During my morning commute listening to the ratio, among the hundreds of news about Trump and his government, I heard a note that really caught my attention. NPR reported that The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is raising alarms about a toxic chemical found in some brands of animal crackers and cookies - ACRYLAMIDE.
Acrylamide forms from a reaction between sugars and the amino acid asparagine, naturally present in foods, when these foods are cooked at high temperature, fried or baked for too long. While the chemical is common, it’s also on the list of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.
According to the CEH, this chemical poses particular threats to young children - "given their smaller size and the types of foods they consume, children typically take in twice as much acrylamide, per pound of body weight, as adults. In pregnant women, higher levels of dietary acrylamide have been linked to reduced birth weight and head circumference, key indicators of a child’s future health"
(You can see the full list of animal crackers and cookies with the highest levels of acrylamide in
Your highest-risk foods for acrylamide exposure fall into three basic categories: (1) fried, processed foods like potato chips and french fries; (2) baked snack foods containing wheat and sugar, including cookies and crackers; and (3) processed foods involving toasted grains, including toasted wheat cereals, instant coffee and dry soup mixes.
If you want to minimise exposure to this toxic chemical, in addition to limiting your intake of the above foods, make sure you consume a good amount of foods that help your liver in the process of detoxification from this nasty chemical. Foods like cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as garlic and onions.
Longer cooking times and cooking at higher temperatures can increase the amount of acrylamide in foods further. Choose cooking methods that do not promote acrylamide formation, such as steaming, slow cooking and sautéing in low heat, instead of frying, broiling, grilling and roasting.
This reinforces even more the importance to consume fresh, homemade goods, where you know exactly how food was made and what´s in it!