Cause Of Death: Coffee?

Cause Of Death: Coffee?

"I'm here for a good time, not a long time - Drake"
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Last week, a California judge deemed that coffee is ultimately bad for you. Evidently, during the bean roasting process a chemical, acrylamide, is released. Acrylamide is a carcinogen that’s formed when certain starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, typically above 250F. Going forward, the California judge stated coffee sellers in the state should post-cancer warnings where consumers could see clearly.

Despite your preference, I’m here to say that coffee is great and I won’t take any slander. Personally, I’m a green tea kinda gal, but there’s something about a great cup of coffee in the morning before a busy day or during an intense studying session that makes it all the better.

Now, I'm not saying to disregard the fact that this contains a key ingredient that kills about 7.6 million people a year but, too much of anything could potentially kill you. It's all about moderation. Acrylamide could be found in a few other things ranging on the spectrum of baked cookies to asparagus. Especially french fries, which feels like a personal attack on me. Aside from consumption, you can also be exposed to acrylamide if you smoke cigarettes, one of the major causes of exposure. There's even a chance that your workplace may be at risk to exposure, especially if you work in certain industries that involve cosmetics, construction, or processing food.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC for short, they classify acrylamide as a "probable human carcinogen" based on data from a research study involving rodents that were given a dosage of acrylamide in their drinking water. The dosage given during this research were 1,000-10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to food sources.

The results concluded deemed that although the effects in rodents may not be same in humans, it's better to be safe than sorry. If exposure to these rodents increased the risk of several types of cancer, it's best humans should not be exposed to them too. Now despite this study, the IARC still states that the evidence for humans is still inadequate.

So what does this mean? Everything is still up in the air. There isn't any conclusive data that directly shows that this positively causes cancers in humans. All evidence has been based on research with rodents and although it was evident within them, doesn't necessarily mean it will be present in us. Of course, the American Cancer Society still expresses that if you're worried about your exposure to acrylamide, you may take several precautions.

You could opt out of the spectrum of foods that may could acrylamide, quit purchasing and eat processed foods (to be honest, we should all be aiming for this lifestyle anyway), and having brewed coffee instead of roasted.

I'm a firm believer that anything could potentially kill you; If you drink too much water, sleeping too much, etc. you'd be surprised at the endless possibilities of what could happen if you have too much. Coffee, I love you so dearly and I, for one, do not think you are a murder.


Cover Image Credit: Mike Kenneally

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A Letter To The Almost High School Graduate

“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” –Kiran Desai
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To the high school senior weeks away from graduation,

Stop.

Just take a moment to look back on all of the things you're used to, all of the things you consider your norm, and all the things you grew up knowing life would be.

Take a drive at sunset and look at the town you call home. Reminisce in all of it –that shop you used to get frozen yogurt with friends or that pizza shop where you went on that date with that guy.

Go past your elementary school. Swing on the swings and hide under that playset you used to call a fortress.

Visit the place you called “home" –your friend's house, the band room, the gymnasium. Any place you truly felt like yourself.

I ask you to do these things before it's too late. Yes, it is actually possible to be too late.

Do those things before everything you've ever know changes. Do those things before you leave. Do those things because one day you'll come home and you won't recognize a thing.

That favorite fro-yo shop you and your friends went to –closed. That playground you used to love –removed. That big oak tree outside of your back door –chopped into pieces, fallen from a storm.

Now, these things may seem meaningless to some, but they are part of our familiarity. Our sense of how life was.

It's a simple concept, yet it's difficult to grasp once you're away from home.

The concept: life goes on, even when you're not there.

It won't hit you as soon as you think, but when it does, it hits hard. It hit me when I Facetimed my parents and they showed me my room. It felt like my brain had glitched; it didn't understand why I could see my room, yet I wasn't there in person to see it.

This glitch is called your reality check. You don't ever ask for it, but you always need it.

The same thing occurs when you come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It happens when the whole family gathers and they see you “post-high school" and now as a “new college kid." They say, “wow, you've changed so much!" but you look the same. They say, “you're so much more aware of everything now –it's incredible!" but you really haven't; you've just been looking outside of a dorm window instead of your house's window.

Why does everyone see you differently, yet you feel completely unchanged?

The answer: your reality check hasn't happened yet.

You haven't begun to realize the dark half-crescent shaped shadows under your eyes from lack of sleep. You haven't seen your sudden weight gain (or weight loss, for some). You haven't seen how differently you interact with people here than you did before you departed.

And just like that, all that change occurs and there's no time to realize it. Until it's too late.

So realize these things now. Soak up the norm and live the life you may call “ordinarily boring." Because one day, it won't be. And you'll have no idea why.

And so, I leave you almost-graduate with this: stop and smile.

Look back on all you've lived through and all you've accomplished. Look at all the memories of you growing up. Remember, reminisce, and embrace your childhood for a little while longer, before it all disappears.

When you wake up on graduation day and you look in the mirror, fully dressed in cap and gown, smile.

Because you've made it to the end of part one, and now you've reached the beginning of part two.

This is your new norm.

Signed gratefully yours,

The Kid Who Wishes She Had

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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