Just when you thought Rice wasn't trying to kill you...

It turns out that rice plants are particularly good at picking up arsenic as they grow. As a consequence, all rice products have some Arsenic. Arsenic is not one of those things you want ANY of in you. It is a progressive toxin and carcinogen, meaning that even low levels can be harmful, sort of like radiation.

For most people in the USA, the amounts of arsenic in our tap water isn't very high, but there are a few places that isn't true, and in some parts of the world, like Bangladesh, the water is very high in Arsenic. Thus, unless you happen to have a spouse trying to slowly poison you with arsenic(a large box of rat poison in the pantry might be a clue - I know, I've been watching too many of those crime shows), Arsenic in your food might not be your worst concern. Consumer Reports found the alarmingly high Arsenic levels in rice a few years ago.

The good news is that you can cut out about half the arsenic in your cooked rice by starting to cook it with an over abundance of water, and pouring off the extra water right as the rice starts to boil. Normally for rice, the ratio is an easy to remember 2 to 1, two parts water to one part rice. To clean off the Arsenic, start with 6 parts water to one rice, and then pour off 4 of those parts of water, and finish the steaming. I'd actually measure the amount you pour off, so it doesn't come out too wet or dry. Of course be careful pouring off the boiling water.

Rinsing the rice thusly will also pour off some of the vitamins they spray on the rice, to replace the vitamins they grind off in polishing the rice. If you are otherwise eating your veggies and have a healthy diet, this is probably not a big deal, but some of the fish sauces and raw fish in Asian cooking have things that can further reduce your vitamin B-1 levels called thiaminases. I'd probably take a vitamin pill of this were the case. Alternatively a little Vegemite or Marmite, the Aussie and British yeast pastes could be be added as flavor enhancers that are very high in B vitamins.

Here's a chart, shared by a friend - original source unknown to me - that helps describe arsenic levels in different strains of rice and other grains.