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How worried are you about Acrylamide (Cancer causing agent found in starchy foods)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 04, 2012 at 6:53 PM

FDA's most comprehensive list about foods containing Acrylamide:

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/foodcontaminantsadulteration/chemicalcontaminants/acrylamide/ucm053549.htm

Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylamide

Paleo, by its nature, avoids most of these but there are still psuedo-paleo foods that have dangers. Rice Crakers, Puffed Rice, Roasted Nuts, Cocoa, Coffee andall potato chips (good oils or no).

How worried are you by this and do you still eat the "danger foods"?

From what I understand Acrylamide is caused when applying high heat cooking to starchy foods and looks to be in a lot of baked foods. This makes me wonder if products using Coconut as a base have this chemical and whether my favorite psuedo-paleo food, Banana Chips fried in Coconut Oil, is something I should be concerned with.

Thoughts?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on April 05, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I'd take it as a compliment :) If we took away their blenders, dehydrators, mechanically pressed oils, domesticated fruits and vegetables, and relatively sedentary modern lifestyles we'd see how "raw" they really were.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 05, 2012
at 01:07 AM

If a horde of raw foodists showed up on PH, they'd downvote you into oblivion for being so diametrically contrary to their religion.

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5 Answers

3
Medium avatar

(19479)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:49 AM

Hunter gatherers eat most of their foods (both animal and vegetable) well cooked. In a news story yesterday they even found evidence of controlled fire in a South African cave dated back 1,000,000 years.

Humans are the "cooking ape" and it is what defines us. Other animals are adapted to raw food, but our small mouths, jaws, digestive tract and large brain all indicate our being adapted to a cooked dietary.

As a vulture is adapted to eating rotten food, we are likely adapted to consuming the compounds associated with cooking (products of maillard reactions such as heterocyclic amines and acrylamide).

We are definitely adapted to wanting to eat such foods, as evidenced by the importance we place on a well crusted lip of fat on a ribeye steak or a golden brown loaf of bread.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 05, 2012
at 01:07 AM

If a horde of raw foodists showed up on PH, they'd downvote you into oblivion for being so diametrically contrary to their religion.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on April 05, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I'd take it as a compliment :) If we took away their blenders, dehydrators, mechanically pressed oils, domesticated fruits and vegetables, and relatively sedentary modern lifestyles we'd see how "raw" they really were.

3
65cd65934c5159b47968dc3802ca9fe6

(303)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:58 PM

No, I'm not worried. Everyone needs to relax. Yesterday there was a post about something "harmful" in spinach. You will drive yourself crazy worrying about such things.

1
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 04, 2012
at 07:00 PM

It seems like it is the cooking method that is more of the issue...it talks about cooking at high temperatures.

I know some people here don't consume roasted nuts/seeds for that reason. They opt for raw and soaked instead. Also, potato chips are cooked in a "fried" style which I think most people here steer clear of because oil tends to be oxidized at high temperatures.

The only food on there that really affects me is coffee...but I guess that if you're really concerned, opt for light roasted and don't buy poor quality grounds or pre-made instant powders.

0
A80d5383792b5d2393dc9ecec4e2a854

on April 05, 2012
at 05:56 PM

Folks, the research is shown that Acrylamide levels in foods are very minor. The original research that linked to cancer was feeding lab rates at huge doses that we could never consume through eating.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 04, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Nope. Lots of things cause cancer and disease, but the risk of that is really quite small. Certainly not a great enough risk to obsess over. Even if you went raw to avoid any generated carcinogens, all plants and animals themselves are full of irritants, toxins and carcinogens at certain levels.

My advise is just to eat good quality food and don't sweat the tiny threats.

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