How to Grill Organic? Well, for sure not using any of the traditional concepts and who tries to justify and explain it doesn’t know what is talking about.
Today while researching for some interesting information related to food, grilling and carcinogens I found a specific article under a blog with the follow tittle:
“An Organic Guide to Grilling”
It definitely aroused my curiosity and dropped me in a laconic stage.
We all know eating organic it’s healthier and can’t be considered a trend since it simply is a trip back to the origins. Many years a go everyone use to eat Organic food without call it by that name. Marketing strategists are always awake!
Well, when I read articles and comments from some food experts/writers explaining that eating organic by it self it’s the solution to avoid carcinogens, I simply want to cry and this, without making mention the fact they make reference about “Grilling Organic”.
“Organic grilling is a complete process that minimizes toxic chemicals from beginning to end—and maximizes flavor and healthful benefits for you and the environment.”
What does that mean?
- Does “Organic Grilling” generates healthy smoke or other healthy carcinogens? We are not just talking about the production of CO2. It’s beyond that!
- Does, Organic grilling eliminates the production of Benzopyrenes?
- Are there any good toxins?
One of the suggestions I read was:
“Certified-organic charcoal is now actually a real thing! Whatever your choice, always use charcoal that’s made from natural materials like wood (look for “lump charcoal” or bamboo or coconut). Or you can use wood logs instead of charcoal—just make sure you have time to let them burn down a bit first. Avoiding toxic briquettes is the most important organic choice you can make for the environment and for your health.”
This made me laugh and be worried about at the same time. The message simply tells us to “exchange 6 by half-a-dozen”.
Buy now I didn’t read anything about “Organic Food”.
Who wrote the article says:
“My goal is to demystify the grilling process, as well as detoxify it as much as possible, so that anyone—men, women, girls, and boys—can feel empowered to grill in a way that’s easy, enjoyable, and safe.”
What a bad and poor goal!
Towards the end we can read:
“…..Grill safely and organically to minimize the danger to the environment…..”
Is this a joke? Grilling the way it is explained in addition to producing fine particulate pollution it generates the production of Benzopyrenes and impregnating the the food – even if “organic products” are being used – with cancer-causing carcinogens.
Than…. I read something as bad as….
“I grill organic hot dogs donated by Applegate Farms (they are the best!), and I even grill tofu dogs and sausages. …..”
Someone who’s trying to talk about “Grilling Organic” focusing on health factors ends the article talking about grilling hot-dogs and sausages – some of the high carcinogenic food in the food market – shows us everything we didn’t want to know!
Just to prove how wrong it is and in order to explain the absurdity of the contents of this article:
“Carcinogenic Chemicals from Wood and Coal Stoves: to compare carcinogens produced by a fireplace, a coal stove and a wood stove (Zeedijk, 1985). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarcarbon emissions from woodstoves vs open fires and enclosed coal stoves was also investigated by: I H Zeedikj (1985). Polycyclic armomatic hydrocarbon concentrations in smoke aerosol of domestic stoves burning wood and coal. Eindhoven University of Technology, Dept. Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Instrumental Analysis, PO Box 153, The Netherlands.
In addition to producing fine particulate pollution, stoves and fireplaces burning wood and coal produce Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).
PAH are known to cause cancer.
It is the way that you burn wood and what wood you burn that effects the composition and volume of the smoke. A fireplace has an excess of air and oxygen. A wood stove or coal stove is air (oxygen) starved. This design (dating from Ben Franklin) causes the wood stove to produce more energy but also more carcinogens, PAH.
Newer airtight wood stoves keep more of the carcinogens out of the burners living space, however they deliver more carcinogens to the burners neighbors.
One wood stove in one hour, produces approximately 4,300 times more PAH than thirty cigarettes (Larson, 1993) (Ott, 1999).
Burning two cords (a cord of wood is a pile which measures 8 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet.) of wood produces the same amount of mutagenic particles as driving 13 gasoline powered cars 10,000 miles @ 20 miles per gallon (Lewtas, 1991).
In the San Francisco Bay Area a winter trend of increased mutagenic activity in tested air samples was spotted in the early 1980’s. Winter samples were three to nine times more mutagenic than during other seasons. Cleaner cars helped lower the PAH but not the overall mutagenicity of the winter air (Flessel, 1991).
What Benzopyrenes are?
Benzo(a)pyrene or benzopyrene – One of the carcinogenic organic compound formed when grilling in a wrong way.
Benzo[a]pyrene is the most well known polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) in a large group of organic compounds with two or more fused aromatic rings. PAHs are formed mainly as a result of incomplete combustion of organic materials during industrial and other human activities. These activities include processing of coal and crude oil, combustion of natural gas, combustion of refuse, vehicle traffic, cooking and tobacco smoking, as well as natural processes such as forest fires. Motor vehicle exhaust and re-suspension are major contributors of PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene, to urban air. PAHs in urban air have also been associated with residential wood burning emissions.
Benzo[a]pyrene will tend to be incorporated onto particulates during cooling and condensation in the atmosphere. Consequently, benzo[a]pyrene will generally exist in the particle phase at normal ambient temperatures in the atmosphere. Particle sizes will be mostly ≤2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter. Processes governing the fate of benzo[a]pyrene in the atmosphere are the same processes that govern transport and removal of these small particles from the atmosphere.
Primary endpoints of toxicity associated with chronic benzo[a]pyrene exposures at doses >1 mg/m in animals are carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and developmental toxicity. Other on-carcinogenic effects reported at doses >100 mg/m to animals include growth inhibition, immuno suppression, liver damage, and irritation/hypersensitivities. Severity of the effects depends on dose, administration of dose (route and vehicle of administration), and animal species, age and genotype. Epidemiological studies in coke-oven, coal-gas, and aluminum production workers have provided evidence of the role of inhaled benzo[a]pyrene at doses >0.1 mg/m in the causation of lung cancers.
PAHs are common contaminants of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Plants acquire PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene, by absorption through their roots. Once entry has occurred, it is thought that PAHs can then be translocated to all plant tissues. PAHs can also enter the plant by foliar deposition. Toxicological studies for defining potential hazards of PAHs have been conducted in the absence of UV radiation. Current evidence indicates that coexposure of UV light and near UV light and specific PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene, can result in increased toxicity to plants.
Inhalation exposure to single PAH compounds, for example benzo[a]pyrene alone, does not occur without other PAHs being present. Several PAHs with four of more rings are treated as having the potential to cause cancer in addition to benzo[a]pyrene. As a result, benzo[a]pyrene is proposed as an indicator for the carcinogenic fraction of these PAHs which are all present as mixtures in ambient air. Further, a method using factors of 10 to represent the potency of individual PAHs relative to benzo[a]pyrene is recommended to address mixtures of PAHs in ambient air.
The ability of benzo[a]pyrene and other PAHs to contribute to health effects in the general human population as a result of low-level environmental exposure is much less certain than what has been reported in animal studies and in the workplace. As a result regulatory agencies adopt air quality guidelines for benzo[a]pyrene and other PAHs in order to protect humans. Benzo[a]pyrene concentrations in indoor air, in air outside of homes, and in urban (city) air reported in scientific literature tend to be within the range of concentrations representing air quality guidelines developed by regulatory agencies for protection of human receptors.