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Common Methods of Cooking Rice can Leave Traces of Arsenic in Food, Scientists Warn

in Food February 9, 2017

Could the way you cook your rice be hurting those you love? Scientists say you should never cook rice this way!

Experiments done recently have shown that simply boiling rice in a pan until the water has steamed out can expose those who eat it to traces of arsenic. Arsenic contaminates rice while it is growing thanks to pesticides and toxins the growing industry overuses. This chemical has been linked to a wide range of health issues including cancer and heart disease.

Most people think that any trace of arsenic would be expelled when the rice is cooked, however, that is not the case. This only happens when the rice is soaked overnight in water. Andy Meharg, professor of biological sciences at Queens University Belfast found this by testing three methods of cooking rice for the BBC programme ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.’ 

During the first method, Meharg used a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part rice and steamed the water out during cooking. This is the method that I have always used until learning this. He found that this method was the one that left the most traces of arsenic. After using 5 parts water and 1 part rice then rinsing off excess when done cooking he noticed that the levels of arsenic were cut in half.

The safest method found was soaking the rice overnight, rinsing and washing it until the water being used ran clear then boiling it with the 5 parts water to 1 part rice ratio. This is mindblowing. We are constantly learning more and more, I will always cook my rice this way from now on and I hope that you do the same.