Rice And Arsenic, Is It A Problem?
It is always interesting to dig deeper into the many stories that swirl around nutritional studies. There is always some new insight into the miracle properties of an individual food, vitamin or mineral that is the secret to long life and health. The same is true with horror stories of food toxicity. All these reports are said to be a result of exhaustive scientific studies and are instantly picked up by the popular press and sensationalized. The truth is often buried in the process.
Months ago, there were a series of headlines generated out of a report in Consumers Report warning of the dangers of eating rice. The threat was that rice was polluted with arsenic. Arsenic!! Damn - that’s a fatal poison. We don’t want that in our food.
As is often the case, the issue was more complicated and much less sensational when we dig deeper into the fact. What emerges is a far more interesting story that implicates many environmental issues, misrepresented science, sensational use of simple science and an insight into the limits of myopic science. Some helpful links are below so you can get a well-rounded vision of why good quality brown rice is still an excellent choice as a healthy food for all seasons.
John McDougall MD our friend and colleague, explains in great detail the nutritional value of this inexpensive, high-energy, health-promoting staple.
The second excellent article is by Julia Ferre, for Macrobiotics Today
And the third article another good source from Alex Jack
So, why pick on rice?
"Rice contributes 17 percent of dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic, which would put it in third place, behind fruits and fruit juices at 18 percent and vegetables at 24 percent" Still rice has become the "must avoid" food. Consumers Reports, November 2012 - And, there is arsenic in fruit juices too.
Short grain brown rice is our daily staple, has been for decades. Delicious, nutritious, top drawer food for health and longevity.
In good health