Why coffee may soon come with a cancer warning in California

April 2, 2018

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An LA judge has ruled that coffee companies in California must run cancer warnings due to potentially harmful chemicals formed during the roasting process.

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The carcinogen acrylamide, a chemical that forms when starchy, often plant-based food is cooked at high temperatures, is at the center of this ruling.

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Acrylamide is in a lot of foods, from burnt toast to extra-crispy fries. One estimate says it’s present in 40% of the calories consumed by the average American.

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While it’s virtually impossible to avoid acrylamide, there are some ways to consume less. One way? Toast things to a light brown color and avoid over-toasting.

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Storing potatoes in a dark, cool place like a pantry instead of the fridge can also help. Refrigerated potatoes may create more acrylamide when cooked.

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You don’t have to give up coffee just yet. There’s not a ton of evidence that the levels of acrylamide in coffee are risky, but it is something to be aware of.

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