Fried Food

I’ve just been reading about oil deterioration when deep frying [1]. Apparently frying food can cause the production of Acrylamide [2] which causes cancer, is a neurotoxin, and does other bad things to your body. Deep frying in a vacuum [3] is a solution to this problem as the lower temperatures reduce the formation of the bad chemicals (and also increase the life of the oil thus making for cheaper fried products). Of course this means that deep frying in a pressure cooker as KFC does probably gives a result that is a lot worse for your health [4].

For some time I’ve been avoiding KFC due to concerns about the treatment of the chickens. I have been regularly eating fried chicken from a local store which looks and tastes very similar to KFC so presumably is cooked in the same way. I guess I’ll have to stop eating that now.

I wonder if toast is also bad in this regard. I expect that sausages would be a problem when cooked on a BBQ.

In other health news I’ve been reducing my meat consumption and I’m considering trying to entirely avoid farm raised animals to restrict my meat consumption to game meat, this should be good for my health and is also a lot better for the animals and the environment.

5 comments to Fried Food

  • Anonymous

    I don’t eat meat, and yet I can’t understand people who talk about the treatment of the animals. They get killed; what other part of their treatment matters?

    (I don’t mean this as a preachy comment in any way; on the contrary, I never comment about other people’s consumption or non-consumption of meat. I just wondered about the rationale for that particular comment.)

  • After my change from weighing ~135 to ~95 Kg, I ended up changing many health-related things. And it was not a painful process after all – You can completely live without deep-frying a thing. Even when I fry things (after all, I _do_ enjoy cooking!), I rarely use more than one or two spoons of olive oil – Probably, for a dish for three people or so.
    Most food you get in the streets in Mexico, though, is deep-fried. And the oil just keeps on boiling all day long. Imagine what you are eating when night arrives… (of course, I won’t deny it: It’s delicious)

  • etbe

    Anon: Getting killed after having a reasonable quality of life is better than getting killed after an unpleasant life. Also not all animals used in the food industry are killed (think about breeding stock and dairy cows).

    Gunnar: Sure I can completely live without deep-frying, but I enjoy fried food!

    If I ever get to visit Mexico I’ll make sure that I eat fried food in the morning.

  • Russell, I’m impressed, you are my brother after all! Do you still go up to Yarra Valley Game to get some nice culled animals?
    I do have serious concerns that your local store won’t be using any better quality chicken than KFC.
    Also stay away from Halal and Kosher meat as the method of killing is pretty painful.
    If you need any persuasion to move away from cheap meat, try reading ‘Not on the Label’ – I found the info about how diseased meat graded for pet food was then sold back into the human food chain deeply disturbing.
    Probably the only real answer to not being killed by ‘bad’ food is to: ‘Eat food, not too much, mainly plants’ (Michael Pollan). And do lots of exercise. And don’t eat factory bread – that stuff’s scary.
    Smoked food, fried food, bbqed food are all special occasion foods :-(

  • Whether or not KFC makes it better or worse depends on their definition of pressure. Technically vacuum frying always is pressure frying. Pressure, just like temperature, can be lowered as well as raised.

    As I said before, because of this I avoid eating fried food out. What bothers me the most are not the big companies like KFC or McDonalds with their “policies”. I fear especially small owner-operated takeouts as they tend to cut costs at the expense of the customer much more often.

    @#1: Even though I’m far from being a veggie I don’t eat eg. chicken because of the way they’re bred (which leads to a bland taste). I share you opinion on vegetarianism as a private matter. Just like religion, sexual orientation or a choice of operating system. Live and let live. You won’t progress your cause by nagging, but it can be done by example.