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What you should know about what happens when you BBQ meat, or fry potatoes

acrylamide_foodsUSA Today wrote recently about the FDA’s new rules instructing the food industry how to reduce acrylamide. That’s a carcinogenic chemical produced in many processes involved in creating “foods” like French fries, cold cereal, and coffee.

This article bizarrely focuses on the fact that even toast causes acrylamide (anytime you brown, or especially burn, anything). (Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about browning toast. I’d worry mostly about fried stuff and barbecued stuff.)

backyard-barbecueThe article says nothing about the massive amount of this toxin produced by your backyard barbecue. I gave mine up years ago, probably about the time I stopped eating the things you generally cook on such a thing. We had one, but my ex got it in the divorce, and I haven’t missed it. (I did date a guy for 18 months who asked me once, “If we get married, I can put my BBQ in the back yard, and my Dew in the fridge, right?”)

The processed food industry cutting potatoes thicker before frying them, and teaching fast food workers to not burn the fries, isn’t going to solve our problems. Even if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

Acrylamides are something to think about: Blending up kale and spinach and chard in your blender? Or chopping up a big, fresh salad? No acrylamides. In fact, the millions of antioxidants you eat, in your salad, help mop up acrylamide free radicals.

Moral of the story: Eat more plants. Eat less BBQ.

eat more plantsHave a little faith that if you change your eating patterns, stuff charred on a grill gets less appealing. I played in a mixed-doubles tennis tournament last summer at Liberty Park. During the match, our opponents, and my teammate, commented on how the smell of barbecuing hamburgers, near us, was distracting them and making them hungry.

I realized that it was actually making me slightly nauseous. It may sound crazy to you that BBQ meat does not smell good to me. It used to, though. It wasn’t purposeful that I changed my diet to the point that my tastes changed, too. But it did happen, and it bodes well for my health, especially during the last half of my life. Fewer addictions to things that wreck my well-being.

I highly recommend it–more plants, far less acrylamide-tainted processed and cooked foods.