Arsenic in rice


Yes, unfortunately it IS an issue, even with organic rice. Arsenic levels have been found to be highest in processed rice foods such as rice cakes, rice crackers and baby rice porridge, but also in normal rice, and even higher in brown rice. Because rice grows in very wet conditions, the water soluble arsenic is taken up easily into the plant. Yes, this is an issue in Australia too. However it is probably only an issue if you eat a LOT of rice, and eating rice a couple of times a week is fine. Another way to minimise this issue is to soak the rice overnight before cooking (rinsing the soaking water off under the tap), and cooking the rice in 5 times its volume of water. So, instead of using the absorption method, cook it in abundant water and strain once cooked. These two methods will minimise the arsenic as it will leach out. 
 

 
Its a good idea to vary your wholegrains and not consume large amounts of rice

Its a good idea to vary your wholegrains and not consume large amounts of rice

 

One way to deal with the issue of arsenic in rice, is to vary your grains. You can use half quinoa (technically a seed not a grain), half rice for a higher protein and tasty grain. I am just learning to cook millet and this is also a tasty rice replacement. You can even use cauliflower as a rice alternative. Once you have tried these alternatives, you have a wider range of grains to choose from, and they generally are prepared very similarly to rice, and work just as well. 

You can make cauliflower rice either by grating cauliflower with a box grater, on the side you would normally grate cheese, or chopping it and putting it in a blender or food processor until it resembles rice. 
Then put in a skillet with a tbs of olive oil, and stirfry for 5 minutes, adding seasonings such as salt and pepper or herbs, as desired. Voila- cauliflower rice. 

You can also use the cauliflower rice as a base for fried rice. 

 
Cauliflower rice is an easy to prepare alternative to white rice

Cauliflower rice is an easy to prepare alternative to white rice