How much arsenic is in your rice? Consumer Reports’ new data and guidelines.

A November 2014 Consumer Reports article is entitled:

“How much arsenic is in your rice? Consumer Reports’ new data and guidelines are important for everyone but especially for gluten avoiders.”

An excerpt from the article reads:

Nicer rices

Our latest tests determined that the inorganic arsenic content of rice varies greatly depending on the type of rice and where it was grown. White basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan, and sushi rice from the U.S. on average has half of the inorganic-arsenic amount of most other types of rice.

Our findings led us to treat those specific rices from those areas differently from other types of rice and rices grown in other regions. Based on our data, we calculated that consumers could have about twice as many weekly servings as we previously recommended if that was the only rice or rice product someone ate. For adults, that adds up to 4½ servings per week; children could have 2¾ servings.

All types of rice (except sushi and quick cooking) with a label indicating that it’s from Arkansas, Louisiana, or Texas or just from the U.S. had the highest levels of inorganic arsenic in our tests. For instance, white rices from California have 38 percent less inorganic arsenic than white rices from other parts of the country.

Brown rice has 80 percent more inorganic arsenic on average than white rice of the same type. Arsenic accumulates in the grain’s outer layers, which are removed to make white rice. Brown has more nutrients, though, so you shouldn’t switch entirely to white. Brown basmati from California, India, or Pakistan is the best choice; it has about a third less inorganic arsenic than other brown rices.

Rice that’s grown organically takes up arsenic the same way conventional rice does, so don’t rely on organic to have less arsenic.

[End of excerpt from Consumer reports article]

The article also notes which grains are lowest in arsenic, and describes how to cook rice with a view toward reducing the arsenic content.

 

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