19 September 2012

CR Recommends Limiting Rice Consumption Due To 'Concerning' Levels Of Arsenic

...Consumer Reports decided to test rice and rice products (everything from Rice Krispies to rice milk) for arsenic. Why rice? Prior research has shown that rice generally contains more arsenic than other grains, probably because rice is grown in water-flooded conditions and absorbs arsenic from the soil and water. And arsenic is present on a lot of soil. Residues from decades of lead-arsenate insecticide use linger, even though their use was banned in the 1980s. Arsenic-containing drugs are also permitted for use on food animals to prevent disease and promote growth. As a result, fertilizer made from poultry waste can contain arsenic. 

The news about rice products is not good. Consumer Reports indicated today that it found arsenic in virtually all of the more than 60 different rice products it tested, and recommends that people limit rice and rice product consumption in various ways. Consumer Reports suggests that infants be given a serving of rice cereal no more than once a day, and that children under five not consume rice milk (rice drinks) on a regular basis. Kids should eat no more than one and a half cups of ready-to-eat rice cereal, like Rice Checks or Rice Krispies in a week. Adults should limit themselves to two standard servings of rice per week. And once you have your quota of one product, that's it for all rice products for the week. Are some rice products better than others? Maybe. Consumer Reports test represent a snapshot of the market from which they cannot draw any conclusions about any particular brands, but they did observe some trends. White rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas generally had higher levels of total and inorganic arsenic (the most worrisome kind) than rice samples from elsewhere (India, Thailand and California as a group). 

In addition, within any given brand, brown rice had more arsenic than white, although some individual brown rice samples were lower in arsenic compared to some white rice samples, possibly due to agricultural practices or where they were grown. Regardless of rice type and origin, Consumer Reports suggests adults adhere to the two-servings-a-week consumption limit. You can find suggested limits for consumption of all the rice products tested at consumerreports.org.

Consumer Reports suggests rinsing rice before cooking, use lots of water for rinsing and cooking, and discard all cooking water. CR also found elevated levels of arsenic in apple and grape juice. Going now to check to see where my supply of brown rice was grown.

Huffington Post

No comments: