Öko-Test: These types of rice contain carcinogenic toxins

Öko-Test has examined various types of rice. Above all, the pollution was striking: arsenic, pesticides and heavy metals were detected.

Rice has become one of our staple foods. Whether as an exotic rice pan, side dish with curry or chicken fricass – the white small grains are a popular alternative to potatoes and pasta. After all, it contains valuable carbohydrates that promise to keep you full for a long time and is therefore extremely low in fat. However, the latest eco-test results should make us rethink the healthy image of the rice side dish. Because obviously we eat a lot of invisible pollutants with every fork of rice.

Öko-Test has tested a total of 21 rice brands, including popular varieties such as basmati, parboiled long grain and whole grain rice. According to the guide, only four of them can be served "without hesitation".

Arsenic, mineral oil and pesticides in rice

One of the problems is called arsenic. The poison is actually known from murder cases and thrillers – now it has been detected in all 21 types of rice. While basmati rice contained only traces of the toxin, whole grain and parboiled products were particularly contaminated. But how does the poison get into the rice?

On the one hand, arsenic naturally occurs in the soil, explains Öko-Test, on the other hand, the content is increased, however, via car mud and fertilizer. Arsenic is considered safe in small quantities (up to 1 milligram / day), but can be carcinogenic in regular and larger doses.

In addition to arsenic, cadmium was found in more than half of the rice varieties. The Federal Office for Risk Assessment warns that the toxic heavy metal can accumulate in the body and lead to kidney and bone damage.

Mineral oil was also detected in ten of the rice products and eight in pesticides. Due to the high level of pollutants, Öko-Test ultimately decided to drop two fair trade varieties:

  • The "Parboiled Natur-Reis" from "Globus" cut "insufficient" due to pesticide, arsenic and mineral oil residues.
  • The "Bio Basmati rice" from "Gepa" contained arsenic, cadmium and mineral oil hydrocarbons and was also rated as "insufficient".

Surprising rice winner from the discounter

Öko-Test also has good news to announce. They show that quality doesn't have to be expensive. Test winners in the different categories were:

  • The basmati rice "Satori Asian Style" by Netto scored "very good".
  • In the parboiled rice category, Alnatura's "long-grain rice parboiled" convinced, which only contained traces of the pollutants and also received "very good".
  • In terms of brown rice, the "organic long grain rice" from dm won, but only with a "satisfactory" – because here too, higher levels of pollutants were found.

How can I protect myself from contaminants in rice?

Öko-Test is now increasingly advising customers to wash rice thoroughly before it is cooked. Although this is rarely on the package, it can reduce the pollutant burden even further.

Then there is a little damper for wholegrain fans: the bowl contains not only vitamins, but also toxins. That is why brown rice should only be on the menu in moderation.