You’re the guru of the grill. You’ve got your steaks, your burger patties, some salmon, some shish kebabs, and, of course, your veggie patties, and you’re keeping a close eye on each one. The kids like the burgers done rare, so you make sure to turn them quickly, Phil likes his steak done well, so you let it sit a while before flipping it over. Then you notice it. With all you’ve got going on on the Barbie, you weren’t paying attention to that piece of meat at the far end of the grill and its a bit blackened around the edges. You hate to waste food, and you are the responsible party, so you decide to take one for the team and eat it. Whether you’re eating an overdone piece of meat to save it from being discarded or you simply like your food very well done, there are some things you should know about the risks of eating charred food.
Why Is Chard Food Bad For You?
There are chemicals known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They appear in meat, like pork, fish, beef and poultry that have been grilled over a flame or pan fried. These chemicals have been found to raise the risk of cancer by causing changes in the DNA.
How Do We Know?
There have been experiments showing that rodents whose diet was supplemented with HCAs tended to develop tumors in the prostate, colon, liver, skin, and lungs among others. Similar experiments on rodents found that those that were fed PAHs also developed cancer, specifically, leukemia, lung tumors and tumors affecting the gastrointestinal tract. It is, however, important to note that the doses give to these rodents were about 1,000 times the dose an average person would eat. Because all the variables that go into the cooking of the meat and the subject’s exposure to PAHs and HCAs can come from different sources, studies on humans might not provide a definite answer as to whether there is a certain connection between cancer and well done foods. However, according to detailed questionnaires, researchers did find a reason to believe that eating charred meat was linked to prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer.
How Can You Avoid It
Try not to expose meat directly to a hot metal surface or open flames and try to limit cooking times and high temperatures. Cook meat in a microwave before putting it on the fire, This can lower the formation of HCA by lessening the time the meat is exposed to high heat. Turn the meat over regularly to avoid unsafe chemical from forming. Remove the charred parts of the meat. Avoid using gravy made out of meat dripping, as this can also increase the chances of PAH and HCA exposure. Lastly, relax, master (or mistress) of the meat, as long as those things are in your hands, you can keep everyone safe and cancer free and very happy.