Jump to content



Photo

Arsenic in Rice? Yes, Especially Brown Rice


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:42 PM

http://blog.aarp.org...lly-brown-rice/


It was dueling rice reports on Wednesday.
First up, Consumer Reports announcing that an analysis of 200 samples of 60 rice products, including breakfast cereal and rice pasta, turned up “worrisome levels” of the inorganic form of arsenic, a toxin known to cause liver, lung, kidney and bladder cancer.
The consumer group found that brown rice, in particular, had higher levels than white. Some of the highest levels of inorganic arsenic were found in brown rice sold by Whole Foods Markets under the 365 Everyday Value brand, and by Wal-Mart under the Great Value brand.
The group also found that white rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, which account for 76 percent of domestic rice, generally had higher levels than white rice samples grown elsewhere.
Inorganic arsenic, found in pesticides and insecticides, is present in soil and water and absorbed by rice as it grows.
The group, which did a similar report earlier this year on arsenic in juice, is pressuring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set safe limits on arsenic levels in food, something the agency hasn’t done yet.
But the FDA insists it’s not ignoring the problem. The agency released on Wednesday its own rice report. Its own sample results from 200 rice products turned up similar amounts of arsenic in items ranging from bagged rice to rice cakes.
As reported in the Washington Post, the federal agency is also testing another 1,000 samples before making a recommendation about arsenic levels, but not until late next year. And while Consumer Reports recommends reducing your rice consumption for now, the FDA says that’s not necessary.
Finding elevated levels of arsenic in rice is nothing new. Scientists have been publishing reports on this for more than a decade, according to science writer Deborah Blum, an expert on poisonous food and author of The Poisoner’s Handbook.
Writing for Wired.com, Blum said there’s an obvious reason why rice contains so much arsenic: Of all the grains, rice is best designed to absorb minerals, including arsenic, that are stored in the soil. Some arsenic is just a naturally occurring mineral, but the inorganic kind comes from chemicals.
It’s rice’s efficiency at absorbing minerals that explains why, as Consumer Reports noted, rice had at least five times more inorganic arsenic than other grains, such as oatmeal.
So why the bad news about brown rice? Isn’t it supposed to be healthier for us? It’s because “as white rice is processed, much of the rice hull is removed and that tends to be a place where (the arsenic) is concentrated,” Blum wrote. Brown rice retains the hull.
As to whether these arsenic levels pose an immediate health threat, both the FDA and, not surprisingly, the USA Rice Federation, say no. Both contend these are just trace amounts in what is still a safe and healthy food.
Still, consumers can limit their arsenic intake. Here are some suggestions from Consumer Reports and the FDA:
  • Change the way you cook rice. Rinse raw rice thoroughly before cooking, using a ratio of six cups water to one cup rice for cooking and then draining the excess water afterward. That is a traditional method of cooking rice in Asia. The modern technique of cooking rice in water that is entirely absorbed by the grains has been promoted because it allows rice to retain more of its vitamins and other nutrients. But even though you may sacrifice some of rice’s nutritional value, research has shown that rinsing and using more water removes about 30 percent of the rice’s inorganic arsenic content.
  • Experiment with other grains. Vary your grains, especially if you eat more than two or three servings of rice per week. Though not arsenic-free, wheat and oats tend to have lower levels than rice. Quinoa, millet, and amaranth are other options, especially for those who eat a lot of rice because they are on a gluten-free diet.


#2 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,532 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:50 PM

Interesting how this article leaves out (unless I missed it) how all of the arsenic got there in the first place for the rice to absorb...why we put it there of course, sprayed it over the cotton crops that used to lay where the rice is grown now.

rice is bad for you anyway.
rice, wheat, sugar...bad, bad, bad

#3 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:55 PM

Although not a direct answer, the article states, "Inorganic arsenic, found in pesticides and insecticides, is present in soil and water and absorbed by rice as it grows."

I'm guessing they still use these pesticides and insecticides

#4 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,532 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:56 PM

Ah, I did miss that. Thanks.

#5 jnjn

jnjn
  • VibeTribe
  • 6,991 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:10 PM

is there a difference in arsenic levels between organic & non organic? i haven't heard any news organization differentiating between the two.

#6 nancykind

nancykind

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 15,757 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

no jnjn, click on the consumer reports link above and you can see their results

#7 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

I'm not sure if the standards are nationwide but I do know that in NY (as of a couple years ago anyway), your land must be documented chemical free for a minimum of 7 years before qualifying for organic. I'm guessin inorganic arsenic has a longer life span than 7 years, but I don't know for sure.

