Arsenic in Rice: How to Decrease it

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
edited November 2020 in Cooking

Below is an excerpt that I received from Dr. Ben Kim this morning. I thought it was good information to pass on. :)

A recent study funded by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council indicates that replacing cooking water part way through the process of cooking rice decreases naturally occurring trace arsenic in brown rice by over 50 percent and in white rice by 74 percent.

For a simple outline on how to do this, please feel free to view my most recent blog post here:

Those who use a rice cooker can accomplish the same thing by beginning with a regular pot of boiling water and finishing off the cooking process with fresh water in a rice cooker.

For a look back at how I wash and prepare freshly steamed rice, feel free to view:



  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    I had heard of this a while back and so from then on I always soak and wash my rice a couple of times before I cook. Not thought about doing it during the cooking process, thanks for the heads up.

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    the research i did a while back about boiling your rice just like noodles and draining it then rinsing in hot water.takes away the arsenic. also for all of those people that drink rice milk i found that its the water that rice is cooked in that way !. so i'm not sure if arsenic is in rice milk.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    Since rice is such a worldwide staple I've kind of questioned how harmful the arsenic found in rice is. Kind of like the coca leaf has numerous health benefits yet cocaine can be deadly. I haven't seen any studies but I haven't (and maybe I should) worried about it. I do consume rice and I don't take any special precautions.

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 the problem with arsenic in rice was found because old cotton fields had arsienic in them that the rice pulls from the ground and stays in the grain. also i believe other countrys use arsenic to keep rats out of the rice paddies, just like for years they were feeding chicken arsenic and the fda used to say it didnt stay in the meat but more independent studies showed it did and they finally conceeded and told the feed companies to take it out of the feed

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the good information. A friend showed me how they make Basmati rice in Iran. It sounds like they did naturally what is healthiest. She boiled it until it was about half-done, dumped it all through a big strainer and let it drain, put a little olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and put the drained rice back in so it would finish by steaming.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    I usually cook rice the pasta method just because I find it easier and get more consistent success than the steam method. It's nice to know that it might be healthier.

  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Ohh, this is very useful info! I already soak my rice in ACV overnight before cooking, to neutralize the phytates, but because of the arsenic levels even in organic rice, I've tried to limit my consumption. This is very good to know! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you! A new thing to add to my healthy cooking repertoire. :)

  • JJ
    JJ Posts: 1

    Hi, the link to Dr. Ben Kim's blog post wasn't working.

    I found the information here:

    Thank you.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
    edited November 2020

    Thank you. I changed that in the original post. It was a matter of taking out the "s" after the http in the link.

    Welcome here, by the way! Please check out our forum rules in the Front Porch Welcome section & leave a short introduction in the Introductions section. I left a link below for your convenience.

    We are a busy group here. Dig in & have fun learning along with us!

  • dmthennessy
    dmthennessy Posts: 29 ✭✭✭

    Consumer Reports did an excellent job addressing arsenic in rice, as well as recommendations for rice with less arsenic content. I am a member to this site. I am not sure if you need to be a member to view this article.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I've always rinsed my rice thoroughly and then soaked it before cooking. I've cut back on my rice consumption after learning about the arsenic levels in rice. Think I will add the par cooking step also. Also just read elsewhere about this and also cooking the rice longer and cooling the rice to make the starch in it a resistant starch. This can then be rewarmed.

  • Voodoo Flóra
    Voodoo Flóra Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 I agree. However, I'd still rinse off esp. rice that's not organic, not for arsenic per say. A quick boil and then rinse when the rice is still hard makes sense to me. Then recooking in other water. Anyway I want to incorporate eating more rice...Good idea? Bad idea? @LaurieLovesLearning @happy-trails @jodienancarrow

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @aprilbbrinkman I see no issue with that.

    We were fortunate to find a company that is careful where they source their rice from and address the arsenic issue directly on their website. If I remember correctly, they get theirs tested...but I am tired and could be wrong on that last point.

    Unfortunately it is not available in the U.S., as far as I know. And, we have been unable to find it in stores lately too. That's been kind of disappointing. I hope we find it again. It was a fantastic blend of many types & included wild rice as well.

  • Brindy
    Brindy Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    So interesting! Thank you! Do you know if it is still present in organic rice? I am wondering because I noticed both naturally and added arsenic in the comments.

  • dmthennessy
    dmthennessy Posts: 29 ✭✭✭

    @Brindy, sorry to say that it's even in organic rice. If you check the Consumer Reports link above that I posted, it reveals the least toxic rice available.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So I'm trying to be clear, after reading the articles posted. Rinsing rice thoroughly, then soaking the rice in water with some ACV overnight and then rinsing again and cooking is found to reduce the arsenic levels, correct?

  • Brindy
    Brindy Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    @dmthennessy , thank you. I will find that. Thank you!

  • Brindy
    Brindy Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    I checked out the consumer reports. There is a ton of info and I thought it was interesting that some of the lowest levels of arsenic were found in basmati rice. I don't know why, but I found that interesting.