I despair once more about ersatz health scares. In the US, you’ve had the E coli romaine lettuce freakout. Nobody died, OK? Then we had a resurrection of a frozen food spook in the UK that dates back months. ‘Listeria in frozen food shock!’ Nobody died there either. Now a real doozie. Bread. It’s going to kill you. Oh no!
Since the 1980s, Sainsbury’s have been flogging ‘well fired bread.’ It’s pretty much what it says. It’s baked so it has a burnt crust. Hey ho. But no. Experts* now say this is medically an issue. Burnt bread contains acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogen. Sainsbury’s are being negligent, and threatening the health of the nation. Did you ever hear such a load of old socks in all your life?
Let’s go back a bit. These loaves have been on sale for 30 odd years. Show me some epidemiological evidence that indicates there is a real (as opposed to possible) health risk. You can’t. Why? Because nobody has looked. It’s not a problem because there is no problem. Do people who eat Sainsbury’s well fired bread have an increased cancer risk? Nobody knows. It’s nannying of the highest order.
Remember when we were told not to toast bread beyond a golden colour? I do. I also remember thinking then that strawberry jam on burnt toast is one of life’s little treats. It still is, as far as I’m concerned.
Don’t overcook your chips/fries. Acrylamide! You’re going to die horribly! Ditch the barbie. Meat cooked on a barbie is packed with acrylamide. You’re going to die! Stir frying veggies? Don’t let them brown or the acrylamide bogeyman will pop out from under your bed, or out of your wardrobe at the dead of night and carry you off, screaming, to your fate.
This crap helps nobody. The worried well will freak and stress and ramp up their blood pressure. The reasonable, and I count myself in that group, will say, ‘That’s bollocks, that is.’ And the salad dodging smokers won’t change how they behave, and the new packaging for cereals in the UK won’t make a scrap of difference to them either.
We all have a few more things to worry about than burnt bread.
*Danger Will Robinson! Danger!