Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Rice and arsenic

Over this last year since recognisig I am wheat intolerent my rice consumptio has increased I use, rice flour boiled rice, fried rice, rice noodles, rice cakes etc etc Now I have just been hearing that rice carries high doses of arsenic which apparently has always been known ( not by me) but they ( food testers) have only just realised how high they are or are they now higher because of contaminated water and rice grows in water. Anyway the advice is continue to have rice perhaps once or twice a week but as I ve illustrated my consumption is far more than that. As arsenic is a carcigen I 'm a bit freaked Any others read about this

8 Replies

millions of people eat rice every day three times a day. The worry will be worse for you than the arsenic.


Thats one way of looking at it, - however do we know how many of those thousands you speak of end up dying of cancer?

I was hoping someone might have more information than i have


it looks like there is a lot of variablity - the amount of arsenic depends on where the rice was grown, what crops were grown there before rice, and how much arsenic is naturally available in the ground water.

I didn't mean to be flippant with my response, but any significant general increase in cancer levels would show given the massive numbers eating rice regularly. There appears to be some guidance against giving lots of rice milk to infants, and suggestions that brown rice syrup will have higher concentrations. On the other hand eating wheat if you have a problem with it definitely leads to significant health problems.

Do add other starches if you like them. I am very risk averse but don't see the need to reduce my rice consumption based on what I have read. Try quinoa ( complete protein) to make couscous style dishes (rinse first to remove the possbile acrid taste), corn based pastas, corn cakes (like rice cakes) amaranth and teff...lots of choice, and, of course, the humble spud. My own flour mix, which is very versatile, is made from urid lentil, tapioca and corn, so no rice involved for cakes, pastries, biscuits etc. Do experiment, but certainly if you are learning to live without wheat sometimes you just need to go with what is easy.


Here is the official report Lazydaisy with guidelines .. you can see each page summarised on the right-hand side of the page in the 'buff coloured area' - so if you do not have time to read the whole document it might be an idea to read the summarised version. Perhaps the safest option is to look at the recommendations for children and stick to this type of consumption.

Have you thought about perhaps using red lentils/millet/quinoa/wild rice (this is a grass seed)/split peas/chickpeas, etc - this would take away many of the concerns that you currently have, perhaps you could also check out the following as there are an amazing list of flour alternatives that you may wish to try:


Thanks to both Yes I am sure I have been complacent as being a great liker of rice it seemed like a very easy change to make but you are right Lois I need to try other cooking stuffs (time, laziness and lots of other responsiblities have left me looking for easy options)

Thanks Lynxcat I m going to sit and read them up tonight and get a more balanced view about it It Just seemed a bit worrying especially as I like cooking rice for my grandkids and the thought of giving them any fraction of arsnic freaked me

I have tried quinoa but not cooked wild rice I do like chick peas but cant tolerate cous cous which I do like, just going to have to spread my wings and be more adventurous

Thanks both for your answers and the websites which I look forward to looking at


So many of our foods do have those trace elements that can be dangerous in quantity - even things considered healthy,

Its always best to keep as varied a diet as you can anyway, and not rely on any one food to provide too much of your diet. Can you try swapping some of the rice for other things? Quinoa can be used in the same kind of way, or having potatoes a few meals a week, or using corn-based GF pasta would be some ways.

I'm not surprised you can't tolerate cous cous - did you not realise that it was actually from wheat (and therefore definitely NOT gluten free)?

If you didn't, then it might be a good idea to join the coeliac society or ask to see a dietician, so that you can go through what foods you can and cant have again. The coeliac society does a really good welcome pack, as well as a commercial foods list that gets updated every month.


Thanks Earthwath yes I did know that cous cous was wheat i was just mentioning grains i liked probably didnt word it correctly


Here's an interesting article from Huffington Post on the subject of arsenic in rice and how it got there!


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