Do you like rice? I do! However, rice all over the world is highly contaminated with arsenic – a heavy metal that is highly toxic! Now what options do we have to still enjoy rice? Buying rice from brands that are taking really good care of their rice and that check their rice regularly on arsenic poising!
In today’s post I want to introduce a brand that is selling arsenic-free rice – and I also want to share one of my favorites rice recipes with you!
First of all I want to share a few more info on arsenic. A while ago I asked you in my insta stories if you are aware of the arsenic poising in rice. I was surprised to see that 80% of you were not! This motivated me to gather a few facts for you to get an idea of what arsenic is and how it gets into our food.
Arsenic is a highly toxic heavy metal that enters into our food chain in different ways, including certain pesticides and herbicides (which are also responsible for the cadmium pollution of many foods… which is a different but equally important story), wood preservatives, phosphate fertilizers, industrial waste, mining activities, coal burning and smelting. The arsenic from these sources often drains into groundwater. This again leads to heavily poluted ground water in some areas of the world; unfortunatly many areas where rice is grown!
Rice is particularly susceptible to arsenic contamination because it is grown in flooded fields – in many areas this irrigation water is contaminated with arsenic. Also, rice absorbs more arsenic from water and soil compared to other common food crops – I have no idea why but it studies have shown that it does.
The consequences of arsenic poisoning have been seen most dramatically in Bangladesh, where populations have been exposed to contaminated drinking water – the result was an extreme high percentage of people with cancers, heart disease and developmental problems.
Now, how can you avoid arsenic when it is in the ground wates anyway? Rii Jii is working with different cooperatives all over the world that have been avoiding pesticides for at least ten years. This is a first step towards lower amounts of arsenic. Since no pesticides have been used for many years, the soil got the chance to “clean up”. Now that the soil is “clean” water is the next step! To avoid using polluted ground water, Rii Jii is only using fresh spring water for the rice paddys. Hence; no contaminition through water.
To make sure, their rice is free of arsenic (and other), Rii Jii is constantly checking their rice in laboratories!
And the result is a rice that you can enjoy without any fears – and that tastes AMAZING! Plus, you have the chance to get your rice in a 5kg paperbag which is pretty close to zero waste 😉
Feel free to find out more about Rii Jii on their website
So that’s about arsenic. Now I want to share one of my favorite rice recipes with you. I do love currys and bowls, of course, I do. However, I feel like there are so many currys and bowl recipes out there that I don’t really see that it will give you that much when I share another one. So instead I thought I am rather sharing a sweet recipe that I love to eat on summer evenings. It’s an ayurvedic inspired recipe with loads of healthy spices. It’s sweet and creamy and I like it best straight out of the fridge with some coconut flakes, jaggery, and cold coconut milk…
I do not quite know what to call this recipe. I guess it is a kind of ayurveda rice pudding. So I will go for that name 😀
So for one big pot of this rice pudding you will need:
1 cup whole grain basmati rice (I use the one from RiiJii)
3 cups water
2 cups plant based milk (I like coconut milk for this recipe)
1/4 cup jaggery (ayurvedic cane sugar)
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Vanilla
Black pepper – everything between a pinch and 1/2 teaspoon, depending on how spicy you like it
To make the rice pudding bring water and rice to boil in a large pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken. After around 20 minutes add the spices and sugar, add the plant based milk. Wait for another few minutes until the pudding is creamy and thick.
You can eat it hot but I prefer it cold so I recommend waiting until it cooled down before adding some toppings and enjoying it.
Top with: coconut flakes, coconut milk, more jaggery …
In case you are a coconut lover, feel free to add coconut flakes during the cooking process (when adding spices and sugar).
How do you feel about eating rice? Do you care about the arsenic poising of most rices at all? And do you like sweet rice recipes? I would love to know so make sure to leave a comment :)!