Apparently the plant has an affinity for arsenic (the atevi might think it a nice trait)—and sucks it up where available. Now, the US set acceptable arsenic levels in drinking water. But—you take to raising rice on certain ground, and apparently it will do as rice does. Since there is no US standard for arsenic levels in food (does that seem rather a curious omission?) the possibility that certain locales, especially orchards converted to rice culture (arsenic was in certain pesticides acceptable on fruit)—can create a problem. We lived, in Oklahoma, near a town that had the acceptable level of arsenic in its water, due to its natural occurence in the soil. But…if you live there AND eat a lot of rice—you get the regulated amount in your water, and stack atop it the non-regulated amount in your food choice—
So…while I am not alarmist re warnngs about this and that, the rather gaping hole in foodstuffs regulation does argue that somebody, sooner or later, should conduct some tests.
The good news is, the longer rice is grown in a locale, the more it sucks out of the dirt, the poorer the dirt will become, so where rice has been grown for a long time, it should be quite safe. It seems rather like what we do in marine tanks, when you get a lot of hair algae—due to the phosphate that comes in on rock and sand; so you grow another sort of algae in an attached tank, and as it grows, and you tear up bits of it and toss it out (or give it to another hobbyist) away goes the phosphate, and with it the curse of hair algae. OR you can simply run the water through iron filings, and it binds the phosphate. I wonder what binds arsenic—and if it would be a similarly simple fix….
Meanwhile, we are watching the origin label, and going for old fields. If, that is, they haven’t put the rice paddy over something as bad, eh?
I say enjoy the dinner and if nobody drops over, it was good.