I apprenticed on a farm in New Jersey for a season, Chickadee Creek Farm. Right next door was another organic farm, Blue Moon Acres. While weeding I’d often peek up to look at the rice fields across the street. I thought it was so interesting that they were growing rice without flooding their fields.
Traditionally, rice fields are flooded to control weeds. While rice can grow just fine in flooded conditions, weeds cannot. But, flooding fields comes at a cost. The problem is that ground water contains arsenic, and rice, for some reason, uptakes arsenic at much higher levels than most other plants. The result is that store-bought rice, either organic or non-organic, has levels of arsenic that far surpass what the EPA and WHO consider safe.
Fortunately, overnight soaking and washing store-bought rice before cooking removes most of the arsenic. Also, it’s always best to use more water than is needed when cooking. The rice should still be swimming in water when it’s ready to eat. Otherwise, the arsenic goes right back into the rice.
The rice from Blue Moon Acres, since the fields are not flooded, has very low, safe levels of arsenic. The rice is also fresh. It was freshly husked a couple weeks ago, making a big difference in flavor and nutrition. And of course, it’s local. Most rice eaten in the US is coming from the deep south or the Midwest (only about 4 percent comes from Asia). This rice is coming from 45 minutes away in Pennington, New Jersey from a fantastic farm that’s using great principles. You can read more about it here. I’m excited to be carrying it!
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter
Weekly sales, recipes, new product announcements, and the latest news from Dave's Backyard Farms.