Popular method of cooking rice may be poisoning you


Rice lovers of the world, we have some terrible news for you.

A study conducted by scientists from Queen's University Belfast found that boiling rice can expose those who eat it to unsafe amounts of arsenic -- yes, that arsenic.

The deadly toxin has been shown to occur in the grain as a result of industrial pesticides used in the growing process.

Although there have been laws present since 2014 to protect the public from high levels of poison in rice, Professor Andy Meharg believes that more needs to be done to protect those who eat large amounts of rice from toxic substances.

Professor Meharg teamed up with the BBC program 'Trust Me, I'm a Doctor' to share some useful tips on cooking rice that can reduce the level of poison present at the time of consumption.

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Unfortunately, one of the most popular styles of rice preparation -- boiling rice in water until the water is totally absorbed into the rice -- causes rice to retain nearly all of its original arsenic.

Instead, Meharg recommends the following process:

  • Soak your rice overnight – this opens up the grain and allows the arsenic to escape

  • Drain the rice and rinse thoroughly with fresh water

  • For every part rice add five parts water and cook until the rice is tender – do not allow it to boil dry

  • Drain the rice and rinse again with hot water to get rid of the last of the cooking water

  • Serve your reduced-arsenic rice

Maybe it takes a little more time, but for the sake of reducing our arsenic intake, it seems like it's worth the effort.

Related: Common food poisoning risks