Is There Arsenic In Your Rice?

Heavy, toxic metals are in many things we are surrounded by these days – air, water, drugs, vaccines, food, even furniture (I remember buying a new set of night table lamps a few years ago and being warned on a tag to wash my hands after handling the metal base due to the cadmium on that base). Whoa.

There is no positive use or purpose for toxic metals in our body, although the body does at times use one toxic metal or mineral – such as aluminum – in place of what another mineral would do – such as magnesium. That’s a story for another day, though.

Today I want to share with you a bit about arsenic.¬†Arsenic can be in several foods. It’s been found in chicken, in apple juice from China especially, and yes, even rice. Well water, too.

While I have studied and been aware of these issues for more than a decade, I am always thankful when more of ‘mainstream America’ raises awareness on this issue. This month, Consumer Reports did so with their article on arsenic in rice, and I wanted to share it with you. If you have 4 1/2 minutes, check it out.

Please note – my goal in sharing this is simply to raise awareness myself and to help you make better choices. Not many people do too well on any kind of grains, but if you do, there are some great options out there. As Consumer Reports mentions:

The gluten-free grains amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and polenta or grits had negligible levels of inorganic arsenic. Bulgur, barley, and farro, which contain gluten, also have very little arsenic. Quinoa (also gluten-free), had average inorganic arsenic levels comparable to those of other alternative grains. But some samples had quite a bit more. Though they were still much lower than any of the rices, those spikes illustrate the importance of varying the types of grains you eat.

You can thus choose how much rice you consume each week. There are companies who actually do their own testing on the arsenic content in their rice. Check this out if you want:

Another way to reduce levels of arsenic in rice when you do consume it is to rinse the rice well, and cook it in more water than you have in the past. Of course, you may also soak rice in water or a vinegar solution, too. Many practitioners recommend doing this to also reduce phytic acid in grains such as rice.

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