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I’ve known about the link between rice and arsenic for a few years now, but I’ve learned that many people are unaware. Arsenic is found naturally in the earth, but the use of pesticides and fertilizers compound the problem.

In an “organic” arsenic compound, the arsenic atom is attached to a carbon that may, for example, be part of a sugar molecule such as ribose. This “organic” variety is more complicated in structure, but it is harmless. “Inorganic” arsenic compounds, on the other hand, do not contain carbon and are generally simple molecules, such as arsenic trioxide. These compounds are highly toxic.

Inorganic arsenic has been recognized as a human poison since ancient times. It’s the type most often used in pesticides and fertilizers. One of the most common food sources of inorganic arsenic is rice. Think about the connection between rice and baby food!

Which Rice Has The Least Arsenic? Basmati rice from California, India, or Pakistan is the best choice, according to Consumer Reports data.These types of rice have about one third of the inorganic arsenic compared to brown rice from other regions. While brown rice has more fiber, it does contain more arsenic.

There are many people saying you can cook most of the arsenic out of rice by boiling it in a lot of water. The downside to this is you lose what nutrients rice has to offer. I’m thinking rice may not be worth eating!