THE FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY (FSA) has launched a new campaign, teaming up with Olympian Denise Lewis, to help people understand how to minimise exposure to a possible carcinogen called acrylamide when cooking at home.
Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes and bread, are cooked for long periods at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting, and roasting. The scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
The FSA has teamed up with Olympic gold medallist and mother of four Denise Lewis to empower people to make small changes to how they cook, to help minimise acrylamide consumption in the home:
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 five-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.
Commenting on her involvement with the ‘Go for Gold’ campaign, Denise Lewis said: “As a mum, the well-being of my family is my top priority, particularly when it comes to the meals I cook for them at home. With so many factors to consider, it’s great that the FSA is helping people to understand the changes we can make to reduce acrylamide in the food we eat regularly at home.”
The FSA is launching the ‘Go for Gold’ campaign following findings from its Total Diet Study. The results confirm that people in the UK currently consume higher levels of the chemical than is desirable.
Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, commented: “Our research indicates that the majority of people are not aware that acrylamide exists, or that they might be able to reduce their personal intake. We want our ‘Go for Gold’ campaign to highlight the issue so that consumers know how to make the small changes that may reduce their acrylamide consumption whilst still eating plenty of starchy carbohydrates and vegetables as recommended in government healthy eating advice.
“Although there is more to know about the true extent of the acrylamide risk, there is an important job for government, industry and others to do to help reduce acrylamide intake. This campaign is part of the FSA’s wider work to reduce the level of acrylamide that people consume.
“The FSA is continuing to work closely with the food industry to reduce acrylamide in the food you buy, including the development of practical tools like an industry toolkit and codes of practice which will be embedded throughout the food chain.”
New Children’s Book based on local fisherman
CHILDREN’S AUTHOR Natalie L Davies has written a story based on local man, Mickey Beechey, of Llangrannog.
Natalie said: “I’ve written a series of children’s books with the central character, the lovely ‘Mickey the Fisherman’. The first book is called ‘Pollution’, and is a bright colourful and fun book with a valuable message.”
The book is available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle, and can be found at: mybook.to/mickeythefisherman.
Council supports the Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’
CABINET members and senior officers in Ceredigion have signed ‘My Charter’. In doing so, Ceredigion County Council have become the first council to sign up to the charter. My Charter was written by people who have learning disabilities in West Wales.
The charter says that people who have learning disabilities want to have more chances in life, more choice and to be listened to. It also says that people who have learning disabilities want to be treated as adults, to be given dignity and respect and that their information is kept private.
Councillor Alun Williams is the Cabinet member responsible for Adult Services. He said: “People with learning disabilities have the same aspirations, hopes and feelings as everyone else. They deserve the same services and to be treated equally in a way that’s appropriate to their needs. I’m delighted that Ceredigion has become the first council to sign the charter, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this can positively influence the way our population of people with learning disabilities are treated in the future.”
The charter was developed by people who have learning disabilities from across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme
A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.
From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.
There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!
A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.
Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”
Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.
For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.
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