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Arsenic, mmm!

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Why is it that every time I turn around I am hearing about some chemical they found in the food supply in exorbitant amounts? Not only are they finding it, they are finding it in amounts that are more than likely harmful.


Let's take for example the recent findings of Arsenic, the non-organic form, found in rice and rice containing foods. Consumer reports found extremely high levels even in Organic infant rice cereals. Arsenic. A known category 1 carcinogen. Did you know the EPA recommends levels no higher than 5 parts per billion (ppb) in our drinking water? They settled for 10 ppb though since most states wouldn't adopt a level that strict. So, now we see that our foods have levels anywhere from none to over 960ppb. Even my son's infant organic rice cereal was found to have levels between 149ppb and 274ppb. Why?


Here is the link to the story, and here is the link to the report. There is a good reason for it, we are told. You see, Chicken farm concentrations in the United States happen to be in the same areas of the country as our rice farms. (Yea, I didn't know we grew rice in the US either.) But, what is happening is this: The chicken farmers feed the chickens feed that is laced with Arsenic because it prevents certain diseases. Arsenic is excreted from the chickens. The farmers take the waste and make it into fertilizer for the rice farmers to use. The rice farmers are applying this fertilizer in huge amounts. Lastly, because of the way rice grows in flooded fields, it allows for easier absorption of the substance.


Oh, I forgot to tell you that they not only have found alarming levels in rice, but they have found high levels in fruit juices too. The same report I linked to above refers to this study as well.

Considering I heard on NPR this morning that 1 in 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime, I think this should be something we are paying more attention to. Maybe we shouldn't be focusing so many of our efforts on the treatments of Cancer but on the preventative efforts like keeping chemicals out of our food. I'm switching off rice completely in the meantime though.


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Guest Friday, 24 May 2019


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