Well, there’s now a health warning for coffee. Then again everything out of California comes with a health warning.
And why it’s complete rubbish.
When coffee beans are roasted, acrylamide is formed as a byproduct. A substance discovered in 2002 by Swedish scientist. And is classified as a “probably carcinogenic” Problem is Acrylamide naturally builds when plants and grains are cooked at high temperatures. This process is known as the Maillard reaction, whereby high heat transforms sugars and amino acids in ways that change the flavors of the food and tend to brown food.
When potatoes, bread, biscuits, or coffee beans are heated, acrylamide is formed. It is even found in breakfast cereals. It is present in about one-third of all the calories the average person consumes.
Now you’ve probably already read that consuming coffee has its benefits. Coffee consumption is even associated with lower risk of several types of cancer. Also drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day is considered safe.
So what’s with all the hoopla?
Because of the presence of acrylamide in coffee, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics filed a lawsuit in 2010 in California against businesses like Starbucks that sell coffee, making it a requirement to post warnings stating that coffee contains cancer-causing chemicals. The Judge for the case decided to let it stick. The reasoning here is due to Proposition 65. It is a California state law that requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide a reasonable warning about the use of any chemicals the state has decided could cause cancer, congenital disabilities, or other reproductive harm. One of these chemicals is acrylamide.
So how much is too much?
400! damn cups of coffee in a day. Everything is toxic in high enough concentration. But have you known anyone to have drank even a hundred cups of coffee in a day let alone 400?
The good news is that the California health regulators ruled that coffee does not, indeed, need a warning label.
So far, no conclusive evidence suggests the amount of acrylamide found in coffee is dangerous. And we can all sit back and continue to enjoy that brew.