Arsenic in rice

Recently, we have fielded customer questions relating to the presence of arsenic in rice. Unfortunately, arsenic is a naturally occurring element in the air, water, rock, and soil. As a result, much of the arsenic content in rice has to do with the quality of the ground water, soil, and irrigation used during the growing process. Regardless of whether or not the rice is farmed organically, the flooded conditions under which rice grows provide greater exposure to both soil and water, which can increase arsenic concentrations in the plant.

As with any product that we sell in our stores, the rice that we stock has undergone careful review to ensure that it meets our quality standards throughout the growing process. We have been in contact with our top brands, including, Lotus Foods, Bob’s Red Mill, Texas Best, and Lundberg Farms, and verified that their rice products contain only minute amounts of arsenic. We pride ourselves on supporting companies that are open and honest with consumers. As an example, Lundberg Farms, one of our most popular rice suppliers, has grown rice on the same dedicated fields for over 60 years.

For those still concerned, a 1/4 cup serving of Lotus Foods rice contains roughly .008 mg of arsenic, “less than what you would take in from drinking a liter of water,” meaning that “you can easily enjoy several cups of Lotus Foods without any concern about adverse effects from arsenic” on your body (Lotus Foods 1).

If you would like to cut back on your rice intake, we suggest that you take this opportunity to experiment with different grains and beans, both of which are healthy alternatives to rice. We offer plenty of dry stock in our bulk section, including quinoa, couscous, millet, spelt, lentils, and assorted beans.

You will also find that our Deli incorporates alternative grains into dishes like Native American Quinoa, Quinoa Tabouli, Harvest Apple Spelt Salad, Caprese Salad, Lentils & Greens, Red Rice & Adzuki Beans, and more!

Also be sure to visit the online recipe database on our website for great dishes that make use of alternative grains.


“Frequently Asked Questions.” Lotus Foods. Lotus Foods & World Pantry, 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2012.

Lotus Foods

1 Comment

  1. Samantha

    8:20 AM //

    Also, soaking or at least rinsing the rice until the water runs clear before actually cooking it helps DRAMATICALLY reduce the amount of arsenic in the rice.  This is an unfortunate side effect from a naturally occurring element and some of it is a residual effect left over from Vietnam War days apparently.  I did research this myself and I saw from testing that soaking helps the best but rinsing helps a little too.  Oh and you have to be careful of rice syrup as it can contain more arsenic because it’s in such a concentrated form.  We still enjoy rice regularly at home, after soaking it for at least 30 minutes!

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