If there’s one thing we thought we could cook, it was rice. It’s easy right? Stick it in a saucepan, chuck some water in, boil it until it’s soft and boom – nice as rice.
Scientists believe that millions of us are endangering our health by cooking rice incorrectly. The danger comes from the presence of industrial toxins and pesticides, particularly arsenic. Exposure to the toxin has been linked to a host of health problems including diabetes and cancer.
Professor Andy Meharg, of Queens University Belfast, as part of a new BBC programme Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, examined three different ways of cooking rice and tested the levels of arsenic present in the final product. The first was two parts water to one part rice with water with the water “steamed out” during cooking; the second five parts water to one part rice with the excess water washed off; and the third saw the rice soaked overnight.
The second method saw levels of arsenic halved, while the third method saw levels reduced by a staggering 80 per cent.
So in conclusion?
You should soak your rice overnight, rinse it before cooking, until the water is clear, then cook with five parts water to one part rice, ideally using a covered pan to save energy.
Or just have chips instead.