Rice is known as the grain that half of the world sees as their main food. However, recent discovery has shown that rice is not that innocent. In fact, it is one of the primary sources of the carcinogen inorganic arsenic. If you regularly eat rice, this is something you don’t want to know about, but you have to.
Arsenic is an element that naturally occurs in the environment. In fact, it is everywhere – even in the other foods you eat, including fruits and vegetables. The worst thing about arsenic is that it is highly toxic. Even though fruits and vegetables come with arsenic, too, rice is different as it absorbs arsenic more than the others. This is because rice is the only chief crop that is planted even when there is flood. Through flooding, inorganic arsenic is released and is then locked up in the minerals found in the soil.
Rice Has 10x More Inorganic Arsenic Content than Other Foods
According to studies, rice has more than arsenic than other foods that you eat because it absorbs the inorganic arsenic in the soil minerals. There are people who eat rice every day and therefore they are exposed to high levels of arsenic whenever they eat.
When you are exposed chronically to high concentration of arsenic on a regular basis, you can have various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and developmental problems. Sometimes, this can also lead to damage of the nervous system. If these aren’t worrying enough, frequent exposure can also result to cancers, specifically in the lungs and bladder.
Children are in Danger
One of the first foods that humans eat is rice porridge, because it is believed to have low amounts of allergens. Plus, it is bland and has good texture. Babies, when they grow up and ready to eat something other than milk, may have been given rice porridge. Therefore, they are exposed to inorganic arsenic even at a young age. Unfortunately, they are more susceptible to the cancer-causing element than the adults.
Young children also tend to eat more than their body weight habitually. This means that they get greater exposures than other people. There are also rice products in the market today for young children, including cereals and biscuit crackers that have arsenic content as well.
While this may sound frightening, you shouldn’t throw away all your rice. White rice from California, Pakistan, India, and sushi rice from the US have half of the arsenic amount compared to other rice. Unfortunately, brown rice has 80% more arsenic than the white version of rice. Still, the USA Rice Federation states that people shouldn’t panic as eating rice has more benefits, therefore outweighing the risks when you are continually exposed to arsenic in rice.