Barbecue Trying to Kill You, The Planet


Photograph: absenthero

This is bound to whip somebody into a panic: Mother Nature Network is reporting that the smoke produced by cooking fatty foods may contain carcinogens. Scientists have done a study which shows that cooking food releases emissions, and the biggest offenders seem to be fatty foods cooked with high heat, such as fried chicken or charcoal-grilled hamburgers. The story is dubious, preying on people's ignorance that smells are actually created by these emissions and likening grilled meat smell to secondhand smoke. Please don't tell the City of New York, or someone will try to ban restaurants.

Rachael Oehring

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Comment Feed

  1. I'm not sure what's more appalling - that we're suddenly expected to stop cooking our meat over an open flame, or that there's a "mother nature network."

    Man has been burning animal flesh over an open flame for years, and we'll continue to do that. If that's going to kill us, so be it. I could think of worse ways to die.

  2. This is old news. It's been known for *decades* that the smoke created by burning fat contains carcinogens. If you grill fatty food, you're going to have dripping fat on the coals, and you'll end up making carcinogens.

    Some of us think that small risk of carcinogen in our food is worth it (though I tend not to cook fatty foods over direct heat - minimizing fat fires).

  3. PJ

    They've been saying grilling is bad for you because of carcinogens for quite some time now, haven't they?

    I thought this was old news.

  4. Paula Forbes

    The new study detailed the fact that not only did the foods release carcinogens into the air, but also generic "emissions" (carbon emissions?) that affect air quality regardless of relative proximity to the cooking source. They also studied which type of food release these emissions, and how much. The study was released on Tuesday. So, yeah, a version of this has been known for some time, but the findings of this study are new.

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