I have heard recently on the news about arsenic being found in baby food and breakfast bars that contain brown rice syrup as one of the first ingredients. The reporters did not really say why they thought the arsenic found was connected to the brown rice syrup. Does anyone have any insight? Should we be concerned with using brown rice syrup as a sweetener and in recipes?
I heard the same thing on the news - that dangerously high levels of arsenic were found in brown rice syrup in organic baby formula and other organic foods. They said it is in the outer shell of the rice grain that we get the syrup from and that is what contains the arsenic. I too want to know if we should be concerned about using brown rice syrup as a sweetener in recipes!!
Yes ... it's frustrating. Still I am sure the rice people will start testing their product and then putting something on their package that says 'arsenic free' because otherwise they'll be in trouble and I'm sure there are some rice producers that are okay, we just have to find out which ones.
Thanks for the link. Because if I didn't post something about this issue here last week, I meant to.
I'm concerned about the notion of simply replacing brown rice with quinoa -- um, reality check: I cannot print money. I can get 25 pounds of brown rice for $17. If I see quinoa under $5 a pound, I snap it up; usually, it's more than that. My whole family, not just me, eats the brown rice as a staple.
I did see somewhere about soaking/sprouting brown rice to rid it of some of the arsenic, and also to get rid of anti-nutrients contained in the brown hull. There was even a gluten-free site that recommended eating only white rice because it's gluten free and doesn't contain the anti-nutrients.
This has kind of turned my dietary choices on their ears right now.
Forgot to add: One of the problems is location. Most of the arsenic-containing rice grown in the US is grown in former cotton-growing states, mostly Louisiana and Mississippi. Arsenic-heavy compounds were used on old cotton fields and remain in the ground for a very long time.
If you know the state of origin of your rice, this might help. I'm going to check my rice bag and maybe shop another brand, or contact the grower, etc...
I wouldn't give up brown rice and I definitely wouldn't replace with white rice. I don't think the gluten free people are approaching it all from the whole holistic manner. That's interesting re soaking the rice ... I didn't know that, so will try and do that too.
I think you're right though, I think it just depends where it's grown. If you contact different suppliers ... or is there a 'rice association' of some sort in the USA? Maybe you could ask them to check this out or ask the farmer to do tests?? I am sure the more people ask about it, the more they'll have to prove that their rice is certified.
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