Reducing Chemicals and Starch in Cooked Rice
Testing by a major consumer organization in the United States found high levels of arsenic especially inorganic arsenic that is a known to cause bladder, lung and skin cancer in humans in all samples of rice tested. Brown rice, which is higher in fiber than white rice, had higher levels of arsenic.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in soil and water. The website for an organization representing United States rice growers states arsenic is naturally occurring element taken up by all plants. Their stance is there is no concern about arsenic in rice especially since the US has no regulations for arsenic levels in food. The US does regulate arsenic in drinking water. Most of the samples tested exceeded the limit set for drinking water. It is important to keep things in perspective. Water is vital for survival. You can go for weeks or months without food. Days or weeks with drinking water can cause severe dehydration and even death.
The report emphasized that natural does not mean safe. Asbestos and uranium are natural elements. You do not want to be exposed to either material. If you read mystery novels written during the 20th century, you’ll know arsenic was a common poison.
On July 12, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules limiting inorganic arsenic in apple juice to the same level allowed in drinking water.
The levels of arsenic and pesticides in rice may not be a concern if you eat rice occasionally; once a week or less. Even if you eat rice occasionally, you can still reduce arsenic, chemicals and starch in rice for many recipes by rinsing the rice with cold water and cooking it in several quarts of water like pasta. Rice manufacturers recommend cooking rice in just enough water to be fully absorbed. This retains all the nutrients. It also retains all the chemicals and starch. Starch is what makes the water cloudy when you cook rice and pasta. Nutrients lost using this cooking method is minimal.
To reduce arsenic levels in cooked rice:
1. Eat white rice instead of brown rice.
2. Rinse or soak rice in cold water until the water is clear. About 4 to 5 changes of water or 1 minute of rinsing.
3. Cook rise in 6 to 8 cups of water about 2 quarts) per cup of rice.
Click for Step-by-Step YouTube video.