You could be forgiven for thinking there’s a Government-sponsored Department of Abject Misery operating round the clock in the UK.
Housing humourless grey-faced minions in mortuary slab-cold laboratories, this department subjects all the nation’s favourite foods to tests aimed at finding fault.
If the department did exist, you could argue it has had some successes. Eggs, sugar-coated cakes and even bacon sarnies, have fallen foul of health scare stories over the years.
Last week the spread Nutella was in the firing line; this week it appears that toast is, well, toast.
According to the Food Standards Agency, eating burnt toast could increase your risk of cancer.
It’s enough to leave you weeping in your cornflakes.
But before you drop kick the toaster into the wheelie bin, count to ten and consider the facts. While the findings are worth noting, there’s certainly no suggestion that burnt toast kills every time. So far, the only subjects affected have been mice, while studies in humans have proved inconclusive. That doesn’t mean we ignore the findings, just that we treat them with due respect and a hefty dollop of caution.
When these stories appear in print, we are drawn to the scariest of words. And cancer is up there with the scariest going.
In truth, you can hang onto the toaster (though maybe turn the setting down a notch) and if you’re serious about reducing cancer risks, look elsewhere in your diet or lifestyle.
These findings should be taken in and acted upon, but the scare stories you read can be taken with a pinch of salt… or, if you’re really concerned about your health, a pinch of low sodium salt alternative.