These BBQ Stats Will Make You Conquer the Cookout

A “grills gone wild” special.

 

People have been barbecuing in the Americas since long before the United States existed. In 1526, Spanish explorer Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés used the word “barbacoa” to describe frames that South American tribes used to cook their meat. Two and a half centuries later, in 1773, George Washington—who had a large smokehouse at Mount Vernon—wrote of hosting “a Barbicue of my own giving at Accatinck.”

Now, of course, a lot of us are doing it.

These are not good days to be a farm animal—particularly a farm animal whose parts end up as hot dogs.

Speaking of which, just in case you think you might ever have a shot at winning Coney Island’s annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, consider the competition:

Fun stuff. But there are environmental and health costs to our grilling habits. The Environmental Protection Agency offers these equivalents of the amount of carbon that would be released into the atmosphere if we all fired up our ‘cues on July Fourth.

Holy cow meat! On the other hand, you’ve got to cook the stuff sufficiently. According to the US Department of Agriculture, one out of every four hamburgers turns brown before it’s been cooked to a safe internal temperature.

Then again—so many conundrums!—cooked meat contributes to our cancer risk. The good news is that Portuguese and Spanish researchers have found that soaking pork chops in beer before grilling them reduces carcinogens in the cooked meat. Which is also good news because it means…more beer. But here are the sobering facts.

Fires and the grim reaper aren’t the only nasty things in store this holiday weekend.

So quit chewing on your grill brush. And finally, as every American should know, being this stupid is downright un-American:

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate