Coffee may cause cancer? Give me a break 

Coffee may cause cancer? Give me a break 

By Jeff Lund
Freelance writer – Ketchikan, Alaska
@alaskalund on Instagram

According to the label, my fishing rod has “chemicals known to cause cancer."

Now the coffee I am drinking while fishing may cause cancer too? Really?

In the interest of keeping us informed and keeping us safe, warnings are everywhere and now may come with coffee. 

Apparently when coffee beans are roasted, a chemical called acrylamide is formed.

So should we be concerned?

Not really.

The FDA’s recommendations for reducing acrylamide in your diet is mostly related to fried potato consumption meaning French Fries are by far a bigger contributor to acrylamide levels. One would have to drink 64 liters of roasted coffee in a day to reach carcinogenic levels. So this tells us what we already knew, avoid friend foods. 

There is an important distinction here between causing cancer, and containing chemicals that might cause cancer, so California putting warning labels on coffee is crazy and will likely do nothing but further dilute warnings.

The irony, of course, is that if we were really concerned about our health, we would stop eating fast food and sugar not just curb coffee. If we’d work out too, we’d be in even better shape.

What’s another warning? 
I’m still going to fish. I’m still going to drink coffee because I’ll take proven benefits over obsessive labeling.

There’s a weird sort of intellectual incentive I suppose, to be able to tell someone “I read that…” as if you are breaking news to your friends because your circle includes the latest in nutrition. You also get to say, “I read” which implies not only that you can, but that you actually do on occasion. But what would really make for a good discussion is the warning label era in which we live and if you’re not willing to cut out a different routine that is harming you, then why worry about the coffee? 

Maybe the correct way to share the tip is something like this, 
“Hey, I heard something that will in no way impact my daily routine: coffee might have to come with a warning label because it contains ingredients that might cause cancer.”

I really must look like I am a total rebel with a fishing rod in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. As if I care nothing for the future, that I live on the edge so hard that it’s difficult for me to waste time typing these thoughts when I could be eating meat while my cell phone rests on my crotch.

The end of a human life is obvious. The consequence of fear is to live a life that’s not all that interesting. That does not mean you should throw out all logic and sacrifice your entire future for some stupid YOLO moment, but life is inherently dangerous and calculated risks make life worth living. Worrying does nothing for you, in fact 85% of the things we worry about, don’t happen!

There is always a chance. Always. Tempting fate is stupid, but trying to eliminate all risk might be worse.


There was a bombing in London. Can’t go. Too dangerous.


Most businesses fail. Can’t start one. Too risky. 

Some dude got attacked by a bear in the woods. Can’t go. Too dangerous.


No, you can go, just don’t try to pet one or take a selfie with one. 

You can eat meat, just don’t eat 2000 calories of crap with it.


You can do CrossFit without eventually needing shoulder surgery. 

And yes, you can drink coffee even if it has a label.



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