Consumer Reports is urging U.S. limits for arsenic in rice after tests of more than 60 popular products – from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies to Gerber infant cereal – showed most contained some level of inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen. (Reuters)
I see another rice and arsenic warning has come out, this time in the US, following a finding of ‘worrisome’ amounts of the carcinogenic arsenic in over 60 tested products. As I said in my original report, American rice is one of the ‘avoids’ in the rice world if you are concerned about arsenic levels. Here’s my original safe and unsafe list to remind you:
Pakistani European (esp. Italian & French)
Stick to the safer varieties and don’t eat tons of rice based foods.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and, sadly for us healthy eaters, rice seems to have an in-built very efficient ability to take up arsenic in the soils, which largely comes from agrochemicals. Brown rice is even worse because the arsenic is held in the outer layers which are mostly removed during the processing of white rice.
BUT, although you should indeed sit up and take notice of this warning – especially where young children eating rice cereals and rice milk are concerned – there is no need to panic.
First, read my original report Rice and Arsenic, What’s Going On? to learn about the issue.
Next, read my second article about how to test arsenic levels properly and minimise intake: Rice and Arsenic, What To Do About It.
Third, go to DIY Dairy, where you can make your own non-dairy milks pretty easily and much more cheaply than buying rice products.
Hope that helps. Thanks to John Scott who alerted me to the news report: I wondered why I’d had over 1000 people looking at my posts on the subject yesterday!