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Arsenic In Rice?
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http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/arsenic1112.htm

As a gluten free family, we do rice chexs, rice crispy cereal to make rice crispy treats, rice cakes, brown rice in recipes like meatloaf, rice as a side, and also I grind our brown rice to make rice flour!!!!! What in the world are we suppose to do???

Rachel

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My husband and I were just talking about this today :( I am unsure. I haven't read the report because part of me doesn't want to know. I have three kids who all eat gluten-free at home, one being just a year old.

DH suggested testing them for arsenic. Not sure what I think of that...

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I didn't actually read the article either because what else can I feed them? my husband read it and said He has no idea what to do. We are very healthy normally and eat all organic and so now that we KNOW we are giving the kids something with this, how can I let them eat it? I have a 7, 5, 3, 1 all on a gluten free diet. The three year old as well as myself are the only ones with *known* gluten issues. Haven't tested the one year old at all. older two girls are just gluten free because our house is gluten free. I don't know what to do.....

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This points out arsenic levels in rice grown where cotton used to be grown. Pesticides used to combat the boll weevil contained arsenic.

Chemical pesticides have been used on all sorts of crops for the last century. They are everywhere. You can be "certified organic" if you have not used any chemical pesticides for five years--how long does it take for them to completely leach out of the soil and wash away. Where do they wash away to, anyway?

The point is valid, but is out of context.

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My husband and I have actually been discussing the healthy benefits of organics a lot lately. I know that even with "certified organic" there are still "gray areas". We know the only way to truly know what we are putting in our mouth, is to grown it our self. So we are trying to find a nice middle ground on all of this. Then all the rice stuff comes out and we just know as much rice as we consume, it is significant if it has arsenic. The question is, does the rice we use have it? How can we know? We are trying to use as much almond flour/ qunioa flour for now until we can figure this out.

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By the way we use "rice selects" Organic Texmati Brown rice. I can't find anything on it.

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By the way we use "rice selects" Organic Texmati Brown rice. I can't find anything on it.

It's listed in the lower range, but again, what is safe? :( We use the same thing. Plus rice crackers rice cakes, rice cracker breading for chicken, rice flour for pancakes in the morning, Rice Chex, rich crispy cereal...

:(

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It's listed in the lower range, but again, what is safe? :( We use the same thing. Plus rice crackers rice cakes, rice cracker breading for chicken, rice flour for pancakes in the morning, Rice Chex, rich crispy cereal...

:(

EXACTLY!! WHAT IS SAFE , and is 20 PPB vs 500 PPB really that different ? I have no clue !!! This could be something to be really concerned about OR not !! Anyone have KNOWLEDGE in this area ?

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It's listed in the lower range, but again, what is safe? :( We use the same thing. Plus rice crackers rice cakes, rice cracker breading for chicken, rice flour for pancakes in the morning, Rice Chex, rich crispy cereal...

:(

Agree, What is safe??? To me, it is like saying, well we are only giving our gluten intolerant child a little gluten....what's bad is BAD...period....No matter how "low" the number.....BUT what do we do from here??? Can't very well go back to wheat flour pancakes can we?

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From the article:

So what's a parent to do? To reduce arsenic risks, we recommend that babies eat no more than 1 serving of infant rice cereal per day on average. And their diets should include cereals made of wheat, oatmeal, or corn grits, which contain significantly lower levels of arsenic, according to federal information.

Well, corn grits or oatmeal sound safer than rice. The article says the brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than the white rice. So quinoa or white rice might be better choices. I guess the oats and corn are options too.

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I read a few additional articles on this topic because I am freaking out about the dramatic amount of rice we consume in our gluten-free diet. An article our pediatrician posted recommends rinsing rice before cooking and then cooking it with extra water and then draining off the extra water once it is cooked (cook it like you would make pasta, basically). The article also suggested avoiding rice from the southeastern U.S. because the farm land there contains higher levels of arsenic because of the pesticides that were once used when cotton was being grown there. They suggest rice from California or (even better) from outside the U.S. like India, Thailand etc.

I wish there was more definitive information out there. I am the only known Celiac in the house, but my kids eat 100% gluten-free too because they both inherited the genetics for it from me and my husband, which makes them more likely to eventually develop Celiac, although there is no guarantee they ever will. I thought I was doing a good thing by keeping them gluten-free as a precaution, but now I wonder if I am actually doing damage because of all the rice they consume. There is really no obvious answer to my quandary, at least at this time.

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Sadly, it looks like part of our government is working against us. The article says that arsenic lowers rice yields, so the "Department of Agriculture has invested in research to breed types of rice that can withstand arsenic." Isn't that lovely?

