Rice Contains Arsenic

Rice contains arsenic and arsenic causes cancer as well as a multitude of other health problems.

blue liquid in clear glass bottle with cork labeled poison with skull and cross bones on brown wooden table rice contains arsenic

Where did the arsenic come from?

2 chickens cute yellow baby chicks feeding eating food rice contains arsenicChickens have been fed arsenic containing drugs since the 1920s. So the arsenic comes out in their droppings. Now the soil is contaminated with arsenic. In 2013 they stopped giving arsenic containing antibiotics to chickens.

Rice is one of the few crops that absorbs high amounts of arsenic from the soil. In fact rice absorbs so much arsenic that it is used to decontaminate the soil of arsenic. This contamination can be avoided by purchasing specific types of rice from other states and countries.


california united states golden gate bridge at night with full moon in sky

Rice with Less Arsenic

United States grown white rice from California and the rest of the world has the least amount of arsenic.

Rice grown in the southern United States such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas contains the most arsenic.

Brown Rice has 80% more arsenic than white rice but brown rice has more nutrients than white rice.

Organic rice has the same amount of arsenic as non-organic rice.

Bioavailability or the amount of arsenic actually absorbed from white and brown rice is about the same.

Wild rice, red rice, and black rice have even less arsenic than brown rice.

The Best Rice

Lundburg Family Farms in California seems to be one of the best places to purchase rice.
Lundburg Family Farms California Arsenic Testing Results

The average U.S. Rice Inorganic Arsenic Level is 154 ppb (0.154 ppm).
Consumer Reports Arsenic in Food November 2012 Test Results (pdf)

4 people working in rice paddy in india

Brown Basmati Rice from California, India, or Pakistan is the best choice because it contains 1/3 less arsenic than other brown rices.

Other Grains

Quinoa, Millet, and Buckwheat are other grains that are considered to be low in arsenic.

It is also possible to reduce the arsenic content by cooking rice a specific way. See my recipe for  Black Rice 40% Reduced Arsenic v1.0 .

Rice, Arsenic, and Pregnancy

Pregnant women and children under 6 should replace all rice and rice containing products with another grain. One fourth cup of rice per day causes low birth weight, low birth length, and a 5-6 point reduction in IQ in children. Rice is as nutritious as other grains such as oats, corn, or wheat.


Arsenic in your food
How Much Arsenic Is in Your Rice?
Where Does the Arsenic in Rice, Mushrooms, & Wine Come From? (video)
Cancer Risk from Arsenic in Rice & Seaweed (video)
Which Rice Has Less Arsenic: Black, Brown, Red, White, or Wild? (video)
Which Brands & Sources of Rice Have the Least Arsenic? (video)
Arsenic in Infant Rice Cereal (video)
F.D.A. Bans Three Arsenic Drugs Used in Poultry and Pig Feeds


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