There isn’t a lot present but it’s definitely there. Follow these simple steps to get it out.
Your friends aren’t poisoning you via your food. Well, that’s true unless you’re vomiting with abdominal pain, have watery diarrhea, and brain dysfunction due to encephalopathy. Then, maybe, yes they are.
But likely not. The poisonous chemicals in rice actually come from our soil. Arsenic is naturally present in soil, and leaks into our food in tiny amounts, and some foods collect more than others, due to the way they’re grown.
Rice thrives in water, and so it tends to absorb more arsenic than other cereal products that don’t.
Consequently, it absorbs more arsenic, as it’s loosened by the water and easily absorbed by the rice grains.
Does it add up to a deadly amount? If you’re eating a balanced diet, no. Experts like Dr Paul Brent, a toxicologist with the Food Standards Authority for Australia and New Zealand who was interviewed by BBC.com states that eating two or three portions of rice a week, is fine.
The warning of toxicity comes those people who have rice as a constant staple in their diet. Then, there could be cause for some concern.
How to Get it Out
Trust Me, I’m a Doctor recommends that rice eaters take some relatively simple precautions.
In order to reduce the amounts of arsenic sitting in your rice by up to 80%, simply let it sit and soak in clean water the night before. Some of the arsenic will ooze out of the rice and into the water.
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In addition, make it a practice to boil your rice in not 2 parts water to 1 part rice, but a 5:1 ratio. So, if you’re cooking 1 cup of rice, boil it in 5 cups of water.
This, the experts say, should get rid of almost all the arsenic.
Of note, the levels of arsenic found in rice milk far exceed what would normally be allowed in drinking water, rice cakes contain higher levels of arsenic than plain old cooked rice, and for your lowest levels of arsenic, go for basmati rice.