Public knowledge of the serious dangers found in potato chips may finally be surfacing. The California-based Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has filed notices with the state's attorney general against potato chip manufacturers:
- Lay's potato chip maker PepsiCo Inc.
- Pringles maker Proctor & Gamble Co.
- Cape Cod potato chip parent Lance Inc.
- Kettle Chips maker Kettle Foods Inc.
... that would require them to place labels on their products warning consumers about the high levels of acrylamide found inside. Acrylamide is formed when starchy foods are baked or fried at high temperatures and is considered a cancer-causing chemical by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
Manufacturers who sell their products without such warnings are in violation of California law, California Proposition 65.
The attorney general's office has 60 days to decide to pursue the case; if the state declines, the ELF will file lawsuits against the companies.
What Do the Chip Makers Have to Say?
The reaction from the chip makers was on the defensive ... though the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) wavering position on the dangers of acrylamide certainly doesn't help.
Perhaps the FDA should review the report developed by the ELF that listed just how far various chip brands exceeded the state's required warning levels for acrylamide. The offenders include:
- Cape Cod Robust Russet: 910 times
- Kettle Chips (lightly salted): 505 times
- Kettle Chips (honey dijon): 495 times
- Pringles Snack Stacks (pizza-flavored): 170 times
- Lay's Baked: 150 times
Chew on that ...
Reuters June 17, 2005
Environmental Law Foundation June 16, 2005
I suspect nearly everyone reading this enjoys the taste of potato chips. However, they are clearly one of the most toxic processed foods you can eat. Do you really want to trade a few moments of taste pleasure for cancer?
Potato chips are loaded with acrylamide. This is only one of the many side effects that occur when food is highly processed; for instance, using high temperatures to cook foods can contribute to the formation of carcinogenic substances. Another similar example occurs when meats are cooked at high temperatures. In this case, heterocyclic amines can be formed.
Ideally, you should consume foods that are minimally processed to avoid these types of toxic byproducts. I assure you that there are many others, most of which have yet to be discovered. Acrylamides have only been known for a few years and many experts discounted them when they were first discovered.
In the best case, over half of your foods should be uncooked and eaten in the raw state. My diet is typically about 80 percent to 90 percent raw foods, and I find it is one of the major ways that I am able to remain healthy and avoid all sorts of health problems and challenges.
It may take you awhile to have more than 50 percent of your diet raw but start by throwing out the obvious and well-known processed foods that there is absolutely no excuse to consume:
- French fries and potato chips
- All sodas
You may also be interested in reviewing my popular list of what I feel are the worst possible foods you can eat.