Suuuweeeeeet Summer is coming! This weekend I’ll be running away to my fave place in the woods with a view of the lake and the smell of freshness. Freshness. That is right. Why? ‘Cause I won’t be grilling my homies.
I am not a huge fan of the old BBQ. Not really. Once in a while we’ll light the flame and get some sweet potatoes grilling– but meat, no way. A barbecued burger? Hello cancer sandwich. I think I’ll pass.
My bestest friends over at Harvard have this to say on the subject:
When meat is cooked at high temperatures, amino acids react with creatine to form heterocyclic amines, which are thought to cause cancer. Grilling is double trouble because it also exposes meat to cancer-causing chemicals contained in the smoke that rises from burning coals and any drips of fat that cause flare-ups. How long the meat is cooked is also a factor in heterocyclic amine formation; longer cooking time means more heterocyclic amines. Depending on the temperature at which it’s cooked, meat roasted or baked in the oven may contain some heterocyclic amines, but it’s likely to be considerably less than in grilled, fried, or broiled meat.
Sadly, and ridiculously, my not so best friends over at Harvard go on to suggest that microwaving your meat first might be helpful. Please, please, don’t do that.
Over at Medicine.Net, they’re sharing research that has discovered two cancer-causing (carcinogenic) byproducts associated with barbecuing red meat, poultry, lamb, pork, and fish. The National Institute of Health, Department of Health and Human Services included HCAs on its “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen list”.
Right- that’s the “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen list” incase you missed it the first time. This is the silliest named list ever.
Now, I know some of you will be wanting to partake in the meat grilling despite my warnings. If this is the case, try and cook at lower temperatures, and cook lower fat meat to prevent the flares. Even better- ensure you include certain magical antioxidant powered anti-inflammatory spices in your marinade.