General Question

flo's avatar

What do people commonly do to rice to remove the arsenic?

Asked by flo (12904points) February 27th, 2017

And it it only the brown rice that had arsinic?

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16 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

They don’t. They just try not to eat too much or too often.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

All rices have Arsenic

flutherother's avatar

The best technique is to soak the rice overnight before cooking it in a 5:1 water-to-rice ratio. That cuts arsenic levels by 80%, compared to the common approach of using two parts water to one part rice and letting all the water soak in.

I don’t do this myself as I only have rice about twice a week.

Seek's avatar

@flutherother – that sounds like a way to get rice pudding or maybe rice milk. 5:1??

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’m gonna take a wild stab here and say any packaged rice you buy at the store is probably safe enough as is.

cazzie's avatar

yes, @Darth_Algar ‘sola dosis facit venenum’

Darth_Algar's avatar

^^^English please, the internets are American.

Strauss's avatar

Alle Dinge sind Gift und nichts ist ohne Gift, allein die Dosis macht es, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist.

All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dosage makes a thing not poison.

sola dosis facit venenum

cazzie's avatar

Forgive @Strauss he is mixing his metaphors…. and he is mixing his German with Latin, but I love language so, I love that @Strauss posted that.
‘sola dosis facit venenum’ is Latin for ‘The dosage makes the poison.’ I have posted it several times here on Fluther and folks here seem to require that I post it over and over again.

Eat rice. You aren’t going to die or even feel sick from arsenic poisoning unless you eat shitloads.

Darth_Algar's avatar

(Joke folks, it was a joke.)

cazzie's avatar

People are forgetting the real cool news about the findings about rice and arsenic and that is the fact that we now, recently, have the technology to differentiate between organic and inorganic forms of arsenic so we can test and science the hell out of this shit. Thank you, again, Denmark! Man, I love science.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Actually the Internet is French just look here.

flutherother's avatar

@Seek I don’t cook rice that way myself but presumably you strain the rice out when it is cooked?

flo's avatar

“Here is poison eat/drink it, don’t worry it’s organic”? I don’t understand.

Soubresaut's avatar

@flo arsenic is naturally occurring and is present in some foods because of this. Rice and wine are common examples. However, it’s generally only present in small amounts, so you would have to eat a lot of whatever the food item is for harmful effects. That’s why cazzie and Strauss, and maybe others I missed in my quick looking back, are saying the “dosage makes the poison.” Too much of anything is lethal, even necessary and seemingly benign things like water. But it takes a lot of water. Just as it would take a lot of rice. Upshot, we don’t usually need to worry about it.

A year or two ago I remember hearing something on the radio about arsenic levels being higher than normal in rice that year—I can’t remember the reason—but even then, the concern was only for people who ate it every day (or nearly so), and the recommendation was just for them to back off the rice, not stop eating it entirely.

If you’re interested, here’s some of the FDA’s information on arsenic, lead and cadmium, and mercury in food and other consumer products. Although these chemicals are in many different products, the FDA works to make sure that they’re below certain levels and that that we don’t ingest any one chemical in enough quantity for it to be harmful. (You’re in the US, yes? If I got that wrong just refer to the relevant government agency.)

A couple of years ago I heard a story about a man who destroyed his kidneys because he drank too much iced black tea—the oxalic acid had exhausted his kidneys. Turns out “too much” meant around 50 cups a day for 16 years or something like that. At lower levels (read—reasonable levels), the kidneys are able to handle it just fine. But then, the same can be said for how the body can process sugars or fats or salts. Or, to go back to the beginning of my post, water. Everything in moderation.

Basically, it’s not “eat/drink this poison, don’t worry it’s organic”—it’s “there’s not enough of this chemical in the product to poison you, your body will be able to process it just fine, because your body is built to do just that.”

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