Potato chips, fries linked to cancer
"When potato products are fried in oil at high temperatures, they produce a chemical called acrylamide that can cause cancer. And a new study in the British Journal of Cancer adds to the mounting evidence against the chemical, showing that acrylamide is associated with a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.
Back in July 2010, a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that women with the highest intake of acrylamide were 31 percent more likely to develop ER+ breast cancer, 47 percent more likely to develop PR+ breast cancer, and 43 percent more likely to develop ER+PR+ breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least or no acrylamide.
In 2009, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that acrylamide intake caused an increase in oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, increased inflammation markers in antioxidants, which would otherwise remove acrylamide, and other neurological damage.
And in 2008, a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology found that women who eat roughly one serving of potato chips a day are twice as likely as those who do not to develop ovarian or endometrial cancers.
Fried potatoes are not the only foods that contain acrylamide, though. Any starchy foods that are cooked too long or at too high a temperature can form acrylamide, including even grilled meats and vegetables with grill marks on them. Toasted breads and cereals, baked foods, browned meats, and even some dried fruits also contain acrylamide.
ScienceDaily reports on a new study from Poland published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Marek Naruszewicz and colleagues followed participants who ingested acrylamide foods. The results suggested acrylamide, found particularly high in potato chips and French fries, may increase the risk of heart disease. Acrylamide has already been implicated as a carcinogen and neurotoxin." Learn more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090213161040.htm
What is acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical used primarily as a building block in making polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers. Polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers are used in many industrial processes, such as the production of paper, dyes, and plastics, and in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, including sewage. They are also found in consumer products, such as caulking, food packaging, and some adhesives. Trace amounts of acrylamide generally remain in these products.
Is there acrylamide in food?
Researchers in Europe and the United States have found acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), but not in foods prepared below this temperature (1). Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods (2). The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that the levels of acrylamide in foods pose a “major concern” and that more research is needed to determine the risk of dietary acrylamide exposure (2).
Are You Eating This All-Time Favorite "Cancer-in-a-Can" Snack?
Stackable chips oftentimes contain so little actual potato that they cannot, technically, be considered “potato chips”
One of the most hazardous ingredients in potato chips is not intentionally added, but rather is a byproduct of the processing. Acrylamide, a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical, is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, whether baked, fried, roasted or toasted
According to a 2005 analysis, ALL potato chip products tested exceeded the legal limit of acrylamide by 39 to 910 times, and baked chip products oftentimes contain more acrylamide than their fried counterparts
There are more than 800 different heat-induced compounds, 52 of which are potential carcinogens. Three of the most well-known, aside from acrylamide, include Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
Ideally, you should consume foods that are raw or minimally processed to avoid these types of toxic byproducts of high-heat cooking and processing. The more raw food, the better, but strive to consume at least one-third of your food raw to protect your health
To understand the nature of Pringles and other stackable chips, forget the notion that they come from actual potatoes in any recognizable way.
The Pringles Company (in an effort to avoid taxes levied against "luxury foods" like chips in the UK) once even argued that the potato content of their chips was so low that they are technically not even potato chips.
So if they're not made of potatoes, what are they exactly?
The process begins with a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes that are pressed into shape.
This dough-like substance is then rolled out into an ultra-thin sheet cut into chip-cookies by a machine.
"The chips move forward on a conveyor belt until they're pressed onto molds, which give them the curve that makes them fit into one another.
Those molds move through boiling oil ... Then they're blown dry, sprayed with powdered flavors, and at last, flipped onto a slower-moving conveyor belt in a way that allows them to stack.
From then on, it's into the cans ... and off towards the innocent mouths of the consumers."
I suspect nearly everyone reading this likely enjoys the taste of potato chips. However, they are clearly one of the most toxic processed foods you can eat—whether they're made from actual potato shavings or not.
Potato Chips are Loaded with Cancer-Causing Chemical
One of the most hazardous ingredients in potato chips is not intentionally added, but rather is a byproduct of the processing.
