Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Well, it seems that burnt toast has brought me back to blogging. It was bound to happen eventually, but I sort of wish it had been something more dramatic (another Fukashima?).

Today seems to be “acrylamide” day in the United States. A long list of on-line sites have suddenly discovered this potentially cancer-causing cooking chemical (MSN, CBS, sciencefocus.com, fox13news.com, lifescript.com, wdef.com, news.sky.com, and many, many more). Most have associated it with burnt toast and/or potatoes. It seems that Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) started the ball rolling.

I hate to be doing a Trump and knock the media. But while it may not be fake news, it is very old news. European countries recognized acrylamide as a potential cause of cancer ages ago and have been educating the public well before Britain joined the chorus. And as for the United States…well. It has gone back and forth, but has been afraid to stick its bureaucratic neck out (the potato chip lobby at work?).

Now I am going to boast, which seems to be fashionable these days, at least in political circles. I did a thorough review of the issue about ten years ago. The Safe Food Handbook: How to Make Smart Choices about Risky Food, has a relatively short section on it – much shorter than originally went to the publisher.

And if you read it, you may find some other surprising foods that can contain acrylamide, not just burnt toast and certain kinds of potatoes.

But let me finish on a positive note about toast. One or two slices is not going to do it, so don't worry too much.

TSF (By the way, for those who always wondered, that stands for "The Safe Foodie."