By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

When I saw the headline buried in my email — “Cancer-proof your barbecue”– I couldn’t resist.

I’m a sucker for information about the key to cancer-free longevity (who isn’t?) and I’d been wondering if someone had solved that problem of cancer-causing compounds leaping onto your grilled meat when the fat hits the charcoal or the heating element.

CharBroil Grill

This CharBroil grill promises to “prevent flare-up” with its “TRU-Infrared™ cooking system.” (Photo: Lowe’s)

I mean, we heard about this issue many years ago. Could it have ended up like the faux sugar narrative, where we Americans collectively decided to ignore the science and then the manufacturers said, what the heck, and stuck carcinogenic sugar substitutes in virtually every edible with more than two ingredients, including all the fun stuff like ice cream and every single brand of gum?

Was the grilling thing the same way, where we’d just sunk into an exhausted acceptance that summer comes with a small, but tasty element of grilling roulette?

I wasn’t sure, but my curiosity was piqued when I stumbled across a grill at Lowe’s that promised less fat splatter. (I was looking for a solar cooker.)

Could they make good on that promise? I don’t know, but it raised hopes.

Now came this article, as tantalizing as a rack of ribs (if I ate ribs, which I don’t, eww) which pitched “10 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Barbecue.”

So now…I’m going to share the best way, and really the only one you need to know to “cancer-proof” your barbie, because many of the other tips are really off on another topic, that has to do with grilling vegetables, which is a cheap work around — eat more veggies — that we already get.

So now, really, here it is: Coat your meat in olive oil or a lemon juice-based marinade ahead of time!

Ha, ha, ha! I do that anyway. If I were grilling today, I’d do that and I’d be thwarting the cancer fates.

Apparently some study or studies has/have found that “these two items reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds by up to 99% while cooking, while adding flavor and helping to keep it [the meat, not the cancer-causing compounds] moist.”

Problem solved!

If you want to pore over the other 9 ways, you can read the full article at Care2, the queen of cancer prevention news that causes you to click.

If you want to look up more about the carcinogenic compounds formed when you eat like a caveman, here are their proper names:  Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

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