Acrylamide, a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical, is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, whether baked, fried, roasted or toasted. Some of the worst offenders include potato chips and French fries, but many foods cooked or processed at temperatures above 212°F (100°C) may contain acrylamide. As a general rule, the chemical is formed when food is heated enough to produce a fairly dry and brown/yellow surface. Hence, it can be found in:
Potatoes: chips, French fries and other roasted or fried potato foods
Grains: bread crust, toast, crisp bread, roasted breakfast cereals and various processed snacks
Coffee; roasted coffee beans and ground coffee powder. Surprisingly, coffee substitutes based on chicory actually contains 2-3 times MORE acrylamide than real coffee
How Much Acrylamide are You Consuming?
The federal limit for acrylamide in drinking water is 0.5 parts per billion, or about 0.12 micrograms in an eight-ounce glass of water. However, a six-ounce serving of French fries can contain 60 micrograms of acrylamide, or about FIVE HUNDRED times over the allowable limit.
Similarly, potato chips are notoriously high in this dangerous chemical. So high, in fact, that in 2005 the state of California actually sued potato chip makers for failing to warn California consumers about the health risks of acrylamide in their products. A settlement was reached in 2008 when Frito-Lay and several other potato chip makers agreed to reduce the acrylamide levels in their chips to 275 parts per billion (ppb) by 2011, which is low enough to avoid needing a cancer warning label.
The 2005 report "How Potato Chips Stack Up: Levels of Cancer-Causing Acrylamide in Popular Brands of Potato Chips," issued by the California-based Environmental Law Foundation (ELF), spelled out the dangers of this popular snack. Their analysis found that all potato chip products tested exceeded the legal limit of acrylamide by a minimum of 39 times, and as much as 910 times! Some of the worst offenders at that time included:
- Cape Cod Robust Russet: 910 times the legal limit of acrylamide
- Kettle Chips (lightly salted): 505 times
- Kettle Chips (honey dijon): 495 times
Beware: Baked Chips May Be WORSE than Fried!
If you think you can avoid the health risks of potato chips by choosing baked varieties, which are typically advertised as being "healthier," think again. Remember that acrylamide is formed not only when foods are fried or broiled, but also when they are baked. And according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on acrylamide levels in foods, baked chips may contain more than three times the level of acrylamide as regular chips!
Interestingly, the same trend holds true for other foods, too, which suggests that baking processed potatoes at high temperature may be one of the worst ways to cook them. For instance, according to the FDA's data, Ore Ida Golden Fries contained 107 ppb of acrylamide in the regular fried version and 1,098 when baked. So remember, ALL potato chips contain acrylamide, regardless of whether they are natural or not; baked or fried. Likewise, they will ALL influence your insulin levels in a very negative way.
Acrylamide is Not the Only Danger
Acrylamide is not the only dangerous genotoxic compound formed when food is heated to high temperatures.
A three-year long EU project, known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX), whose findings were published at the end of 2007, found there are more than 800 heat-induced compounds, of which 52 are potential carcinogens. In addition to their finding that acrylamide does pose a public health threat, the HEATOX scientists also discovered that you're far less likely to ingest dangerous levels of the toxin when you eat home-cooked foods compared to industrially or restaurant-prepared foods.
Additionally, the HEATOX findings also suggest that although there are ways to decrease exposure to acrylamide, it cannot be eliminated completely.
According to their calculations, successful application of all presently known methods would reduce the acrylamide intake by 40 percent at the most—which makes me wonder whether chip manufacturers have really succeeded at this point in reducing acrylamide levels to within legal limits... There's no updated data as of yet, so there's no telling whether they've been able to comply with the 2005 settlement.
For more in-depth information about acrylamide, I recommend reading the online report Heat-generated Food Toxicants, Identification, Characterization and Risk Minimization. In general however, just remember that cooking food at high temperatures is ill advised. A few of the most well-known toxins created in high-temperature cooking include:
- Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs): These form when meat is cooked at high temperatures, and they're also linked to cancer. In terms of HCA, the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections.
