Some people consider polished rice (also called white rice, but white rice isn't always white - it just means the bran layer has been removed) a whole food, others do not (because it's processed in the sense of having the bran layer removed).
Just as white rices aren't always white, brown rices aren't always brown. Brown rice just means that the bran layer has not been removed (which does make it a more whole food).
Any variety of rice can be white or brown (polished or unpolished). The most whole version will always be the unpolished variety. If the rice is stark white, it is never a whole grain becaue the bran layer has been removed (if there's a variety of rice that has a white bran layer, I don't know about it. It could be possible, I suppose but I've never run across a rice with a white bran layer).
Jasmine is a variety of rice - and can come in either white or brown (polished or unpolished). Whole, unpolished jasmine rice, I believe is a light tan or beige - if it's true white, it's a polished rice.
Unpolished rices do tend to have a darker color than their polished varieties- and usually are tan to brown (but can be purple, red, black...)
When you've eaten both polished and unpolished rice (try them side by side if you ever have the opportunity) you will immediately realize the difference. Whole, unpolished rices have a chewiness and a depth of flavor that polished rices do not. If you're used to white/polished rice, brown/unpolished rice seems too chewy and the flavor can seem "off," but after you've made the switch, white rices seem bland. Sort of like the difference between white bread and whole wheat.
Wild rice is a different grass than "true" rice, but it is always a whole grain, I believe. I think that even instant wild rice still has its bran layer, though I'm not entirely certain on this point. Regular (long cooking) wild rice is always a whole grain.
Last edited by kaplods; 06-02-2010 at 03:21 PM.