#8 seany

seany
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,772 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:34 PM

In my educated opinion, this is a trivial worry unless you're consuming pounds of rice every day. Arsenic in drinking water might be another story, but this doesn't bother me at all. Much more likely to get hit by a car or develop cancer from a host of other sources.

#9 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:38 PM

ok

#10 jnjn

jnjn
  • VibeTribe
  • 6,991 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:39 PM

cool, thanks :)

#11 seany

seany
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,772 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

Remember that arsenic is a naturally occurring trace mineral, so we've always been exposed to some trace amounts. There are already regulations in place regarding arsenic in pesticides, herbicides, and treated wood products. Most of the lead-arsenic pesticides/herbicides are no longer in use (per FDA/EPA) and the pressure treated wood industry has stopped using CCA (copper chromium arsenate), All of these provided a much more direct route to higher arsenic exposure (as well as lead and chromium). As noted in the article, the "rice basket" of the U.S, is down in the Mississippi basin where there is a geologically higher concentration of arsenic (especially in TX). NJ, New England, WI, and a few other areas experience these same elevated levels (probably not just arsenic, but radon and a few other worrisome trace inorganics). Here's a nice USGS map: http://water.usgs.go.../trace/arsenic/

So,,, maybe if you're worried you choose Carolina rice? Personally, I'm not going to worry about it :wink:

#12 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 32,256 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:02 PM

Anne Rice?

#13 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:05 PM

So, by your educated reasoning you're saying, "we already ingest it from a host of other forms, I wouldn't worry about another one."?

#14 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,236 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

So if it is organic rice, no arsenic? :dunno:

#15 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:52 PM

So if it is organic rice, no arsenic? :dunno:


you have to look at this table... it gives brand names and parts per million:

http://www.consumerr...index.htm#chart

Posted Image

#16 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,236 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:52 PM

Ah, thank you!

#17 seany

seany
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,772 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 01:28 AM

So if it is organic rice, no arsenic? :dunno:


See - that's not the case at all. It really depends on where it is grown and watered. The arsenic is in the water, much more than a pesticide (as I stated previously, most copper-lead-arsenic pesticide compounds have already been banned or are highly regulated). It just so happens that a good rice growing region in this country also has naturally occurring "higher" levels of arsenic. Probably the same levels as your well in the Berkshires. This really isn't something to worry about in thre midst of everything else you might worry about...

#18 nancykind

nancykind

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 15,757 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:32 AM

my understanding is that if one ate ONLY the kind of rice that you say, had to boil, and occasionally, then no worries.

the issue however is that we eat rice in many forms, not just the obvious rice grains and that it's the cumulative effect that we need to be worried about - not just plain old rice, but the forms of rice that are in other foods we eat, such as cereals and other foods that contain or are made from rice.

#19 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:08 AM

what about sake?

#20 Karen

Karen
  • VibeTribe
  • 10,166 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:37 AM

rice is bad for you anyway.
rice, wheat, sugar...bad, bad, bad


I am just starting to get with this thought....

#21 gregoir

gregoir
  • VibeTribe
  • 25,958 posts
  • LocationAbove The Waves

Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:58 AM

Shit I practically live on rice. Oh well

#22 Tim the Beek

Tim the Beek
  • VibeTribe
  • 16,597 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:03 PM

Interesting how this article leaves out (unless I missed it) how all of the arsenic got there in the first place for the rice to absorb...why we put it there of course, sprayed it over the cotton crops that used to lay where the rice is grown now.

rice is bad for you anyway.
rice, wheat, sugar...bad, bad, bad


Don't know as rice and wheat, in moderation and in their whole grain forms, are bad. I'm more concerned about the "hidden" amounts of corn and soy we eat on average...

#23 nancykind

nancykind

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 15,757 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:08 PM

i would have said regular white rice had no redeeming value for a body, but not the whole grain rices

#24 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 21 September 2012 - 01:17 PM

there's a genetically modified form of rice called golden rice that was designed to have 23 times more beta-carotene (vit A?) than white rice. Just a fun fact...

I have no idea about its arsenic content, but I would probably avoid it anyway just because it's a GMO

#25 hoagie

hoagie
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,454 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 01:48 PM

It is a conspiracy to kill off the Indian and Asians....

