Acrylamide Gives You Cancer: Health Scare of the Month

Well, this morning the Food Standards Agency issued a warning about over-cooked food, including burnt toast and super crispy potatoes.  They say that if you eat these foods as a lifestyle choice then they could lead to cancer.

Acrylamide Burnt Roast Potatoes Burnt Toast Bad Health-FSA

Another thing on the list that you can’t eat often then!  I say “you”, not me, because, as a general rule I ignore all these health warnings – in this case I don’t overcook food.  I don’t have crispy roast potatoes and I don’t eat over-cooked toast.  While I’ll admit to enjoying the odd crispy roast potato, I’ve never actually enjoyed them the same way that many other people do, my preference is for a little crispiness if possible and quite lightly done.  But we’re all different aren’t we.

My dad used to LOVE burnt toast – but he didn’t eat it a lot of the time.  And that’s one of the balances the FSA talk of:

Eating the occasional crispy roast potato or slice of burnt toast won’t kill you

The health warning comes for those for whom this food is regularly eaten and part of their lifestyle.

If you want crispy roast potatoes without over-cooking them, then:

  • Par-boil the potatoes, drain them and fluff the outside
  • Spray the outside of the potatoes with oil.
  • Coat the outside with a 50/50 mix of flour and polenta, which will give you the crispiness without having to overcook the roast potatoes.

If you’re served with the occasional burnt and crispy roast potato, or the occasional slice of toast, don’t panic, enjoy it!

Lazy Cook

As a lazy cook, I want to spend the least amount of time cooking as is possible – which means I tend to whip my food out of the oven as soon as it’s “just done” rather than waiting for a dark brown crust to develop.  I’ll admit I like the LOOK of brown, crispy, foods – I’ve simply not got the patience to wait. Once it’s edible I’m eating it 🙂

In short – if you’re not eating burnt food regularly this isn’t something to panic about… in fact, don’t panic even if you do.