Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Another Problem with Arsenic?

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Rice up close

Rice up close (Photo credit: Rowan Peter)

After reading  the latest health scare about arsenic in rice and rice products  in the  latest issue of Consumer Reports (November 2012), I was ready to toss out all the rice in the house and rethink our frequent intake of the whole grain, especially brown rice.  Arsenic is a potent human carcinogen..  But there are always two sides to these reports.  Granted, I think the FDA should consider to  limit the arsenic in our foods (if possible since it appears to be ubiquitous in the environment); but is there a need to panic?  Of course, not!!

I found a great article by Dr. David L. Katz that puts this latest health scare into perspective.  He points out some important points about many of these food scares and if you are concerned, read his analysis.


Also you can check out a previous post on this blog.  CLICK HERE.

Consumer Reports does offer some good advice if you are concerned (especially if you have small children).  In a nutshell here is their advice:

1.  Test your water if you do not have a public water system.

2.  Rinse raw rice before cooking and use a ratio of  6 cups water to 1 cup of rice,   draining the excess after the rice is cooked.

3.  Wash (scrub) fruits and vegetables, especially potato skins.  Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits.

4. Try some other grains like  oats, quinoa, millet, and amaranth.  They may have lower arsenic levels, but this has not been established by testing.

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