I haven't finished the article, but I'll be switching to white rice only for a while, and testing other things like quinoa asap. I also very much appreciated the Lundberg attitude:

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The thing is... Rice is just what they pointed out to us. How many other things is arsenic in? Well, water. This I know. It's everywhere. But how much is safe to consume? This, we do not know.

I was just reading something yesterday. It was called mono eating. And it said that it was a bad thing to do. Basically it was eating the same thing every day. Which I am very much guilty of. The reasoning behind that is that if they *do* find a problem with that one food, such as the arenic, then if you are eating it every day, you are exposing yourself to a lot of it. Or you could be.

I do know that it is hard to eat a varied diet if you have multiple food intolerances like we do. There was a week recently where my daughter had chicken and a sweet potato for dinner every night. The only thing that varied was the additional vegetable. And she doesn't like a lot of vegetables. So she alternated between green beans, salad and raw baby carrots. Also, now it is just the two of us. I can not have chicken. So if I cook chicken, I am cooking at least 4 half breasts because that is how it comes. Perhaps the better thing for me to do would be to keep two of them out, feed her one, then the other one two or three days later and put the other two in the freezer.

As for pasta, there are other kinds. We used to eat a lot of the corn/quinoa mix until daughter devloped a quinoa allergy. There is plain corn pasta. There is bean pasta although we didn't care for it. I have seen some made of potatoes. Perhaps it would be best to alternate those if you can. Try to find something else to eat some nights instead of the pasta or rice. Perhaps work potatoes or sweet potatoes in once or twice a week. Or the old standard that my mom relied on when she was short on time or money. A pot of soup and popcorn. We are trying to work more beans into our diet. I bought tons. All kinds. We were also trying to eat more brown rice. Until I saw this! I have stomach issues myself and at times (like last night) I don't digest things well. So I turn to white rice. I used to eat instant mashed potatoes but they don't set well with me any more. So now I have to find a new food. The next time my stomach acts up, I will try applesauce.

As for bread... There are many types of gluten-free bread. My daughter likes the Ener-G, but she might be the odd one out. One of her favorites is the corn. I do not think there is any rice flour in it. I used to be able to buy a super good cornbread mix that was just cornmeal. Sadly they quit making it. I know there is other gluten-free cornbread mix on the market but I don't know if it is free of rice flour and we didn't really like what we tried. Ener-G also makes a flax bread and I think (but am not positive) that it was free of rice flour.

I wonder if imported rice would be as bad? I think I read that it was mainly rice from a few states that was the worst.

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I read a few additional articles on this topic because I am freaking out about the dramatic amount of rice we consume in our gluten-free diet. An article our pediatrician posted recommends rinsing rice before cooking and then cooking it with extra water and then draining off the extra water once it is cooked (cook it like you would make pasta, basically). The article also suggested avoiding rice from the southeastern U.S. because the farm land there contains higher levels of arsenic because of the pesticides that were once used when cotton was being grown there. They suggest rice from California or (even better) from outside the U.S. like India, Thailand etc.

I wish there was more definitive information out there. I am the only known Celiac in the house, but my kids eat 100% gluten-free too because they both inherited the genetics for it from me and my husband, which makes them more likely to eventually develop Celiac, although there is no guarantee they ever will. I thought I was doing a good thing by keeping them gluten-free as a precaution, but now I wonder if I am actually doing damage because of all the rice they consume. There is really no obvious answer to my quandary, at least at this time.

But if you think about it... People who eat gluten-free are not the only ones who eat a lot of rice. It is common in a lot of countries! Mexico, Asian countries, India, Africa, even parts of Italy! Some of those people are eating it not only daily but several times a day!

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My husband and I have actually been discussing the healthy benefits of organics a lot lately. I know that even with "certified organic" there are still "gray areas". We know the only way to truly know what we are putting in our mouth, is to grown it our self. So we are trying to find a nice middle ground on all of this. Then all the rice stuff comes out and we just know as much rice as we consume, it is significant if it has arsenic. The question is, does the rice we use have it? How can we know? We are trying to use as much almond flour/ qunioa flour for now until we can figure this out.

I was trying to buy organic foods as much as possible. Unlike some people, I didn't think it was higher in nutrients. Did anyone really think that? I can't see how. But the news and various articles I have read on the subject would make us think so. I just didn't want to be consuming all of those chemicals in my food! But then our finances got tight and I couldn't afford much in the way of organic stuff. I do still prefer the grass fed organic ground beef. I think it tastes better. But as for the other stuff? I don't notice a difference in the way it tastes. I don't seem to be any healthier when I eat organic stuff. Heck I haven't really been sick (aside from things related to medical conditions I already have) in about two years. And I am saving money. So is it any better to buy organic? I don't know.

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It's listed in the lower range, but again, what is safe? :( We use the same thing. Plus rice crackers rice cakes, rice cracker breading for chicken, rice flour for pancakes in the morning, Rice Chex, rich crispy cereal...

