Arsenic in Rice and Alter Eco
Back in September of this year Consumer Reports issued a report that found inorganic arsenic – a known carcinogen – in 200 rice products commonly found in US supermarkets. Currently, the FDA does not have a standard for an acceptable amount of arsenic in our food supply. The waves caused by this report had an immediate effect on consumers, who rightfully are asking questions on how and why this is occurring in our food supply.
What is Arsenic? Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in the environment. It is found in the air, water, soil and in food. Arsenic in food is present in two forms—inorganic and organic. It is important to consider the form when discussing arsenic in food. The organic form (meaning containing carbon) is easily metabolized by the body while inorganic is not. Inorganic is the bad guy.
Why rice? Rice is designed to efficiently uptake minerals from the soil and store them in their seeds (the grain) . These storage units contain powerhouses of health such as potassium, magnesium, silicon (which strengthens the rice), Vitamins B & E, fiber, and also a number of antioxidants. These all concentrate in the outer bran of the rice. This is why white rice, which has the bran polished off, is generally regarded as safer than brown, (or whole grain rice) when speaking about arsenic levels.
At Alter Eco, we take your health very seriously. We test every harvest and quality control every lot. Because it’s the responsible thing to do. We also believe transparency is empowerment, and have decided to publish our latest test results so our consumers can make their own informed decisions.
Purple Sticky: 60ppb
White Jasmine: 137 ppb
Ruby Red: 213 ppb
We encourage our consumers concerned about arsenic to stay informed about the FDAs current thinking about safe levels in food. Bearing in mind arsenic is present in many foods due to its ubiquity in the natural environment, eliminating a food group will not eliminate arsenic. As well, because arsenic is detected in our food does not necessarily mean it is bioavailable or absorbed by the body.
To Your Health,
Director of Operations