at Birder’s magazine, Birdwatcher Digest, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the USA Rice Federation all agree: rice causes no harm to birds. There are varieties of birds that routinely eat rice in the wild and with no harm. As one observer put it, if rice caused birds to explode, there would be bird parts all over Asia.
Most of the wedding planning organizations say that the main reason for not using rice is because there is too much of a risk of people slipping on it and falling.