Brown Rice Syrup
What does everyone think about the brown rice syrup controvercy?I hear it has arsenic in it?I have a whole jar and I'm afraid to use it.Help!
I have not heard anything about this controversy, but I do know that arsenic is a natural compound that is found in the environment, and it is present in drinking water, leafy green plants, animal feed, and all kinds of other things. I think the question is not that there is arsenic in something, but how much, and how much is safe for consumption. I have yet to hear of anyone getting cancer or other illnesses traced to eating brown rice products (I work as a health information technician and I analyze a dozen radiation oncology charts daily and I have not seen a single cancer case involving a vegan or someone on a gluten free diet that might consume more rice products). A majority of cases I have seen are people who happen to eat a standard american diet or have hormone positive cancers or are smokers/exposed to smoke, or it is a genetic type of cancer. I see the nutrition data of many patients as well btw as nutrition has to be monitored in these patients.
Also, it might not be the products themselves as it is the contamination with pesticides and herbicides in commercial foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables not grown organically as well as farm animals etc. Commercially grown almonds are also notoriously known for some horrible chemicals in them due to pesticides. Always choose whole raw organic if you are going to consume almonds regularly. However, even organic food is not safe because you can't always control how the pesticides and other wastes get from farms to ground water and streams and lakes. In fact up where I live we are fighting to keep a particular type of mine from being built and used near a pristine wilderness area. This type of mine is known to cause environmental damage. But money and corporate interest always wins...sighs. I started my own garden this last year and grew my own vegetables, but guess what? All summer long planes flew over our city spraying pesticides that rained down on the land. So much for that. Unless I build a green house. I am not going to go crazy avoiding foods right and left to try to avoid contamination with something. I do keep my diet as unprocessed as possible, and my only sweeteners used are locally made maple syrup, occasional agave, stevia (I grew my own stevia leaf fresh herb last summer), and very occasionally for baking I use a fair trade certified non bone char processed sugar from the bulk bin at a local Whole Foods Coop. I think I used brown rice syrup a few times but I don't keep it around. I have eaten cliff bars on occasion but I stopped due to soy content and I am trying to keep soy out of my diet as much as possible due to thyroid issues.
I also think, now that I have checked out this "controversy", that this is another scare tactic directed towards those eating a more plant based diet. Brown rice products replace meat and dairy in some ways and those industries are threatened by this (as they are by the rise in popularity of plant milks and the fall in sales of regular milk). They are still powerful industries and they will do anything to scare people away from alternatives.
You can read the report on the Consumer Reports website. I looked at the differen brands and there really is no rhyme or reason to which brands had higher levels than others.
We have cut down on our rice consumption a little bit. I don't often use brown rice syrup but I have a bottle in the cabinet and I would break it out if a recipe required. I did not read the report as saying rice is unsafe to eat, period but rather that there are high levels and it could be unsafe to eat it every day or a lot of rice products, and the risks are higher for children.The main message of the report is that the federal gov't needs to establish standards, as currently there aren't.
Overall, it's just sad that the truth is hard to see. In one hand, it could be a scare tactic, and the other and actual harm. What is a common folk to do? I'm glad, at least, that I have made the step to become vegan, but I still have way to much to learn. Where do I go from here, and what do I know is good for me and my family to eat?