As UK Coffee Week approaches, does coffee cause cancer?
There can’t be too many people who haven’t heard the ruling to come out of California two weeks ago: that coffee shops in the US state would have to display coffee cancer warnings. Whaaaat? It’s ok, keep shining that beautiful espresso machine. Keep planning your special offers and promotional campaigns for UK Coffee Week. It’s not as dramatic as the warning would indicate. In fact, any cancer risk is miniscule, whereas we’ve discussed the many benefits of coffee previously. And at the end of March, more good news on coffee consumption reached us courtesy of a scientific study in Brazil. It turns out that drinking three coffees a day can reduce your risk of subclinical atherosclerosis and the hardening of your coronary arteries – if you’re a non-smoker, anyway. We’re big fans of hearts that keep pumping, so we’ve just poured a couple of Americanos in celebration.
So, it isn’t time to cancel the lease on my commercial coffee machine?
Nope. The cancer warning ruling comes as the result of a legal battle that’s been going on for years. Basically, there’s a state law that says any chemical which might cause cancer must carry a warning. Acrylamide is one such chemical, and it occurs naturally in coffee. Sound scary? Not surprised. BUT, the coffee companies who lost the case, including the biggest name of them all, failed to prove that acrylamide DOESN’T cause one excess case of cancer in 100,000 people.
Which would be a 0.001% increase in risk even if it did – and we don’t know that it does. What’s more – while we shouldn’t be trying to consume more acrylamide, for obvious reasons, it’s virtually impossible to cut out of our diet anyway. Overdone the toast AT ALL? You’ve just chomped down a small amount of acrylamide. Roasted or fried a potato? Same thing just happened. Eaten a packet of crisps? How about biscuits? Cereal for breakfast? You can see where we’re going with this…
We’ve finished the Americanos and are now sipping a smooth flat white, if you’re interested. In short, while a carcinogen is never a good thing, if you’re otherwise eating a balanced, healthy diet, the positive effects of coffee should outweigh the minute cancer risk.
Polish your coffee maker
Because UK Coffee Week runs from Monday 16th April to Sunday 22nd. It’s a chance to raise your profile in your local community with good news stories, tastings, promotions, competitions and all sorts of other publicity ideas. Let us know how you get on – and if you’re looking for inspiration, take a look back through our blog. We’ve talked about everything from the photogenic qualities of your top-of-the-range espresso machine to latte art that’s ideal for social media sharing.
And UK Coffee Week isn’t your only chance to shine. Bookmark our commercial coffee shop calendar to make sure you maximise your profits all year round.