In previous posts, I have described how cruelly farm animals are treated on their way to your dinner plate. Despite this, I don’t expect you to give up eating flesh, because of a few posts of mine (It took me three years). In today’s post, I am going to tell you how you can safely grill meat- The benevolent blogger that I am. Scientist today have indentified three families of chemicals created during meat preparation that damage DNA and they suspect may cause cancer in mammals, especially of the large intestine.
1. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH): These are created when any organic material, including wood and fat is heated until it begins to burn. Barbecuing, over a smoky wood fire therefore deposits PAH’s from the wood on meat. Additionally when fat from meat falls over wood, charcoal or red-hot grill and begins to burn, or if the fat ignites on the meat itself (a common occurrence when you barbecue) PAH’s are created. You can reduce the amount of PAH’s on your barbecue by using coal instead of wood or charcoal. By leaving the grill uncovered so that soot and vapours can disperse and by avoiding fat flareups.
2. Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s): These are formed at high temperature when meat components like creatine and creatinine react with amino acids. HCA’s levels are highest on the surface of the meat, where the temperature is highest. They are also found in large quantities in meats that are grilled, broiled or well fired. To reduce carcinogenic effects of HCA, aim for rare or medium cooked meat. Vegetables and fruits bind HCA’s in the digestive tract and reduce the damage caused by them. So have lots of veggies with you meat.
3.Nitrosamine: These are among the most powerful DNA-damaging chemicals. Nitrosamines are formed when nitrogen-containing groups on amino acids react with nitrite that is used in salt-cured meat. The reaction can take place both in the frying pan and well as in the gut. You can reduce Nitrosamine formation, by avoiding salt cured meat, especially, which uses saltpetre ex. Sausages, hams, bacon and corned beef. The most unsafe place to buy meat is
Canada and North
America in general. Europe is probably the best among all nations
and Australia, New Zealand and fall somewhere in between. In
rest of the countries, lack of legislation on meat safety makes buying meat
more of a game of chance. Japan
I rate US poorly for its meat quality because of the following reasons. 1. Animals are cramped, without access to outdoors and natural light and stressed up all their lives, unlike in Europe or
2. Hormones, which are outlawed in New Zealand Europe are
still used in US 3. Animal feed is laced with antibiotics, which has encouraged
evolution of antibiotic resistant campylobacter and salmonella causing disease
in US consumers. Europe has strict restriction
on using these antibiotics.