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Arsenic, potatoes, purify

8/17 9:05:34

Dear Sir,
I stay in West Bengal, India, and there is arsenic contamination of water in certain districts of this state. Although I do not reside exactly in such a district (but very close), can you help me with the following,

1. How to detect and remove arsenic from water at home?
2. How to detect and remove arsenic from vegetables at home?
3. How to make sure or detect that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil I buy is not adulterated?
4. Would it be a healthier option to substitute white rice with potatoes? The white rice we get is not fortified in any way. And I believe potatoes are more nutritious as well as cheaper. Am I right?
5. What nutrients, if any, would I lose out on if I replace white rice with potatoes? In the same vein, what nutrients, if any, would I gain by doing the same?

Thankfully yours,


I'm afraid I am not the person to answer your questions regarding arsenic. As far as adulteration of olive oil - I do not know if the government in India regulates food adulteration as the FDA does here.  Again, sorry.

Potatoes, if you eat the skin, are a healthier option than white rice.  Is brown rice available to you?  It contains much more fiber and would be beneficial for that reason.  Potatoes have vitamin c, potassium and fiber (especially with the skin!).  Brown rice (I never recommend white), has potassium also, and B vitamins.  Using both would be my recommendation.

Jen Birge, RD, CDE
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