News of the weird: Idaho governor Dirk Kempthorne is lobbying California governor Arnold Swartzenegger to exempt fried potatoes from a list of foods that cause cancer—even if they do, in fact, cause cancer. Says one potato-head:
"If the french fry business in California drops, it would hurt everybody," said Keith Esplin, director of the Potato Growers of Idaho. [Emphasis added.]
Everybody, that is, except the folks who might otherwise develop tumors.
Backing up a bit—frying potatoes and other carbohydrate-rich foods creates acrylamides, which are known to cause cancer in rats. That evidence is strong enough that the World Health Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have recommended that people try to avoid acrylamides in their diet. To be fair, a recent Swedish study found no apparent link between acrylamides and cancer in people, at least at concentrations found in the Swedish diet. Still, economic risk to potato farmers is absolutely no reason to withhold information about dietary risks from consumers.
In other odd food happenings, (and coinciding with the release of the latest installment of the Star Wars saga), there’s this.