Numerous tests have confirmed the high content of arsenic in conventional foods. Arsenic is extremely detrimental to health and leads to various health issues, including heart disease and cancers.
However, apparently, arsenic is included in various foods we consume daily, and in high amounts. One of the richest foods in arsenic is rice.
Rice producers argue that concerns about dietary exposure to arsenic in rice are overblown. “There is no documented evidence of actual adverse health effects from exposure to arsenic in U.S.-grown rice,” says Anne Banville, a vice president at the USA Rice Federation, a trade association representing the $34 billion rice industry. “And we believe the health benefits of rice must be properly weighed against the risks of arsenic exposure, which we believe are minimal.”
However scientists warn of complacency. “We already know that high concentrations of arsenic in drinking water result in the highest known toxic substance disease risks from any environmental exposure,” says Allan Smith, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.
“So we should not be arguing to wait for years until we have results of epidemiologic studies at lower arsenic intake, such as from rice consumption, to take action.” His studies of arsenic in public water in Chile and Argentina helped show that it causes lung and bladder cancer and other diseases.
How to Reduce Arsenic Levels in Rice
Wash Rice Thoroughly
– Put the rice in a big bowl huge enough to hold 3x the quantity of water as rice.
– Fill the bowl with cold water 3x as rice.
– Secure any particles drifting in the water or embed in the rice.
– Wash rice by putting rice grains in between the palms of your hands, rubbing the grains gently but vigorously without breaking or grinding them.
– Drain the water completely over a mesh strainer.
– Using the most popular water possible, rinse rice up until water runs practically clear, which will take a more than a couple of rinses. If water is too hot for your hands, utilize a big wooden spatula to swirl the rice around. It is essential to utilize most popular water possible since it assists to remove arsenic much better than cold water.
– Drain the water entirely over a mesh strainer and rinse repeatedly till the water is clearer each time. Depending on the amount of rice you are cleaning, this can take about 4-5 times of washing and draining.
– Why utilize WARM WATER to rinse and drain pipes? Some posts recommend using 6:1 ratio of water to rice to prepare rice, then, draining the water and re-cooking rice but it is really too intricate. I suggest, it can be done but I’m too lazy for this multi-step technique. For this reason, I choose this comprehensive cleansing step.
– After the water is semi-clear, soak rice in hot water for more than an hour, ideally overnight. Soaking grains makes it easily digestible and minimizes phytic acid, an anti-nutrient but it also acts to lower arsenic when warm water is utilized.
– If you can, replace the water when it gets cold. If soaking overnight, begin with hot water and leave it till the morning.
– After soaking, drain the water entirely over a mesh strainer. Rinse again using the hottest water a number of times till the water runs clearer.
– Lastly, wash with cold water up until you see clear water eventually. You need to see something like this.
When you use this method of cleaning and pre-soaking rice, it is essential to ignore what the rice bag’s direction or a dish states about the water level. You only require 1:1 ratio of water to rice. In other words, if you use 1 cup of rice, usage 1 cup of water. If you use 2 cups of rice, usage 2 cups of water.
When you put water in the pot to prepare rice, the water level will be slightly above the rice level. Overlook the fist knuckle forefinger or perhaps the water level line in a rice cooker technique. Just use 1:1 ratio of water to rice … unless you desire a different rice consistency. Then, you’ll have to adjust the water accordingly.
Cook Rice with a Coffee Percolator Type of a Device
The current research states that when they made rice in a coffee percolator type of an apparatus, the arsenic level was significantly reduced– up to 85%! And the theory behind why it works is that a coffee percolator runs the warm water through the coffee premises and when they cooked rice by doing this, water goes through the rice, removing arsenic from suspended rice.
In other words, when making rice this way, the rice doesn’t ‘sit’ in the water, taking in arsenic throughout cooking. The water leaks through the rice while arsenic is eliminated. And any arsenic residue that’s left escapes through condensation by means of steam.
So this method of cleaning and preparing rice prior to cooking works to assist filter out arsenic and my cooking approach works to minimize arsenic via releasing the condensation through steam.