Simply washing rice and boiling it in two parts water until it’s fluffy enough to eat is THE WORST way to cook it (man and I thought I knew how to cook rice). Apparently, that particular process leaves the highest levels of the poison arsenic in the cooked rice, a new experiment has revealed.
This means that cooking rice in the most common method known to man may lead to a variety of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and developmental problems.
The substance has been known to contaminate rice from the industrial toxins and pesticides used in growing the crop. Since arsenic exists in soil, certain amounts of it can get into food. Rice, being grown under flooded conditions, is more susceptible to arsenic contamination.
The chemical was generally believed to be expelled when the rice is boiled. The new report, however, claims that this will only be effective if the rice is soaked overnight, the Independent reported.
According to recent findings from the experiments held for the BBC show “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”, normal rice preparation allows traces of arsenic to be left in the cooked rice.
Queens University Belfast biological sciences professor Andy Meharg tested three ways of cooking rice to test their effects on the levels of arsenic.
Meharg first tried the most common method of cooking rice of having water “steamed out”, using a ratio of two parts water to one part rice.
He discovered that this method left the most of the arsenic on the cooked rice.
When he then used five parts water to one part rice and then washed the excess water off, it cut the levels of arsenic to almost 50%.
In the last method that he tried, he soaked overnight before washing the excess water off. This reduced the toxin levels by 80%.
The experiment concluded then that the safest method of cooking rice is to soak it overnight, and then to wash and rinse it until the water is clear. After draining all the water, the rice is then boiled to five parts water to one part rice.