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Grilling causes cancer?

Sat, Jul 16, 2005

BBQ News, Grilling

According to this article by Dana Farber eating grilled food can increase your risk of cancer. Isn’t that just peachy? I mean what doesn’t cause cancer these days?

Research has shown that high-heat grilling can convert proteins in red meat, pork, poultry and fish into heterocyclic amines, chemicals that have been linked to a number of cancers. Also, the smoke generated when fat and juices drip on the hot coals or rocks can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, another potential cancer causing chemical. As the smoke rises up past the food it can deposit PAHs on the surface of the meat.

The aticle goes on to present a number of tips on helping avoid the suspected risks. Of course, most of them involve distancing your grilling from anything remotely resembling grilling such as wrapping up your food in foil, avoiding smoke exposure, and removing all of the fat from meat before cooking.

I think people take this whole cancer risk too far. Stop smoking? Of course. Avoid exposure to asbestos? You bet. Worry about remote possibilities of exposure to burn pork fat? I don’t think so.

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