Choosing what to eat and what to feed your family can feel like an overwhelming task. There is so much information out there about food, and so much of it is contradictory. When I set out to create this blog, my goal was to help people ask the right questions about what they are eating. What I didn’t want to do was add to anyone’s fear.
Food choices can be scary! When you read stuff online, you have to dig through marketer’s buzzwords, food advertisements, and misleading diet fads. Over the last few years, I have put my focus on reading actual studies and data as often as I can so that I can have accurate information.
With that said, every once in a while in my research, I come across something that is indeed, scary. This is one of those moments. But don’t freak out – this is a problem with a simple solution, and one that restaurants could easily get under control if it’s just brought to their attention.
While reading some articles about food safety in restaurants, I came across links with information on the differences between U.S. and European Union kitchen regulations. I was curious, so I went down the research rabbit hole. It turns out in Europe, there are several regulations in place in regards to how restaurants use frying oil to cook. In the U.S., there are none. I needed to know why.
I read that charring and smoking meats often leads to high levels of cancer-causing chemicals known as HCAs and PAHs and that eating these foods from the grill can cause cancer. But as I dug further, I found out that the overuse of oil in restaurants can cause the exact same problem. It all comes down to this, the oil isn’t being filtered or tested, and restaurants aren’t changing the oil regularly enough. The cancer-causing particles found in overused oil are easily preventable with proper cleaning and care. Why is no one talking about this?
I’m shocked that our government doesn’t seem to care about enforcing safety standards to keep this from happening. Millions of Americans eat fried food every day. It seems like an easy solution to me: change the oil more frequently!
I want to give restaurants the benefit of the doubt. I’m assuming that many restaurant owners just don’t understand the danger they are putting us in by cutting corners. I would imagine they are just trying to save money. But this is unacceptable. Instead of acting out of fear, let’s push for change.
There needs to be more kitchen regulations for restaurants. Fryers must be changed on a consistent schedule. Testing should be conducted regularly. It’s time to use our voices and speak up. Ask your favorite restaurants about their oil changing practices, and let them know you care. As much as I love fried food, until I see a change in the way my local restaurants handle health matters, I’ll be taking a break and frying my food at home with my air fryer!