The other day I saw bio-active charcoal biscuits in a health food shop. Before now I also thought charcoal was bad for you because of claims that burnt bread, or food cooked on a coal BBQ could cause cancer. So is charcoal food good or bad for you and if it is healthy, what makes it so?
Charcoal food has a specific use, to settle an upset stomach. Charcoal pet treats have been a staple of pet owners for years for that exact reason. If there are other health benefits, I don't know them :D
If you are rushed to hospital with mushroom poisoning they administer charcoal - it happened to friends of mine. I imagine this is possibly the procedure for other poisonings too. We keep charcoal in the birds' cages as they eat it in the wild for assisting their food processing. It is so funny to see their little black faces! Most of the charcoal you buy in health food shops is vegetable charcoal though and I, too, believe that "charcoal" (burnt) food is carcinogenic. Doctors said years ago that this is particularly true of foods burnt in a gas oven. Having said that: I eat meat well done. Oops.
Now you come to think about it, I remember watching a program explaining that charcoal is used by doctors to flish out poisons. But it is needed in huge quantities and the amount found in foodstuffs will make no difference at all.
Charcoal is the treatment administered for poisoning. Apart from that , it is not at all reccomended, due to the possibility of causing cancer. Every time we have a fundraising bbq at Bunnings we get people coming and requesting sausages ' as black as you can '. I'm sure that they haven't heard of this latest research, or just plain don't care.