:(

I guess overall we didn't really eat a lot of rice. Me being diabetic, I have to watch my carb intake. Daughter had to give up refined things when she went on the South Beach diet. So I switched to brown rice. I bought a huge bag of it at Coscto but we haven't eaten it yet. I have several smaller bags of various brands to eat up first.

We never were big cereal eaters. Her typical breakfast is sliced apples, baby carrots and maybe a piece of cheese or some nut or seed butter.

Her lunch is similar with maybe some hummus or beef jerky thrown in. She also likes lettuce wraps which I will sometimes make her at home. And she LOVES popcorn! For a time, she was eating that for breakfast. I would pop some for me (always in a pan, never the microwave kind) and make extra for her. I was born in Wichita and there it is commonly eaten like cereal. You put it in a bowl and pour milk on it. I don't happen to like it that way but my mom loves it!

I also made her some breakfast "muffins" using a South Beach recipe. They are basically some egg product (like Egg Beaters), or you can use real eggs that have been whisked up. Then you add whatever cooked chopped meat you want (if in fact you want meat), plenty of cut up veggies like onions, peppers, broccoli, spinach, whatever you like, and some grated cheese (you can leave this out). Pour the mixture into greased muffin tins and bake until the egg is cooked through. Sorry I can't remember the exact time on them. Turns out that she didn't really like these. She's not a big egg eater. But apparently they are quite popular. You can also add some ground flax seed to this mix if you want.

Because we have other food intolerance, we have to think outside of the box, perhaps more than other people would. It is not necessary to eat a starchy carb with every meal. Fruit is a carb too and will provide energy. And then there are beans. They can be used in a variety of ways and they provide protein as well.

Smoothies can make a good breakfast. My daughter was making her own using a ton of spinach, some frozen berries and a little milk. When she could not use dairy she was using rice milk, but you could also use soy milk, hemp milk, almond milk, or if you can handle the carbs, even fruit juice to thin it down.

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Those are great ideas but we have a long list of actual allergies on top of Celiac so most of those won't work for us. I know all about thinking outside the box! lol

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By the way we use "rice selects" Organic Texmati Brown rice. I can't find anything on it.

Rice Selects Organic Texmati has a high level. Here is the chart from the article which shows the various levels by brand(scroll down):

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm#chart

I eat a lot of rice products as well including the Tinkyada pasta which does not fair well in the list. I feed the Lundeberg short grain brown rice to my chickens every single day and sell their eggs at a farmers' market. I can't sell eggs that are tainted with arsenic with a clear conscious.

Right above the Brands chart in the link above, is a chart which shows you what you and your kids can safely eat each week by product, e.g. rice cakes, rice, rice milk, etc..

It's in a box that says Limit Your Exposure

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Alright, I think it is decided. Going on a more grain-free diet like a low carb diet except we will keep potatoes and stuff. I just can't keep letting my kids have the rice products!

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In all honesty, i'm not going to worry about it. Why? Well, were all gonna die of something be it arsnic in the water or food or something else.

I personally cannot afford to not eat rice. beans are a no go for me as i get the worst stomach aches form them. I don't overly eat rice persay, but generally i'll make up about 3 cups a week and spread it out over that week.

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I will continue to eat rice from India (not u.s.)and wash it well before hand. Which is good practice anyway. Sigh !! nothing is ever, easy is it !!!!

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More info here: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/waiter-theres-arsenic-my-rice

As someone pointed out earlier and according to this article, the problem isn't rice in general, but rice in the USA that's the problem. It's basically grown in the South and California.

You might want to check/email/call where manufacturers get their rice from (and then post here!)

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I looked at the chart with the brands and I noticed there was no instant rice listed. I'm wondering if it might be because instant rice is pre-cooked so maybe the water they cook it in rinses off some of the arsenic?

And then I read in the Mother Jones article that there is arsenic in chicken! Guess what I mostly eat? Chicken and rice! And on top of that there is a naturally high level of arsenic in the water in this area.

I can eat potatoes instead of rice but I can't ditch the chicken. The pork here is often inedible. So may times I have bought pork and cooked it only to find it has that nasty, gamey taste, and I end up throwing it away. And I won't eat beef anymore because of all the crap they inject the cattle with. I love bison and I know it is "clean", but at nine dollars a pound I can't afford to eat it every day.

It sure seems that the world (or at least the world of agribusiness) is against us. :(

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You think that's alarming? Wait until GMO's - dominantly -make their way into our food supply. DO NOT buy anything produced through genetic modification.

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I just cleaned out the garage freezer and defrosted it. So next week for me it will be potato products. Sweet potato products for daughter. And meat patties or chicken that she didn't like too much. I am hoping she will forget that she didn't like it. Heh.

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