Not long ago I got two emails from readers asking if I could give them ideas on how to cook brown rice.
About a week later we hear the alarming news that government agencies were warning consumers in the US that rice might be contaminated with arsenic. Shortly thereafter another warning: brown rice was even worse.
I felt a bit discouraged, after all, rice is the staple of our cuisine. I sent out a frustrated “tweet” that read: “Fish: mercury. Rice: arsenic. Chicken: hormones. Beef: antibiotics. Fruits: pesticides. – How about grass, eh? Can I eat grass?”.
It seems as if we were never meant to be on top of the food chain. Our food is fighting back and poisoning us. But nature is not to blame, each and every one of those instances have been of our own making. We poisoned our environment and were fools to think it would not come back to bite us (pun intended).
So, what now? What will we eat?
I am not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. But this is what I’ll do: I will keep eating everything, and everything in moderation. Eating the same food day after day is a foolish proposition. We won’t escape the consequences of our carelessness, but I will sure try to minimize it.
And if you believe that because you don’t live in the US you will not be affected by this, think again. Are you sure these same products were not used in your country? Do you know where your food came from?
A little bit of paranoia can be a good thing.
- 3 cups of brown rice
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red onion, cubed
- 1 medium carrot, cubed
- 1 medium zucchini, cubed
- 1 cup of boiled, but firm black beans
- 3 cups of tomato, cubed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- 1 pinch of minced dry tarragon (optional)
- Place the rice in a bowl and add 7 cups of water to it. Let it rest for 2 hours.
- In a thick-bottom pot heat the oil over very low heat.
- Add garlic and onion and cook and stir for a minute.
- Add carrots, zucchini, beans, tomato, bell pepper and cook and stir for a minute.
- Season with salt, a pinch of pepper and tarragon.
- Drain the water from the rice. Reserve the rice and add the water to the pot with the vegetables.
- When the pot breaks the boil, add the rice.
- Cook over medium heat for 7 minutes.
- Lower the heat to the lowest setting.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the rice is firm but tender (think "al dente").