:paranoid:

#26 jnjn

jnjn
  • VibeTribe
  • 6,991 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Don't know as rice and wheat, in moderation and in their whole grain forms, are bad. I'm more concerned about the "hidden" amounts of corn and soy we eat on average...


same here.

#27 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,579 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

my understanding is that if one ate ONLY the kind of rice that you say, had to boil, and occasionally, then no worries.

the issue however is that we eat rice in many forms, not just the obvious rice grains and that it's the cumulative effect that we need to be worried about - not just plain old rice, but the forms of rice that are in other foods we eat, such as cereals and other foods that contain or are made from rice.


Exactly.

Point of my post was not to scare people off from eating rice. What I found interesting is that this test focused solely on the inorganic forms of arsenic. These are not naturally occuring and are introduced into the ground or water supply and absorbed by the crop. Naturally occuring forms of arsenic are mostly passed by the body without side affect but inorganics are not and can be harmful depending on quantity ingested. I don't know if these inorganics are just saturated in the ground from years of pesticide/herbicide abuse or if they're currently using them.

I also found it intersting because I was recently reading on the NY DEC site about the recommended ingestion limits of fish and waterfowl mostly due to Pcbs and mercury. Basically, they say 1 fish or bird a month.

Either way, I'm sure any of this is better for you than McDonalds.

#28 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:16 PM

McDonald's helped build America

#29 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,532 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:23 PM

How Bad is Rice, Really?

Posted ImageThe cereal grain family prides itself on its powerful, expansive arsenal of lectins, phytates, gluten, and other antinutrients. A single seed of its patriarch, wheat, can punch holes in gut linings with ease, and cousin oat has managed to obtain official recognition as being good for the heart even as it doses you with gluten. As healthy whole grains, they hide their armaments in plain sight; they cloak their puny bodies in the very poisons for which they are lauded and applauded. We Primals have got a heated feud going with the family as a whole, but should we paint all its members with the same brush?
Let me draw your attention to rice – diminutive member of the cereal grain family, frequent component of anti-low-carb advocates’ arguments, and the source of much consternation among grain abstainers. Is white rice the proverbial black sheep of the grain family? Does it deserve our full and unwavering opposition? Or, perhaps, can we treat rice like that crazy uncle who drinks a bit too much at family gatherings – occasional visits of short duration are fine and mostly harmless so long as you keep the hard stuff (scotch/soybean oil) locked up?

I’m starting to think it’s not quite so bad as we sometimes portray it. Sure, rice is nutritionally bereft, but it’s not all that offensive when compared to other, more heavily fortified grains.
As a seed, rice does employ a number of anti-consumption deterrents, most of which are located in the hull and bran. Let’s take a look…


Phytate

Phytate, or phytin in rice, binds to minerals, rendering them largely useless to any animal that consumes it. Well, rats can break through the phytate and get at the minerals fairly well, but they evolved that ability – we did not. Heat does little to phytate, but, since it’s located in the bran, physically removing the bran removes the phytate. That’s why brown rice eaters tend to have poorer mineral balances than white rice eaters.
Trypsin inhibitor

Trypsin is a digestive enzyme produced by mammals to cleave protein peptides in twain and reduce them to their constituent parts – amino acids – for easy absorption. Without trypsin (or with it inhibited), we’d be hard pressed to digest all the protein we eat. Luckily for rice eaters, trypsin inhibitor is located primarily in the outer embryo of the rice seed, with a bit in the bran, and none in the polished, milled seed. Bran-free white rice has no trypsin inhibitor. Steaming rice bran deactivates it, too.
Haemagglutinin-lectin

While rice doesn’t have something as pernicious as the gluten lectin agglutinin, it does feature haemagglutinin-lectin, which can bind to specific carbohydrate receptor sites in the intestinal lining and impede nutritional absorption. Again, though, it’s only found in the bran, and standard steam cooking inactivates its toxicity.
The common thread is that white, milled, polished rice is basically pure starch. All the chemical negatives are found in the hull, husk, and bran, and those are easily removed or negated. It is essentially a blank slate, nothing all that bad about it, but nothing all that great, either.
Well, wait: there is the fact that rice contains potential allergens, which cannot be neutralized by processing. Rice allergy isn’t necessarily common, but its incidence rises in countries that eat a lot of rice. Wheat-sensitive individuals and others with food-related autoimmune disorders seem more susceptible to rice allergy, too (big surprise there), and allergic reactions generally manifest as atopic dermatitis, eczema, gastrointestinal distress, or asthma. If you’re sensitive to food in general and grains in particular, rice could pose a problem. And even if it doesn’t cause an immediate reaction, there remains the question of latent, hidden damage. As I’ve mentioned before, gluten is damaging even to supposedly wheat-resilient individuals. Is rice doing similar damage on a lesser scale, even to asymptomatic people? It’s certainly possible.
Varieties

