The Dangers of BBQ

Barbequed meats play a role in causing cancer because of the chemicals associated with cooking certain meats at high temperatures.

Exposure to carcinogens

Heterocyclic amines are chemicals and cancer causing agents that are created during the grilling of meats. There are several cancer causing that are created during the grilling of meats. During the process of grilling, frying, and barbecuing certain “muscle meats”, there are several chemicals that are created.

These muscle meats include poultry, beef, pork, and fish. As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are exposed to the grilling process of barbequing. Chemicals are formed during the process of grilling, frying, and barbecuing. These are called heterocyclic amines (HA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). When cooking meats at high temperatures, the amino acids and creatine react and form carcinogenic chemicals such as HCA. However, they do not exist in uncooked meats. It is only when the meat is exposed to the grill that these chemicals appear.

The higher the temperature, the more carcinogenic chemicals are formed.

When the juices of the meat fall onto the heat source, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) form, rise with the smoke, and are deposited onto the meat.

According to James Felton from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, both compounds of HA and PAH have caused cancer in animal studies.

Barbecuing is very dangerous when you consider all of the elements of the activity. The fluid used for barbeque grill fires is actually fuel. In fact, it is the same fuel that is used in lighters and automobiles.

Exposure to petro chemicals

Petroleum is used to ignite the flame and keep it lit.

You may have noticed that there is a clear warning label on the can that reads “Danger: Harmful or fatal if swallowed”. This fluid is being placed onto charcoal that is being burned. When it converts to smoke and rises, your meat is being exposed to harmful carcinogens.

The second warning on a can of charcoal lighter usually reads “CAUTION: combustible mixture! “Combustible” means to catch fire and burn quickly. This is exactly what petroleum fluid does. Using a combustible mixture to grill your food is not advised.

The third warning on a can of charcoal lighter says “DANGER: contains petroleum distillates.” This means that the gas or petroleum is distilled.

Did you know there are adverse side effects from using charcoal lighter fluid? These adverse side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and unconsciousness. The manufacturers of these lighter fluids admit all of these harmful side effects but most people don’t think anything of it before purchasing this product.

Exposure to bad charcoal

Barbequing is an American tradition that was created as a result of a wealthy industrialist who wanted to make money from disposing and selling his waste at the same time.

Carmaker Henry Ford can be credited with igniting America’s passion for outdoor cooking. In the 1920s, Ford was determined to find a use for the growing piles of wood scraps from the production of his Model T cars. He learned the process of converting the wood scraps into charcoal briquettes and soon quickly built a charcoal plant known as “Ford Charcoal.”

Ford’s relative, E.G. Kingsford selected Ford’s site of operations. Later, Ford decided to hide his involvement with the charcoal plant and renamed the plant ‘Kingsford Charcoal”. This is the same name you see on the bag of charcoal briquettes today.

Ford took disposable left over wood scraps that would have cost him thousands of dollars to dispose of. Instead, he converted the waste into charcoal briquettes, a very usable and ingenious product.

NOTE: Please don’t confuse activated charcoal (carbon) with charcoal briquettes. They are not the same. Charcoal briquettes are harmful if swallowed. Activated charcoal is not.

Barbequed meats are dangerous. They are greatly implicated in colon and rectal cancers. The more well done or cooked the flesh or meat, the greater the chances for the development of cancer.

Lastly, for all of you out there who are into barbequing soy patties and franks, the process of barbequing mock meats over an open flame is just as dangerous as if you were barbequing animal meat. If you are concerned with cross contamination, do not cook mock meats on the same grill as animal meat. If you have to share the same grill for both animal meat and alternative meat, cook the alternative meat first.

Barbecuing won’t stop because it is too much apart of the American culture. The purpose of this article is to simply inform you of the dangers associated with the barbequing meat.

Thank you for reading!