Many people love rice. In fact, it is one of the backbones of meals, particularly in Asia. There are several forms of rice – brown rice, saffron rice, sticky rice, jasmine, basmati, and many more. Rice is so easy to cook and most of us think we’re pros at cooking the fluffy stuff. Just measure into a saucepan and add some water. Allow it to boil and there you have it: quick carbs you can enjoy. We’re advised not to reheat rice as this can cause harm. But experts are saying this is not just the problem.
The Problem with Rice
A lot of forms of rice are laced with arsenic due to the pesticides and industrial toxins that are left in the soil. Professor Andy Meharg, a professor at Queens University in Belfast, was able to test three different methods of cooking rice:
- First, he cooked rice using the traditional method where one cup of rice is mixed with two cups of water. In this method, Meharg found a ton of arsenic remained in the rice.
- In the second method, he used five cups of water for every cup of rice. Then, the excess water was washed away at the end. This method of cooking lost almost half of the arsenic levels in rice.
- In the third method, Meharg soaked the rice overnight before cooking it. He discovered that this helped reduce the arsenic levels by 80%.
Most of the rice types are naturally gluten-free. So if you are suffering from celiac disease, you don’t have to eliminate rice from your diet. But the traces of arsenic in rice are quite alarming. The cooking method that we all see as easy – uncooked rice with water and sometimes with butter and salt – is actually killing us. So what’s the right way to cook rice without the harmful arsenic levels in it? Here are the steps:
- Soak rice overnight.
- The next day, wash and rinse rice very well for up to three times or until the water has become clear from being cloudy.
- Drain the water.
- Then, add five parts of water for every one part of rice in a pot.
- Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat after.
- Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes and turn off the heat.
Arsenic is a natural element and isn’t really toxic. But if it occurs unnaturally or is inorganic, this is where the problem begins such as in rice. Next time you cook rice, pre-soak it first before you cook it to reduce arsenic levels and be safe from this poison.