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Natural Health, Issue #022 -- Arsenic in Rice
September 23, 2012

Arsenic in Rice

Yes, we have arsenic in rice.

I apologize to you, my readers, as I usually post positive topics about health and healthy eating for my newsletters and especially my daily, short facebook posts. But this latest study by Consumer Reports is quite serious and I wanted to pass on the information to you.

Arsenic has been used in pesticides since the 1960s and although it was banned for pesticide use in the 1980s, the residues are still in the soils.

It is still used in chicken feed. The contaminated chicken manure fertilizes even organic farms. Rice absorbs arsenic readily, as it is grown in water.

Arsenic is a carcinogen.

The levels of arsenic in rice is higher in brown rice because the refining process of white rice removes the outer layer where it is more concentrated. However, I would not advise you to replace brown rice with white. White rice is a refined food with little nutritional value. It is one of the 4 whites to avoid. Along with white sugar, flour and pasta.

The states that have the most contaminated rice: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. The states that relied heavily on arsenic for decades to combat the boll weevil beetle on cotton plants.

What to do

I used to eat brown rice very often as well as brown rice cakes. I'll reduce my consumption and eat other grains.

  1. Choose alternative grains, grain products and starches.
  2. Eat a varied diet, choose quinoa, millet, spelt, kamut, amaranth, buckwheat, barley, rye, organic cornmeal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.

  3. Choose rice from California and further afield,
  4. avoid rice from the states mentioned above.

  5. Rinse your rice well before cooking.
  6. Cook 1 cup of rice in 6 cups of water and strain.
  7. Rather than cooking 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water, cooking it in more water and straining will help lower the amount of arsenic.
More and more we are learning that we can not get away with adding chemicals to our food chain as they continue to wreak havoc and cause cancer even 30 years later. It's important to stay informed and make adjustments to your diet.

To your natural health!

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