A new campaign launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK is warning families against the risks of overcooking starchy foods. This means potatoes, bread, pasta, rice (according to the British Nutrition Foundation) – so basically every food that all Maltese people absolutely adore.
The campaign, which is called ‘Go for Gold’, focuses on cooking starchy foods for a limited amount of time to exposure to a possible carcinogen called acrylamide. Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when these foods are cooked for long and at high temperatures. The FSA says that the scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
So, what this means is…
That if this new research is right, the way we make imqarrun could be exposing us to higher risks of developing cancer.
Patata l-forn are out…
Ross fil-forn is a problem too.
Don’t forget –
We have to say it…
This. Is. Too. Much
Well, here’s the advice they give on how to avoid your starchy foods become more cancerous:
- Go for Gold – as a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.
- Check the pack – follow the cooking instructions carefully when frying or oven-heating packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips. The on-pack instructions are designed to cook the product correctly. This ensures that you aren’t cooking starchy foods for too long or at temperatures which are too high.
- Eat a varied and balanced diet – while we can’t completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day will help reduce your risk of cancer.
- Don’t keep raw potatoes in the fridge – if you intend to roast or fry them. Storing raw potatoes in the fridge can increase overall acrylamide levels. Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6°C.
The rest is up to us. We’ve got to choose between our favourite shade of burnt, and well… putting our actual health at risk.
It’s like Sophie’s Choice all over again!