• Sophie Ward

Arsenic Concerns. Symptoms. Countries You Need To Be Careful In.

We have all seen articles recently that have been focusing their attentions on the issue of arsenic in our foods, ( many rice ) and the issues this is causing.

On my travels to Cuba I was faced with food products ( rice ) that you could definitely tell were more artificial than the rice we eat over here and that I normally purchase but also the reactions fron eating these more toxic products. The rice was dry, hard, flavourless and tough, not soft, yummy, and creamy. 

Arsenic as you all know is a poison and is famously known as being a poison used by many passed murderers to kill their victims. So why is it in our foods and more alarming in our water?

There has been an article today about South America and Southern Asia having elevated levels of arsenic in their water, not to mention their food products: fish, rice, fruit, veg, beef and shellfish ( this is why none of us can truly clean eat, guys I have just put that clean eating label to bed ). 

In Cuba I did always try to remember to order drinks without ice, however along with the rice when I could get rice and all the salads I was eating ( which most likely washed in their tap water ), stay clear of juices - especially apple juice. I was probably eating a high, defineitly higher level of arsenic and that was causing my body to react badly. Not to mention all the oils and refined toxins in the low grade and quality food products.

The FDA and EDA for the Western food products and manufacturing world are yet to set food standards and guidelines for arsenic but are considering a law that states foods & products can not contain more the 10th to a billion of arsenic. 

Mother's out there may know that rice never sits well with babies and it is advised that you don't feed your baby rice. It can make them ill, cause them to react with sickness and diarrhoea mainly. The arsenic levels are most likely causing these symptoms. Again this needs to altered so that babies can tolerate and enjoy the nutrients and minerals contained within rice. 

Reactions from elevated arsenic levels are;

- sickness

- stomach cramping

- dehydration

- dark urine

- vertigo

- delirium 

- cardiac problems 

- shock 

- death 

Some of the above reactions are often seen as 'common' daily symtoms that can single a number of issues from intolerances, a bug, virus and indigestion. 

Of course countries used to a more elevated level of arsenic being present within their food & water will be more tolerate against arsenic, however with my current health state it sent my body isn't a total melt down.

I am guilty as many of us probably are of dining in restaurants of the country we are travelling in the U.K. or other Westernised countries where they have taken and added their own twist on the original, classic dishes. Giving us a clouded vision on the food we will receive in the country we are travelling too, especially the more under-developed & poorer countries. Example is English Chinese is far from what really Chinese cuisine is like. So going to Cuba from my experience of loving and enjoying exotic dishes in Westernised country's Cuban restaurants I thought and was excited to enjoy an abundance of amazing, yummy foods. Never did I think to think about the fact that they are all still on rations  ( which haven't been changed since 1962) so products are the cheapest they can find, meaning the lowest quality. They don't cater for dietary requirements because they don't have the products, money or food to do so.

The main message here is if you are travelling to under-developed countries or more towards Asia and China. Take your own rice! Order drinks without ice, stay away from juices and try to eat foods that have been cooked - so all the bacteria has been killed off. Try to remove any possible reactions! 

This can make travel very tough! We have to remember not all countries have such strict food laws and regulations. So even fully healthy people can suffer with reactions from the foods & products. One of the reasons health & travel insurance are so important. 

We also never know if they have understood or follow our requests. So just keep that in mind too. 

I know and understand that food can no longer be fully natural we need the help with fertilisers etc to meet the demand of our ever growing population but the risks presenting our bodies, the evelated levels and the number of toxins, additives, poisons, metals etc that we are putting in our foods are alarming and frankly frightening. Rules and regulations need to be stricter and countries worldwide should have the opportunities to have access to the best quality of foods & products. Helping them to stop having to settle for low quality, highly toxic and processed goods. Also opening up more trading and economic opportunities!

What can I do at home?

- Always check where your rice has come from. Ensure it is safe or buy organic. Never buy rice from China!! It may be cheap but do you want to munch on plastic?

-Purchase organic apple juice and higher quality fruit juices.

-Wash your salad leaves, veg & fruit in water before preparing and cooking.

-Home cook and cook from fresh whenever possible. 

-Be aware that like poorer countries fast food chains & take away use the cheapest ingredients from oil, meat, veg & starches so these are best avoided when possible.

-Try to avoid processed goods with a long lasting self life, these foods will have the most toxins in.

Some small changes that can be easily carried out and could help you feel better, avoiding reactions. 

Spread, spread, spread the word. 

Awareness and people pushing for the subject to be addressed is the only way to bring about change. 

Thank you for reading!

If you have suffered reactions from arsenic, or believe your reactions were due to arsenic - please let us know and share your experiences. 

Have you travelled and struggled with certain foods or products?

Do you have any travel, food advice you would like to share!?

Please do share!

Love and peace,



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