Have you ever wondered if burned marshmallows cause cancer?
It would be a logical question to ask, since we’ve all heard about burned steaks increasing your cancer risk. Let’s touch on steaks quickly first. When you cook a steak at very high temperatures you run the risk of forming heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These two compounds have been found to mutate genes in a way that can increase your risk for cancer. That’s both weird and scary. One simple way to reduce this risk is to flip your steaks often. We know, you’re only supposed to flip them once. Cook them how you wish, but according to the research you’re safer if you flip them multiple times, decreasing the amount of charred meat.
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Back to whether or not burned marshmallows cause cancer! The HCA’s and PAH’s in meat are the result of amino acids, sugar, and creatine reaching extremely high temperatures. Good news folks: there are no amino acids or creatine in your delicious marshmallows. All they are is a big ball of puffed sugar and gelatin. If you’re one of those weirdos that likes to burn your marshmallows you can crawl into your sleeping bag with a smile, knowing that you’re completely safe.