Griling Red Meat and Cancer

BBQ grilling red meat

Did you know that there is a link between eating red meat that has been grilled on high heat and cancer?  I don’t know what rock I have been hiding under, but I. did. not. know. that… 

I was watching an episode of The Nature of Things last week where they showed how free radicals are produced when red meat is grilled on high heat.  The free radicals are precursors to compounds that can damage DNA and cause cancer. 

This discovery was pretty disturbing for me, as it is barbecue season and we grill steaks fairly often.  But there is good news.  First off, this applies to high heat grilling only.  So red meat that is grilled on low or medium heat doesn’t produce those free radicals.  Whew!  We’ve been working on improving our barbecue technique and using low heat, which leads to tastier results, and will continue to do so.

The other really interesting bit of good news is related to rosemary.  In the television episode, the host demonstrated how red meat that has been marinated in rosemary before grilling, even on high heat, has a significantly lower level of those free radicals (around 80 to 90% less).  The reason?  Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants absorb free radicals before they are able to form the cancer causing compounds. 

This is very good news.  And the timing was perfect for me, as a few days before I tried out this recipe for beef kebabs that I found in Clean Eating magazine

Clean Eating Magagzine

The beef is marinated before grilling and what is a key ingredient in the marinade?  Rosemary! (as well as garlic, olive oil, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar).  The beef kebabs were a hit with the family and I had already decided I would use the marinade recipe for regular steaks too.  Not only is this recipe incredibly tasty, but it provides important health benefits too.  What more could one ask for in a recipe? 

This rosemary beef kebab recipe is definitely a keeper.

 

 

 

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