Here I am, in Starbucks, just minding my own business, about to put a little bit of cream in my decaf coffee (tisk tisk on me with the cream, but if you’re going to put ANYTHING in your coffee, the fatter the cream, the BETTER!)…when I notice THIS sitting next to the creamer:
Whoa…..WHAT?! Okay, I have battled back and forth with coffee for quite a while now. I love it, I LOVE it, I LOVVVVVVVVVE ITTTTTT. It makes me feel cozy, it SMELLS good, it comforts me, blah blah blah! I’m NOT so sure, however, after reading this sign, if it’s WORTH it!
So, let’s get down to the facts:
what is Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical compound that forms naturally in a wide variety of foods when they are heated, including coffee, chocolate, almonds, french fries, crackers, potato chips, cereal, bread and even some fruits and vegetables. Acrylamide has been present in food ever since humans began cooking, but it was not known to be in food until April 2002, when a group of Swedish scientists presented research that detected trace levels of the compound in some baked and fried foods. Prior to the Swedish study, food was not analyzed for acrylamide because it was not used as an ingredient, nor was it known to be a component of food.
Acrylamide has not been shown to cause cancer in humans. However, the relationship between acrylamide and cancer has not been studied extensively in humans. Because it has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats when given in the animals’ drinking water, both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, consider acrylamide to be a probable human carcinogen. The National Toxicology Program’s Ninth Report on Carcinogens states that acrylamide can be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
In September 2002, researchers discovered that the amino acid asparagine, which is present in many vegetables, with higher amounts in some varieties of potatoes, can form acrylamide when heated to high temperatures in the presence of certain sugars. High-heat cooking methods, such as frying, baking or broiling, are most likely to result in acrylamide formation. Boiling and microwaving appear less likely to form acrylamide. Longer cooking times increase the amount of acrylamide produced when the temperature is high enough.
Now, this is a lot of information…and if you start freaking out that every vegetable you’re cooking is slowly killing you, we would be in a bad place. I will tell you this, however…since reading the Prop 65, I have not had ANY coffee…WHA! I have substituted with hot lemon water and honey in the morning, tea, or yesterday I had a teechino latte with almond milk.
While this is about Prop 65, I can tell you that cutting out coffee has been serving me well:
-Have not had a bit of back pain since…no matter how much I get adjusted, if I’m eating foods that are inflaming my guts, I am unable to keep my core tight while lifting weight, and I’m bound to hurt myself (and I have been known to do that :-p)
-I FEEL cleaner
-My digestive system works better!
-I have more energy!
I am NOT saying I will never have a cup of coffee again…by any means. I CAN say however, that I’m planning on keeping it as a treat for myself, rather than a must-have-coffee-or-someone-will-die sort of thing…I’d like to keep it light :-p
So…as far as Prop 65 goes, has anyone seen this at Starbucks or anywhere else for that matter? What do you think about it? Do you know much about acrylamide?? I’d love to hear if you know anything!