Lots of homesteaders and natural builders eat simple foods like rice, beans, vegetables, etc. and so I was surprised to see the following article about toxic heavy metals in rice. Many types of rice and rice products now contain alarming levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and other dangerous substances. I’ve quoted a few key points from the article below. You can read the full article here.
“Besides rice itself, brown rice could be found in instant cereal, protein powders, hot cereal, rice cakes, crackers, rice pasta, rice flour, rice drinks, rice syrup and rice vinegar.
In many places around the world, soil has been contaminated with arsenic as a result of arsenic-containing pesticides and fertilizers [as well as pollution from mines and factories]. And because rice grows in water-saturated soil, it absorbs about 10 times more arsenic than other grains.
Brown rice contains 80% more arsenic on average than white rice because arsenic accumulates in the grains outer layer which is removed to make the white rice. Brown rice in particular is contaminated with toxic lead, cadmium and tungsten.
Organic rice is just as susceptible to absorbing the chemical as nonorganic varieties.
Rice grown in southern states -such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Missouri- has been found to contain higher arsenic levels than rice grown anywhere else.
Residues from decades of use of lead-arsenate insecticides linger in agricultural soil today, even though their use was banned in the 1980s.
Limit your intake of arsenic and other heavy metals by: Change the way you cook rice, Diversify your complex carbohydrates. Eat low arsenic options like organic potatoes and quinoa.” (I’ve recently started experimenting with alternative grains such as kamut, quinoa, chia, flax and groats (whole oats). Groats and kamut are my current favorites. I rinse, soak overnight and rinse again before using.)