Arsenic In Rice
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is present in soil and can make its way into drinking water, wine, and food crops.
Rice is grown in water soaked fields. Since soil and water both have arsenic and rice plants are soaked in water for a long time, so they absorb more arsenic than any other plant. Because of the way it’s grown, rice has levels of arsenic 10 times higher than any other dietary staple.
Brown rice has more arsenic than white rice, as the hull of brown rice absorb it more. In brown rice, the amount of arsenic is 80% more than the white rice. Any ordinary rice, which has a brown hull, is called brown rice. In order to make white rice, this hull is removed from the grain by the process known as polishing. And because arsenic occurs naturally, buying organic doesn’t generally help.
What is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a type of mineral, which are of two kinds – organic and inorganic. Organic arsenic is less harmful than inorganic arsenic. Inorganic arsenic is the kind that is dangerous and is associated with adverse health effects – and it is the kind that is present in rice.
One form of the element, inorganic arsenic, has been linked to cancer and other health problems in humans. The other form, organic arsenic, is less toxic but still concerning. Exposure is particularly concerning for pregnant women and young kids, because even small amounts of arsenic have been associated with lower IQ and impaired development in children.
How To Get Rid Of Arsenic From Rice?
It is suggested to first soak the rice in water for 1-2 hours. Then wash the soaked rice thoroughly. After you soak the rice, it’s important to drain and rinse the grains thoroughly with fresh water. Soaking rice opens up the grain’s structure, and allows arsenic, which is water soluble, to permeate into the water.
After that, boil water in a pot (about 4 times the quantity of rice that you soaked) and add soaked rice. Cook the rice, until it is done. Cook until tender—making sure the rice doesn’t boil dry—and rinse one last time with hot water before serving. During the process of cooking, most of the arsenic is removed from the rice. When cooked, discard the excess water. This cooked rice is light and also easy to digest. Arsenic escapes into water while cooking, but if all of the water evaporates (as it does during the usual methods of cooking rice or in the rice cooker), the arsenic is absorbed back into the grains.
So, if you want to eat white or brown rice, make sure to cook it in the right way. Perhaps, cooking it in your rice cooker is not the most healthy method!
(Also read –> Are Soaked Almonds Healthier Than Raw?)