Which Brands and Sources of Rice Have the Least Arsenic?

Which Brands and Sources of Rice Have the Least Arsenic?

September 16, 2019 100 By Ewald Bahringer


[Music] the arsenic found in five servings of rice a week poses a hundred times acceptable cancer risk what does the rice industry have to say about that when the story first broke the u.s. rice had some of the highest arsenic levels in the world and all the headlines started the USA rice Federation said enough nonsense about arsenic already the studying their minds was not only inaccurate in the highest degree but also maliciously untrue to which one of the researchers replied look you’re the one who’s been ignoring the arsenic problem for decades had the problem of planting rice and arsenic pesticides soaked former cotton fields been addressed then safe soil could have been identified low arsenic rice varieties developed instead of just developing arsenic resistant varieties so the plants can build up excessive levels of arsenic without dying themselves not all rice producers have been so head-in-the-sand dismissive though after a subsequent Consumer Reports expose one race company detailed how it was taking matters into its own hands Lundberg farms started testing hundreds of samples of its rice to share the results with the FDA we’re committed to providing a safe food said the CEO and dealing with this problem very openly I’m not just sharing their results of the FDA but with everyone if you go to their website you can see they apparently followed through on their testing promise this is for their brown rice now they use parts per million to make it look better than it is but compared to the average u.s. brown rice level of 154 Lundberg does do better in fact their aromatic brown rice presumably their brown basmati and brown jasmine average less than national white rice levels and so apparently does their red and black rice in fact none of those samples even reach the average u.s. brown rice level most other brands were pretty comparable Uncle Ben’s for example in Walmart the Whole Foods scored the worst about 1/3 higher than these others and exceeding the national average in the largest review to date based on 5,800 bright samples from 25 countries the highest total arsenic average came from the United States with us studies averaging over all about double that of rice out of Asia with the high levels in the u.s. blamed on the heavy historic use of arsenic based pesticides but not all of the US yes us rice averages twice the arsenic of Asian rice for example nearly all right samples tested in upstate New York imported from India or Pakistan had arsenic levels lower than 95% of domestically produced rice but look at the range here US produced rice went from here all the way up to here rice grown in the u.s. showed the widest overall range and largest number of outliers primarily due to where it was grown there significantly more arsenic and rice from Texas and Arkansas than rice from California if you just look at California rice then it’s actually comparable to rice produced around the rest of the world this is presumably some of the data that led consumer reports to suggest Brown basmati from California India or Pakistan might be among the safer rice choices if the arsenic is from pesticides wood organic rice have less than conventionally grown rice know which makes sense because arsenic pesticides were banned like 30 years ago it’s just that 30,000 tonnes of arsenic chemicals already got dumped onto cotton fields in the southern states so it’s understandable why they’re still lingering arsenic residues even if you don’t add an ounce of any new pesticides that’s why they specifically select for arsenic resistant varieties of rice plants in the south if only there were arsenic resistant humans [Music] you