Following the recent headline in the News that 'burnt toast and potatoes leads to cancer', people have been speculating whether or not these foods should be cut out of their diet.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) started a campaign to make people aware of the potential cancerous risks to burnt toast and potatoes.. two pretty staple items in the UK's food diet, that we have been consuming for centuries. The reason being when any starchy food (potatoes, bread, root vegetables etc) are cooked at high temperatures, it turns them golden or brown in which the compound 'Acrylamide' naturally occurs. The intake of Acrylamide has as such been associated with cancer.
However the studies that have been conducted relating acrylamide to cancer have been predominantly conducted on rodents and the doses they are given have varied from 1,000-10,000 times the amount any human would be exposed to through dietary sources (I.e A lot of toast!) The evidence when conducted on humans has not yet been proven! Studies have been going on for many years now and there is no significance amongst any of the research associating dietary acrylamide and various cancers.
It is also extremely difficult to associate cancer with any one thing. There are multiple other factors that may contribute towards a person getting cancer; smoking, medical history, lifestyle, diet.. etc.
Take home message? Newspapers are well known to sensationalise headlines, don't stop eating toast or potatoes or cooking them how you like. As always, everything is meant to be eaten in moderation and doing that.. you will be fine!