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
- Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures (including when it is pasteurized or sterilized), it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. When you eat the food, it transfers the AGEs into your body. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
How Many Toxins Are in Your Potato Chips?
Acrylamide is a dangerous chemical present in foods such as french fries, potato chips, breakfast cereals, cookies and crackers.
But it's difficult to determine exactly how much of the chemical, which is a natural byproduct of cooking starchy food at high temperature, is present in any given food.
High levels of acrylamide in food were first reported in 2002, and, currently, little is known about how acrylamide forms, exactly how it affects people or what to do about it.
No manufacturers provide information on how much acrylamide is present in their products, and the most recent FDA data is more than two years old.
Studies have shown that acrylamide causes cancer in lab mice and rats. The federal limit for acrylamide in drinking water is .5 parts per billion, or about .12 micrograms in an eight-ounce glass of water. However, a six-ounce serving of french fries can contain 60 micrograms of acrylamide.
In case you were curious about your specific brand of chips you might want to review an article I previously ran on the Five Worst Brands of Potato Chips.
On This Day: Dec 2, 2001:
Enron files for bankruptcy
"On this day in 2001, the Enron Corporation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court, sparking one of the largest corporate scandals in U.S. history.
An energy-trading company based in Houston, Texas, Enron was formed in 1985 as the merger of two gas companies, Houston Natural Gas and Internorth. Under chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay, Enron rose as high as number seven on Fortune magazine's list of the top 500 U.S. companies. In 2000, the company employed 21,000 people and posted revenue of $111 billion. Over the next year, however, Enron's stock price began a dramatic slide, dropping from $90.75 in August 2000 to $0.26 by closing on November 30, 2001.
As prices fell, Lay sold large amounts of his Enron stock, while simultaneously encouraging Enron employees to buy more shares and assuring them that the company was on the rebound. Employees saw their retirement savings accounts wiped out as Enron's stock price continued to plummet. After another energy company, Dynegy, canceled a planned $8.4 billion buy-out in late November, Enron filed for bankruptcy. By the end of the year, Enron's collapse had cost investors billions of dollars, wiped out some 5,600 jobs and liquidated almost $2.1 billion in pension plans. "
Jay and I covered the aloe vera in my back yard. Sheets of fabric were laid across the 10" wide, over 50' long wooden trough, and screwed down with screws and washers. It is supposed to be 29 deg on Monday night.
The northern side of this house gets very cold in the winter with nothing but fields between it and the cold winds. This was taken from the inside through the grooming room screen.
After all these years of wrapping the aloe trough, we found a helpful trick to stop the fabric from winding around the screws as they are being inserted. Use washers that are metal on one side and rubber on the other, usually used with metal roof screws, and turn them upside down. The metal part is against the fabric, and stops the screw from grabbing.
James of http://residentialvehicleliving.blogspot.com/, (he lives a "Storage Wars" life) had both of their computers go out at once, and he had found a great deal for refurbished desktop computers at TigerDirect. I ordered one too and it arrived yesterday, a day early.
I also got a wireless All-in-One printer WITH FAX, for the same price that I paid for one without wireless and Fax at Walmart. The cord kept on coming out of it's socket and I had to tape it together, so I have a legit reason to take it back.
I didn't want to discombooberate my present 1GB one, so I found another flat screen monitor in amongst my
junk treasures, and set it up next to my old one through my router. The new keyboard and mouse are on top of the old desktop under the desk, and I can used them by pushing the black mini-keyboard into it's nook under my monitor and putting them on the desk. Just a temporary situation. I never thought that it could be done in this crowded computer corner. Now I have to try to get it the way I want it, even with my computer illiteracy! I haven't even started on the printer yet, which is to the right of this picture.
The weather was great to be working outside. This is more like our normal winter. After a low of 33° it warmed up from 52 to 69° while we were out there. Then the high was 70° yesterday.