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1 Political Atheist  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 4:45:45pm

Mercury in our fish, arsenic in our foods, e coli in bagged salad. We foul our own nest. Thanks VB, I really had never heard a peep, and we like to have rice instead of bread or potatoes.

2 lawhawk  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 5:43:18pm

Consumer Reports did a whole big report about arsenic in rice and rice products as well as for apples earlier this year. They recommended setting levels. Some places have high levels of naturally occurring arsenic, but others were places where arsenic-laden pesticides/herbicides were used decades ago and the arsenic remained in the soil.

Harvesting methods can contribute to the content levels, as does the type of rice used.

3 RealityBasedSteve  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 6:15:04pm

Does anybody know if there is a listing of the arsenic levels by brand, or is it a case where petty much all the major processors are getting them from a varity of sources?

I eat rice 3-4 times a week, (a habit picked up when I was married to a red-headed Cajun for a while) and while I am not HUGELY concerned, this is something I’d like to know a bit more about.

On the plus side, maybe the arsenic will kill the bacteria on the chicken. :)

RBS
“Got the rice cooking, now what to fix for dinner” (True quote)

4 majii  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 8:07:14pm

I don’t eat rice too often because I’m a diabetic. Thanks, for the info, VB. I don’t understand why more Americans aren’t as concerned as they should be about what is in our food. I guess one reason would be because agribusiness has tons of money to throw at our politicians, ads, and lobbyists to keep many of us in the dark. I guess I just expect people to be concerned about certain things because they would feel a need to know.

5 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 9:06:48pm

I heard that you WILL live forever if you never eat rice, drink alcohol, or masturbate.

6 jaunte  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 9:09:21pm

re: #5 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

I’m just going to eat rice until I need glasses.

7 calochortus  Mon, Sep 2, 2013 10:02:26pm

re: #3 RealityBasedSteve

Does anybody know if there is a listing of the arsenic levels by brand, or is it a case where petty much all the major processors are getting them from a varity of sources?

I believe California grown rice is lower in arsenic than Southern rice because the rice fields in the south were often previously used for cotton or other crops that were treated heavily with pesticides.
I also think, sadly, that white rice has less than brown rice.

8 freetoken  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 2:42:06am

The cynic in me believes the various Corn Growers Associations are behind this campaign. Or maybe it’s the NAWG.

9 RealityBasedSteve  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 3:54:39am

re: #5 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

I heard that you WILL live forever if you never eat rice, drink alcohol, or masturbate.

No, it will only SEEM LIKE forever.

RBS

10 Flounder  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 5:53:27am

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!

11 mr.JA  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 8:12:18am

re: #3 RealityBasedSteve

Does anybody know if there is a listing of the arsenic levels by brand, or is it a case where petty much all the major processors are getting them from a varity of sources?

I eat rice 3-4 times a week, (a habit picked up when I was married to a red-headed Cajun for a while) and while I am not HUGELY concerned, this is something I’d like to know a bit more about.

On the plus side, maybe the arsenic will kill the bacteria on the chicken. :)

RBS
“Got the rice cooking, now what to fix for dinner” (True quote)

I think brands will say relatively little, as they buy their crop from year to year in different places, and since the rice market is so big, this year’s rice may come from Thailand, while next year’s rice may come from China or the Philippines. If the store gets resupplied, it might come from an entirely different area again.
As (arsenic) levels in the soil can be patchy, so you’ll never know what you get. However, I think china has set the MAC levels to 150ppb, while in the US drinking water is at max 10ppb. In a week you’ll drink at least 14 litres of water, meaning that ~1kg of dry rice (with the China standards, at least) has the equivalent of all the As you’ll maximally get in drinking water (so a worse-case scenario).
Most people will not go through 1 kg of dry rice per week, at least I do not, and I eat rice quite regularly.

I really do not like these sort of sensational titles, and think they are more appropriate for Fox-news like websites.
It is ok to have a debate about levels of bad stuff in our food, but people should realize that plants naturally contain ~5000 different chemicals, and that not all of those are good for us. I guess that Arsenic makes good headlines, but this is just a little bit silly, and there are certainly bigger fish to fry…

12 calochortus  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 8:32:59am

re: #11 mr.JA

I’m not crazy about sensational titles either and there may be bigger fish to fry, but rice is very efficient at the uptake of heavy metals, (apparently lead can be a problem too).
The first solid food people feed babies tends to be rice cereal because there are few problems with allergies and the like. You don’t want to load your 6 month old up with arsenic.

Lundberg rice is grown in California, up near Oroville, and is on the lower end of arsenic content but it may not be available everywhere.

13 mr.JA  Tue, Sep 3, 2013 9:06:38am

re: #12 calochortus

I’m not crazy about sensational titles either and there may be bigger fish to fry, but rice is very efficient at the uptake of heavy metals, (apparently lead can be a problem too).
The first solid food people feed babies tends to be rice cereal because there are few problems with allergies and the like. You don’t want to load your 6 month old up with arsenic.

You’re using the same annoying rhetoric here, which is very misleading. Just calculate how much As there is in drinking water compared to rice - it is about 15 times less (assuming the China max. levels are the top levels), and I bet that babies do not eat that much rice compared to their water intake. Just compare rice to water, do the math and come to some sensible conclusion. Please focus on the stuff that matters, not on ‘chemicals’ with a scary name…


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