Thursday, September 20, 2012

Arsenic in your Rice!

bowl of rice
Have you heard, there is arsenic in your rice! 
Arsenic is naturally occurring in soil. Years of using fertilizers and pesticides has added to the arsenic level in the soil. Rice plants grow in water allowing the plants to absorb the arsenic from the soil. That is how our rice gets arsenic in it. 

Today there are more and more rice products in our grocery stores due to many people going gluten free. There is rice in cereal, granola bars, snacks, gluten free flours, gluten free pasta and more.  Don't panic. You don't have to stop eating it. But, there are a few things you can do to eat rice more safely.

Here are a few ways to reduce the amount of arsenic you ingest.

1. Eat white rice
I know, it's not what we usually hear nutritionally. We have been told to eat brown rice. White rice has a lower level of arsenic than brown rice due to the fact that it is processed and the outer layer of rice is stripped off. 

2. Eat rice less often

Don't eat rice or rice products every day. The less you eat, the less arsenic you consume.

3. Rinse your rice  

The way you prepare rice can reduce the arsenic level. Rinse your rice well under running water before cooking it. This will reduce the arsenic level in the rice.

4. Cook it like pasta

Cook your rice the way you cook pasta by adding extra water and draining it after it is cooked. Some of the arsenic goes out with the water.

It's just a little more work in the kitchen. Better safe than sorry, though.

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