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Common Rice Cooking Method May Lead to Arsenic Poisoning

Common Rice Cooking Method May Lead to Arsenic Poisoning
Wikimedia Commons

A commonly used rice cooking method leaves most of the arsenic in place.

British authorities are warning the public that a commonly used method of cooking rice leaves high levels of naturally-occurring arsenic in the food. Arsenic, a well-documented poison, can lead to numerous health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Arsenic occurs naturally in the soil, and therefore also in rice grains and wild rice husks. It’s important to wash the arsenic off the rice before cooking it.

A recent study found that the most common method of cooking rice (2:1 water to rice ratio boiled on the stovetop until the rice is cooked) does not remove much arsenic. Instead, the researchers recommend soaking it overnight in a 5:1 water to rice ratio before cooking it. For optimal results, they say to rinse the rice repeatedly until the water is clear, and then cook it to completion in a fresh pot of water.

Alternately, if the rice is washed without soaking it overnight, the study found that this still removes about half of the arsenic.

This story was originally reported by The Independent. 

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