Rice and Arsenic Linked (Again) in New Study
Uh-oh. Could rice, one of our favorite mealtime staples, be poisoning us? This can’t be happening!
Slow down … a little arsenic may be OK.
To back up, a new study by Consumer Reports finds chowing down on rice once a day could up your arsenic levels by 44 percent or more, something the researchers call “worrisome,” but not everyone is concerned, reports CNN.
“We wanted to help consumers at least be able to take action for themselves in terms of moderating themselves,” lead scientist Urvashi Rangan tells the news channel. “We asked the government to set standards.” (Arsenic levels are tested by the EPA in drinking water but not food.)
What bad things can too much inorganic arsenic do to a body? Liver, bladder and lung cancer are all possibilities, the Centers for Disease Control says. So there’s that. This comes several months after researchers at Dartmouth found elevated arsenic levels in pregnant women who had recently eaten rice.
The latest study shows white rice had lower arsenic levels than brown (take that health nuts!), and if your rice comes from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri or Texas, it probably has more arsenic, too, CNN notes.
Naturally, the USA Rice Federation says the grain is safe.
“If we’re going to eat, there’s going to be arsenic in all our foods,” toxicologist Jim Coughlin, who has worked with the federation in the past, tells the network. “It’s found in fruits, vegetables and grains, and rice falls in the category. You’ve got to eat, and I think rice is a safe and nutritious food.”
Still, the study recommends cutting down to a max of two quarter-cup servings of dry rice per week.
The folks at our favorite take-out restaurant will not be pleased.
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