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Grilled/BBQ Meat and Cancer?

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  • Grilled/BBQ Meat and Cancer?

    I've heard over and over that eating grilled/bbq'ed meat is linked to cancer. Esp. eating the blackened, crispy (yummy) bits. What are your thoughts on this? Have any of you looked into it and found links/studies/etc that counter this info? I just keep picturing Grok roasting a fresh kill over the fire, and not wasting the crispy, somewhat blackened outer pieces...


  • #2

    Yes. I don't worry about it.

    If you are worried, use wet cooking methods, such as stewing, braising, or poaching.


    • #3

      As you say, this is how Grok enjoyed his meat.

      We've had enough time to evolve to safely consume it in the (up to) 2M years we have been cooking meat for.

      The "Seven Deadly Sins"

      Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
      Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
      Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


      • #4

        If you are concerned I would suggest reading the section on cooked food at You will find a lot of good info about cooked meat in the sections about Maillard molecules and heterocyclic amines.


        • #5

          Thanks for the info folks. I'm really not worried about it (and plan to continue to eat those delicious blackened parts--yum!) but was wondering if you've read anything that dispelled this idea.

          Thanks for the link Ry--looks like there is tons to read there. I've never checked out that site and it looks like a good one!!


          • #6

            I think that the media jumping on it makes it sound scarier than the reality. As far as I know, only one study has really been done on it, and it isn't very exhaustive. (Note: it used commercial marinades)

            Have a glance at this:


            It has a link to the study you're wondering about, as well as marinade recommendations, and another link to some other tips to reduce HCAs and PAHs.

            They don't know exactly why the HCAs and PAHs decreased, only that their marinades helped. It's hypothesized that antioxidants in the marinade ingredients counteract the formation of cancer-related compounds. Along that same vein, however, I would think that simply consuming plenty of antioxidant rich foods (as is the Primal way) would counteract any problems with grilling.

            But really, just don't burn the meat. Get some grill marks on it, and some crispy parts are a given if you're doing an all-day rack of ribs or something.. But if a whole side is black, you're doing it wrong!


            • #7

              Thanks for the link Makael--quite helpful!

              As far as I know, only one study has really been done on it, and it isn't very exhaustive. (Note: it used commercial marinades)

              Ah, so it is probably a lot of CW in action as well--just as the cholesterol stuff is basically all linked to one (faulty) study, this issue may have been blown out of proportion in the media w/out really being a big issue at all...

              I don&#39;t like my meat over-done (and esp not burned--but the crispy grill marks are good!) so I&#39;ll just keep doing what I&#39;m doing.