Yup! You read it right. The FDA knows that there is arsenic in rice products and they’re actually trying to determine thru studies, what amount is the RIGHT amount. When it comes to arsenic, to hear that there IS a right amount, is quite alarming. So here’s the jist for those of us who only know of arsenic as something to be used as rat poisoning (or on those pesky spouses). 😆
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So what really IS arsenic? I was shocked to learn that it is present in the environment as a naturally occurring contaminant. Because it’s found in water, air and soil, it is a chemical element that’s distributed in the earth’s crust. Therefore, it is naturally going to end up occurring in our food. Humans burning fuel, mining and using arsenic compounds in pesticides (a great reason to go organic!!!), has exacerbated its presence in the environment. It’s very concerning because exposure to arsenic has been associated with high rates of cancers and heart disease.
The FDA has actually been monitoring the levels of arsenic in foods for decades, and thankfully they’ve recently increased their testing. The testing actually includes ALL rice-based foods such as cereals, cakes, beverages, snack bars and infant and toddler foods. Scary, I know! 😯 Rice is of particular concern because it is grown in water, making it more naturally able to absorb arsenic. However, arsenic is present in many foods, due to absorption from soil and water – grains, fruits and vegetables included. One of the things being considered is reducing exposure thru changes in growing and manufacturing practices.
It will take some time to have the results, but the good news is that there are teams of toxicologists, nutritionists, epidemiologists, statisticians, and other specialists committed to getting to the bottom of this. In the meantime, scientists say adults should eat no more than 1½ to 2 cups of cooked rice per week, and children LESS THAN HALF THAT AMOUNT!!
Personally, I just don’t see the need to play with fire (or arsenic) here. When looking to compliment your diet with a carb, go for beans or lentils or quinoa or millet! Just stay away from rice until all the facts are in! And ready for a fun fact? Brown rice is WORSE than white rice, (higher in arsenic!) Bummer, I know!
So that’s it! Fun facts to start your week on 😀 ! Now you need to worry about your arsenic intake – YIKES! Anyway, knowledge is HEALTH, so choose wisely! XO!
http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2013/09/next-steps-on-arsenic-and-rice/ http://chriskresser.com/arsenic-in-rice-how-concerned-should-you-be http://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/11/arsenic-laden-rice-fda-deliberates-consumer-reports-issues-guidance