What is Acrylamide?

It’s NOT a good thing!

Acrylamide is a toxic, colorless chemical compound that can form when certain foods are heated at high temperatures.  Reminds me of the post on grilling meat. Apparently cooking most foods at a high temperature is just plain bad for your health!

According to the FDA site, “Acrylamide is produced industrially for use in products such as plastics, grouts, water treatment products, and cosmetics. Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke.”  And it’s found in our food???

It was first discovered in food in 2002, but “they” suspect it has been always been present in foods that are roasted, baked or fried.

Like the HCAs that are produced when meat is cooked at high temps, acrylamide is formed when foods that come from plants (think potato, grains and coffee) are cooked at high temperatures.

What I found interesting on the FDA site was that there seem to be committees, research studies and action plans devoted to getting acrylamide out of our foods.  BUT, didn’t they explain that it isn’t caused by dangerous packaging or other industry protocols?  It’s user (read: cook) error.  (Or more accurately ignorance–have you ever heard of acrylamide?)  They can’t control how you prepare your food.  A better plan might be to devote their energy to educating the public on the dangers of consuming acrylamide and how to prevent (or at least reduce) exposure through different cooking techniques.  Just my two cents.

Dr. Mercola recently wrote an article on this very subject.  He mentioned one food that was “cancer in a can”.  He likes dramatic titles for his articles.  Anyway, if you have a few minutes to spare, it’s an interesting article.

So, show of hands…have you ever heard of this chemical before reading this post?  I hadn’t until I got the Mercola newsletter and did a little more investigating.  I’m guessing it isn’t common knowledge yet 🙂

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2 responses to “What is Acrylamide?

  1. I had definitely heard about that happening, but I didn’t know the exact name of the chemical. I think that’s why I’ve always eaten my s’mores with gently roasted marshmallows rather than charred black ones. 🙂

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