rice cakes

i’ve been told by two people that rice cakes contain some sort of toxin that makes them very bad for you. i thought rice cakes were the ultimate flavorless healthy snack. what gives?

incidentally, the only ingredients on my rice cake package are “whole grain rice, salt.”


Well, salt is a toxin. Eat a cup of it to see.

Recycled packing peanuts.

Well Ann Landers says that rice will make birds explode so it is probably along those lines.

Kama, we’re just funnin’ with ya. Welcome to the Straight Dope!

Here’s your big chance to fight ignorance. Your two informants may be a wee bit MISinformed. Ask them why they would believe such a claim, and what hard evidence they have to back it up. (Toxic items on the grocery shelf? Sure, Quaker Oats would get away with that, poisoning people and laughing all the way to bank, those evil bastards!)

Incidentally, I like rice cakes. You have to treat them like potatoes and pasta, they’re just there to hold up the good (and not so healthy) stuff you load them up with.

The train of thought that leads to “toxic rice cakes”.

[ahem] There is a genus of plants called aesculus. Sometimes known as “buckeyes” or “horsechestnut trees”.

Some species of aesculus are toxic. Other species, people aren’t really sure.


Some kinds of Japanese rice cake are made with horsechestnuts.


So: “Buckeyes are toxic. Rice cakes are made with buckeye. Therefore, rice cakes are toxic.” Perfectly simple, when you know how it works.

You know my methods, Watson…