Monday, August 27, 2007

Practice safe grilling

…Tara Parker-Pope, writing in the WSJ (Aug 21, 2007), reminds us that studies show that meat charred on a grill might be linked to a higher risk of cancer.

…Four out of five Americans own a grill.

…Grilled meats used to be considered healthier because fat dropped onto the coals.

…However grilling also creates two chemical reactions, one forming carcinogenic hydrocarbons. This can be helped by scraping off the black stuff.

…Inside grilled meats, however, another reaction creates substances that can trigger breast, colon and prostate tumors in rats and mice (can you see them with their teeny grills on their little patios?).

…No safe dose of charred meats is known, probably a few servings a week would be borderline.

…To make grilled meat safer, microwave for a minute before tossing it on the grill. The chemical reactions do not take place because the ingredients come out in the juice.

…Eat a lot of grilled veggies—you get the grilled taste without the chemicals.

…Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli shortcircuit the bad chemicals.

…Marinated food also sets up a barrier against excessive heat. Flipping often also does this.

…Cook meat rare. Of course, other studies advise against this—for other reasons.

...Eat the burger already! Just don’t incinerate it first.

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