Anyone British awaking to the news earlier today that roast potatoes can kill will have been appalled. To say nothing of the equally shocking news that too much toast, anything more than lightly warmed bread, can kill you (*). How many must die before Britain ends its tragic addiction to killer roast potatoes?

The Guardian reports:

“The Food Standards Agency (FSA) says people are consuming too much acrylamide, a chemical produced naturally as a result of cooking starchy foods at high temperatures. Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in animals and while it has not been conclusively produced to have the same effect in humans, the scientific consensus is that it is likely to do so. The FSA insists that it does not want to scare anyone and would not describe the risk as significant but nevertheless said it is one that most people can readily reduce.”

A Professor on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme even said that we should not panic when presented with toast.

I cannot be alone in having spluttered. Millions of Britons – particularly men – will have felt a similar surge of incoherent and ill-informed rage on hearing the news. Isn’t there enough going on in the world without this assault on all that we hold dear? Is nothing sacred? What will they think of next? Beer is bad for us? This is Britain. Roast potatoes are one of our ancient liberties. They will never take our roast potatoes.

Such incoherent fury, at an over-hyped food scare public relations drive, provides the perfect opportunity for the media to engage listeners, viewers and readers, while providing a useful break from the depressing reality of Donald Trump. There will now be – across the British print and broadcast media – a mad scramble to cover this nonsense. As I write this, harassed radio researchers are almost certainly rushing around trying to find a mobile number for Jamie Oliver.

Here’s my quick guide to what every media outlet needs in order to cover this outrage:

1) Straightforward debunking news story. Not difficult. Rival food scientists not involved in the study will be happy to pile in and be snooty about all the hype. If desperate, Nigel Farage will give you a quote permed from any of the following phrases – “nanny state,” “health and safety gone mad” and “Churchill ate and drank what he wanted and he lived to a ripe old age.”

2) Short comment piece by celebrity cook in defence of the British roast. Assorted publicity hungry chefs will also be available, as their alert agents spotted the roast potatoes row on twitter and will already have been in touch by 9am. Expect phrases such as “everything in moderation” and “a little of what you like is good for you.”

3) Outraged column by male journalist approaching retirement. It’s the absolute limit. They’ll be banning drink driving next. His grandfather ate little else other than hot roast potatoes in the evening and leftovers for breakfast, along with burnt toast when they could afford bread. And he lived to the ripe old age of 52.

4) Left-field feature for the trendy “clean” food faddists. Get a glamorous young clean food author. They have been in retreat since a Horizon documentary last week debunked their claims with the use of proper science. But the clean food lot are pro-vegetable. The potato is a vegetable, isn’t it? I think so. But treat potatoes with love and care. Don’t roast potatoes aggressively. Cook them very gently for five minutes. Talk to the potatoes soothingly. Pair with courgette spaghetti and Tibetan rain water gravy, otherwise known as water.

And there you have it. Stir for about an hour. Serve between the weather and a discussion on whether or not BBC One’s new drama – Apple Tree Yard – is exploitative or terrific fun.

(*) Toast can kill if you eat five slices of burnt toast every day for 70 years.