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Arsenic in Rice
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Arsenic in Rice

Since vegans are concerned about healthy eating and organic foods, I found this study of interest. According to an Associated Press article out of Washington, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is under pressure from consumer groups to sell guidelines for arsenic levels in rice. The FDA does not believe that rice is unsafe to eat; however, the Administration is conducting research on the arsenic levels in rice, cereals, rice cakes and drinks.

Organic and Inorganic Arsenic

Arsenic is present naturally in nature, including air, soil and water. Generally the arsenic passes swiftly through the body and is considered harmless organic arsenic. Pesticides and insecticides contain a toxic arsenic believed to pose a cancer risk, when consumed at high levels or for an extended period of time.

Research

It is believed that arsenic levels are higher in rice due to the way it is grown. The water allows optimal conditions for rice to absorb arsenic. The FDA released only a sample portion of its study, which revealed 3.5 to 6.7 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per serving size. The completed report will not be ready until the end of the 2012. A popular U.S. magazine, Consumer Reports, has released its own study finding 8.7 micrograms per serving.

Purpose, Not to Stop People From Eating Rice, Rather Diversify Diet

The federal government refuses to comment at this time concerning the health risk that this amount of arsenic poses on humans. According to Consumer Reports, the purpose of the study is not to cause people to stop eating rice, but rather to promote a diversified diet. The research showed higher levels of rice for the Southern U.S. states compared to California or Asia. Brown rice was also found to contain a higher concentration of arsenic compared to white rice, which is believed to be a result of processing.

Royalty-free photo courtesy of 123rf.com.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Sheila Ray
    Voted. Eating a varied diet is so important!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      We all consume trace amounts of arsenic on a regular basis. Rice is in question because it absorbs more due to being grown in water. The varied diet will help along with obtaining proper nutrition. Thanks Sheila!
      Log in to reply.
  2. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Best to buy organic! #2
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Absolutely that way it is pesticide free. Arsenic is found in pesticides. Organic arsenic is found in the soil also and is absorbed in many of the foods we eat, but no need in collecting additional amounts from pesticides. Thanks for the vote!
      Log in to reply.
  3. Anita Vegana
    Wow. I thought I was eating healthier by buying brown rice. I think I will buy organic only from now on. I voted.
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      The article said that rice from California and Asia were safer than rice from the southern United States. Brown rice has a lot of nutritional value. The main idea behind the article is eating a variety of foods. Thanks for the vote!
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  4. SnakeWitch
    Oh Lord. Rice is such a staple around here, and organic is so hard to find... I will have to make the switch to something else, then! Voted!
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Sorry for posting something that has nothing to do with your article, but this is so hilarious I had to let you see it. We are going to invade the US! HA HA! http://sgnews.ca/2012/09/canada-for-us-president/
      Log in to reply.
      1. Carolyn
        Carolyn
        LOL! We definitely need a change!
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    2. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Arsen is in a lot of the foods we eat. The study does not suggest that you give up rice, but rather eat a variety of foods. Also, watch the packets and try to purchase rice from Asia or California. Thanks for the vote!
      Log in to reply.
      1. SnakeWitch
        Yes, variety. Of course. You're absolutely right! But will surely diminish my rice consumption...
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  5. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Fascinating blog, I had no idea. And to think that we believed brown rice was better for us than white! I wonder if it applies to the rice we get here in the UK too? Maybe people shouldn't panic too much though, just eat rice in moderation, and check where it comes from.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      The study suggests that people eat a variety of foods and is not stating that people should give up rice. Brown rice has nutritional value. Maybe that is a thought for another article....the nutritional value of rice. Thanks for the vote and the comment!
      Log in to reply.
  6. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Fascinating blog, I had no idea. And to think that we believed brown rice was better for us than white! I wonder if it applies to the rice we get here in the UK too? Maybe people shouldn't panic too much though, just eat rice in moderation, and check where it comes from.
    Log in to reply.
  7. Roopam
    Thanks for sharing this info Carolyn...voted!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Roopam!
      Log in to reply.
  8. immasweetiepie
    Hey girl, great article! Can u believe they have been poisoning us all these years? No if it is boiled, it should cook out. But I think more studies should be done. Love u and miss u!
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  9. Will Cheer
    Plants are subject to all kinds of problems due to environmental run off and chemicals used to grow plants over the years. This is a bad rap for brown rice as it is so much better for our bodies than the white stuff that's all fluff and no fiber. That's why it's so important to grow your own foods and selectively plant them. Preparing rice as with other grains should be rinsed, boiled and rinsed again for use. Still plant foods are far less toxic than animal based choices. Variety is defiantly the spice of life and it is very necessary to choose a wide variety of plant-based foods.
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  10. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    As a Californian I'm sticking to CA rice. I heard that the rice in the south has higher levels because the rice is grown on former cotton fields which used a fertilizer containing arsenic. I guess we'll need to stay tuned. I'm a riceaholic so this is bad news for me. Voted and congrats on top posts. Check out my falafel recipe and vote if you like:)
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  11. Fifi Leigh
    Fifi Leigh
    maybe it is a good idea to eat rice in small proportions. interesting...
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  12. Fifi Leigh
    Fifi Leigh
    maybe it is a good idea to eat rice in small proportions. interesting...
    Log in to reply.

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