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Dying for a burger and a hot dog: The toxic backyard BBQ

February 21, 2013|By Alexandra Le Tellier
  • A new study shows that grilling is responsible for toxic air pollution.
A new study shows that grilling is responsible for toxic air pollution. (Los Angeles Times )

Meat is murder, as the singer and animal activist Morrissey reminded us earlier this week.

It’s also incredibly bad for the environment. Livestock is among the causes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is responsible for global warming. (Watch this incredible video, and if you only have a minute to spare, fast forward to the 9-minute mark.)

If that’s not bad enough, a new study from the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis shows that grilling is responsible for toxic air pollution.

So now, not only does a cow and the atmosphere have to die for your fun backyard barbecue of burgers and hot dogs, but your grill is also polluting the air and hurting other people’s health.  

From The Times’ Science Now blog: " ‘It’s not that you’re cooking; it’s how you’re cooking. We think it’s the [charcoal] briquets that are the problem,’ said Anthony Wexler, the study’s coauthor. […] If the results are validated by other research, Wexler said it may be more cost effective for air pollution regulations to focus on the source of particles and their toxicity rather than their size -- the basis of current standards. ‘If we’re just regulating the toxic sources, then we’re going to decrease the toxicity of the particles in the atmosphere. That’s going to save lives,’ he said."

Yes, I’m aware that people also grill veggie burgers and vegetables. They too should take their cooking indoors. At least until someone invents a form of nontoxic charcoal briquet.

That concludes this installment on how we’re selfishly hurting the environment and humanity.

Raw foodies: You win this round.

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Follow Alexandra Le Tellier on Twitter @alexletellier

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