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The use of pesticides and industrial contaminants in the past are still affecting us today. Parents are being advised in a preventative measure in order to ensure the chemical arsenic is not being fed to their children along with the rice at dinner.
British research scientists warn that rice is being grown where contaminants were used in the past. The poison arsenic is found in trace amounts in the rice as a result. However, there is good news. There is a method of cooking that can remove the traces and ensure the rice is safe for consumption by children. That cooking method?
Use the coffee percolator. This has been shown to remove almost 85-percent of the arsenic. At the levels that remain, the poison is not dangerous. The process is currently not patented, but Queens University in Belfast is seeking the patent, as the discovery of the success of this cooking method was credited to them.
Rice generally has 10 times more inorganic arsenic than any other food. This means that people who eat rice regularly in their diet tend to have extremely high and unhealthy amounts of arsenic in their systems.
In addition, the typical method of cooking rice by boiling water and then boiling the rice until it soaks up all the liquid actually keeps the arsenic in the rice better than any comparable method. So that means you get all the arsenic that was in the rice, rather than cooking any away.
The percolating technology runs the water through the rice, rather than allowing it to cover the rice until it is boiled away. This process washes away arsenic rather than ensuring the rice retains the high levels. The success rate of this cooking method ranges form 57-percent to 85-percent of the arsenic present in the rice.
High levels of arsenic can lead to heart disease, diabetes, lung and bladder cancer, nervous system damage and developmental issues for those still growing.
New limits are going into effect in the summer of 2016, set by the European Commission, that will severely impact rice sales, as of the current rice sold in the United Kingdom, more than half had higher levels of arsenic present than will be allowed by the new standards. Sadly, some of the products that include this high level of arsenic are sold directly for the consumption of babies and toddlers, including breakfast cereals.
Brown rice typically had higher levels of arsenic than white rice. Also, in a frightening discovery, rice milk had exceedingly high levels of arsenic, leading to the recommendation that children not receive rice milk.
This makes it a bit frightening to attempt to eat healthy and feed your children a seemingly innocuous and safe food, since arsenic hides in the innocent looking white and brown grains.