Arsenic in Rice and Brown Rice Syrup: Is It Dangerous?
Photo: Vegan Feast Catering
The idea of ingesting arsenic in the food supply is a scary phenomenon, especially in a seemingly healthy food like rice. It got even more heated when brown rice syrup, a staple sweetener known as a healthier alternative to high fructose corn syrup, turned out to be the culprit.
A Dartmouth study found high arsenic levels in various energy, cereal, and granola bars as well as energy shot drinks. The study, led by Brian Jackson, Director of Trace Metal Analysis at Dartmouth’s Department of Earth Science, showed that rice plants take in arsenic through soil. This begs to question how arsenic is in the rice itself, especially considering that for many, a plant-based, whole foods diet centers around rice.
But I wanted to take a closer look at arsenic. Why is it ending up in our food supply? And what’s the difference between inorganic and organic arsenic?