There are tons of different rice varieties. Check out this exhaustive list of dozens upon dozens for an idea. Now, if this were a post about dozens upon dozens of strains of cattle (note: I’m actually not sure how many different types of cow exist; perhaps this would make a good future post), I would go into each and every variety with exquisite detail. Beef, after all, is a staple food for us. We’d do well to know everything about it. But rice? Rice is not a Primal staple. I’m not very interested in which Cambodian variety contains the most magnesium, or whether Bangladeshi ultra-short grain is superior to Indian red rice. It’s all very interesting, I’m sure, but I don’t want to become a boutique rice guy. I’m just interested in whether or not having some sushi or Vietnamese rice porridge with pig blood and organs now and then will derail efforts – and I think most of you are in the same boat. Here are some of the basic rice varieties you’ll come across.


Brown Rice

It’s the “healthier” choice because it still has the bran, with all its nutrients. In a 100g dose, raw brown rice contains:

  • 77 g carb
  • 3.5 g fiber
  • 3 g fat
  • 8 g protein
  • 0.4 mg thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • 5 mg niacin
  • 1.5 mg iron
  • 143 mg magnesium
  • 223 mg potassium


I mean, even the most ardent zero-carber would have to admit that brown rice sports an impressive nutrient profile (to clarify, that’s 100g raw; 100g cooked is far less impressive). But most of it is bound up with phytic acid and mostly useless to humans. Rats and other rodents produce phytase, which breaks down phytic acid and releases the bound minerals, but until we engineer rat-human hybrids, we’re not enjoying the full potential of brown rice. Another option is to soak and ferment brown rice, as Stephan details here. To me, though, this just sounds like a ton of work, and I worry that the newly unbound minerals will just leech into the soaking/fermenting liquid along with the phytate and the other antinutrients. If you toss the liquid, won’t you be tossing the nutrients, too? Hopefully Stephan can chime in with some clarification.
White Rice

Mostly neutral. A 100g dose (raw) contains:

  • 80 g carb
  • 1 g fiber
  • 0.6 g fat
  • 7 g protein
  • 0.07 mg thiamin
  • 1.6 g niacin
  • 0.8 mg iron
  • 25 mg magnesium
Pretty meager, right? Not many nutrients, pretty high in starchy carbs – eating white rice and nothing but will lead to nutritional deficiencies fast, but not because white rice is leeching nutrients from you. It’s simply a matter of displacement. White rice replaces other, more nutritious foods, and in some cases, it acts as a vehicle for negative foods, like rancid oils and sugar.


Parboiled Rice

Parboiled rice is interesting. Parboiling involves partially boiling the intact rice seed – husk, bran, and all. This, in theory, is supposed to incorporate some of the bran’s nutrients into the interior. The parboiled rice is then dried and milled, producing a white rice with greater nutrient content than regular white rice. How does it pan out? A 100g raw dose contains:

  • 81 g carb
  • 2 g fiber
  • 1 g fat
  • 7.5 g protein
  • 0.224 mg thiamin
  • 5 mg niacin
  • 0.74 mg iron
  • 27 mg magnesium
It kinda works. There’s very little mineral change from white rice (perhaps even a reduction), but some of the vitamins seem to increase by parboiling. Interesting.
Wild Rice

Wild rice is pretty high in nutrient content, but, as with brown rice, the antinutrients are present and the minerals are mostly bound by phytate. In a 100g raw dose of wild rice:
  • 75 g carb
  • 6 g fiber
  • 1 g fat
  • 15 g protein
  • 0.115 mg thiamin
  • 6.7 mg niacin
  • 2 mg iron
  • 177 mg magnesium
If you’re willing and able to figure out a way to soak and ferment wild rice while retaining all nutrients and minerals and discarding the antinutrients, it’s probably not such a bad option for a post-glycolitic workout carb.


