Cancer Org.: Less BBQ on Independence Day

Israel Cancer Association urges citizens to choose chicken over beef and reduce the heat when cooking.

barbeque 311 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
barbeque 311
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Israel Cancer Association on Sunday advised the public to choose chicken over beef, minimize their consumption of red meat and reduce the heat when cooking.
While it’s almost impossible to persuade the average Israeli to stop grilling steaks, frankfurters and hamburgers, such foods contain nitrites and nitrates that can raise the risk of various kinds of cancer. This includes esophageal adenocarcinoma, the malignancy of the food tube in the throat.
A new meta-analysis of various studies published in Cancer Causes and Control, a peer-reviewed medical journal, included 2,358 patients with cancer of the esophagus in seven states in the US. They were asked about their consumption of meat and lifestyles.
A clear connection was found between esophageal cancer and regular consumption of red meat and beef hot dogs. The risk increased when the consumed meat was cooked at especially high temperatures achieved through barbecuing on coals, cooking on grills or frying.
Additionally, processed meat has undergone water injection, preservation with chemicals and soaking with water, not including the process involving kashering and packaging, according to the Health Ministry.
Processed meat releases more liquid during cooking and consumption, when compared to fresh meat, and is characterized as “less flexible,” more rigid before its cooked, the Health Ministry said.
The ICA advises keeping the consumption of processed meat to a minimum and choosing chicken, fish or legumes as a replacement.
If you eat red meat, choose small portions and a cut with little fat. Eat more vegetables of all kinds and drink a lot of water.
The ministry advised buying foods only from licensed merchants and stores.
When preparing food, use separate dishes such as cutting boards and containers to cut meat from those used for salads, vegetables and fruits.
Don’t serve mayonnaise-based salads outdoors in the heat.
Wash hands and kitchen equipment before cooking and transfer foods from the refrigerator and freezer to picnic boxes just before leaving home.
The ministry also advised eating fresh fruit for dessert and not calorie-laden cakes and cookies.
While outdoors wear a hat, long-sleeved clothes and use sunscreens to prevent excessive exposure to sun and to reduce the risk of skin cancer.