Why Is Arsenic Poisoning from Rice an Issue?

Arsenic poisoning from rice is an issue, due to the fact that, being grown in water, rice paddy absorbs high levels of the heavy metal poison Arsenic that is naturally occurring in soil and ground water. One of the reasons, in fact, that I only carry Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbs that have been tested on the American side here in my San Diego Acupuncture and Ayurveda clinic, is that heavy metals like arsenic and lead are naturally occurring in soil. Just like there are places in the world where there is lots of gold in the soil, in other places there are heavy metals: lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium are some. And parts of China, independent of industrial pollution and lead in the pipes at the herb factory, has high levels of lead and other heavy metals in the soil.

Is There Arsenic in Your Whole Foods Market Organic Carrot?

Key point: Unless you actually test your organic carrot from Whole Foods Market, unless someone tests it, you really have no idea whether it is safe to eat, from a heavy metals standpoint. Ditto your bottled drinking water. That is why I use a drinking water filter that I buy from Jeff Shipper at Seagull Distributors rather than bottled water. Besides being far less wasteful, besides that drinking water out of plastic donates endocrine system disrupting chemicals to your body, including pthalates, I know what is in the San Diego city water, because they send Federal reports, and the city water already has “safe” levels of bacteria and heavy metals, as well as chlorine. But I would not drink the city water, because their levels are not “safe enough” for my taste.

And I know, with relative certainty, that my Water King water filter does the job removing what is left in the city water, because I have a level of trust in the Mr. Shipper’s level of expertise, but more important, because the water tastes so much different than the water from the tap….

Getting back to arsenic poisoning in your rice.

The solution, especially if you eat rice every day, is to cook your rice in large amounts of water and discard that water, rather than cooking it in water until the water is absorbed by the rice.

Incidentally, when I lived in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, this was exactly the most common method to cook perfect rice, cook the rice 1:6, and when the rice is perfect, pour the water out through a strainer, as one does pasta.


Read about it here in Scientific American.

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