The Peril of Categorization

Wheat is not awful because it’s a grain. It’s awful because it contains gluten (among other things). “Grain” is simply a valuable linguistic tool to promote better dietary choice-making. Rice is a grain that happens to be not so awful in certain circumstances – on the occasional dinner plate of a lean, insulin-sensitive individual; after a glycogen-depleting workout; underneath a massive slab of yellowtail prepared specially by a sushi-chef in appreciation of your enthusiasm for his creations. It’s a cheat that almost isn’t, that neither necessitates eventual pangs of guilt nor causes – for most people – pangs of gastric distress.
There is nuance to all things. Though categorization is a valuable, essential data management tool, one that helped propel us to the top of the food chain (grouping bits of data together into categories allows us to handle more mental “stuff” at once), we run the risk of forgetting that these groups are made up of individual, non-homogenous bits. There is danger in missing the trees for the forest. Rice is a grain, yes, but it’s not the same as wheat, barley, oats, or corn. Avoiding grains as a general rule is good for your health, and that goes for rice, but be realistic. A bit of white rice with a restaurant meal is not going to kill you.
Don’t take this as blanket approval for immediate regular rice consumption, however. It’s not black and white. Rice exists on one end of the “grain suitability” continuum. You know how I’ve discussed the dairy continuum? Raw, grass-fed one on end and low-fat, homogenized, ultra-pasteurized on the other. It’s the same for grains. High-gluten wheat on one (very bad) end and rice on the other (don’t lose sleep if you eat it) end. Do I recommend ditching the entire group altogether, just to make things easy and avoid any possible irritants? Sure, but if grain consumption presents itself, or you literally are hamstrung by finances and simply need some calories, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it just because you ate some white rice.

Rice can even be a vehicle for the good stuff – for butter, ghee, coconut. It can also be a vehicle for the bad stuff – for vegetable oils, for sugar. In fact, it’s the essential neutrality of rice that makes it what it is. The problem with rice in most people’s diets is twofold: it serves as a vehicle for processed fat and sugar; and overweight, insulin-resistant folks with damaged metabolisms can’t handle the glucose load.

Rice fried in rancid corn oil? Avoid.
Rice fried in homemade ghee? Not so bad, necessarily.
Rice if you’re trying to lose weight? Avoid.
Rice if you’re lean and active? Not so bad, necessarily.


The Asian Paradox

This probably deserves a full post, but I’ll briefly discuss it here. I’m not going to sit here and claim that Asians don’t actually eat rice. They do. And they have for centuries while maintaining pretty good health and staying fairly lean. That’s changing nowadays, though, with the Westernization of their food. They’re eating more sugar and using vegetable oils for cooking, rather than traditional animal fats. These factors are deranging their metabolisms, turning the relatively benign rice starch into an enemy. It just suggests that carbs, in and of themselves, are benign in a metabolic vacuum. If you have everything else going right – insulin sensitivity, regular activity, absence of metabolic deranging foods like fructose, lectins, and excessive linoleic acid – pure starchy carbs aren’t going to be a big problem. But, especially in the States, we live in anything but a nutritional vacuum. We aren’t starting from ground zero. The overweight perimenopausal wife and mother of three working 50 hours a week is not starting from square one. She has an issue with glucose, one that might not be cured in a lifetime. For a person like that, avoidance of rice is recommended and probably necessary.
We have to face facts. Deranged has become normal. Glucose intolerance – or perhaps “mishandling” is better – has become standard. Where rice belongs in your life depends on where you fall on the metabolic derangement continuum.


Read more: http://www.marksdail.../#ixzz2777PLDtE


.






#30 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 32,256 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:30 PM

It's a Zionist plot!

#31 joecool

joecool
  • VibeTribe
  • 2,849 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:37 PM

Shit I practically live on rice. Oh well


isn't there a saying....'live by the rice, die by the rice'?

#32 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 32,256 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:40 PM

Point of order: Koreans, Vietnamese, Japanese, et al are some of the healthiest people on Earth and this is not a concern or issue at all. We suck as usual. :lol:

#33 Gypsy Bob

Gypsy Bob
  • VibeTribe
  • 908 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

Arsenic in Rice...forget about it, and we will, because we have the attention span of a gnat. Besides in 20 years or so when the topic resurfaces the corporations will just whip out Plausible Deniabilty and the whole topic will once again Fade Away.

#34 nancykind

nancykind

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 15,757 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:57 PM

Remember that arsenic is a naturally occurring trace .....
There are already regulations in place regarding arsenic in pesticides, herbicides, and treated wood products.


the issue isn't about that kind of arsenic and,
the regulation being asked for is in the foods themselves.

if the non organic arsenic is being used to grow many of the foods i eat, and it is harmful, but the level where it becomes so is not defined, how is one to try to ensure they aren't getting too much overall?