Flames and food can be a savory combination. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

By now we all probably know carcinogens are not good for us.

But it’s grilling and s’mores seasons, so a little char on our food is going to be normal.

I like grill marks, which has more to do with aesthetics than taste. But I also love the taste of grilled veggies. It doesn’t matter if they are placed right on the grill, on skewers, or cut into bite size pieces, marinated and cooked in a grilling basket.

A little black is not a problem in my line of thinking.

I love burned marshmallows. Ohhhh, that gooey inside. Super yummy. I want to eat it right off whatever I’ve cooked it on. No need to get my hands dirty.

When I was a kid and eating meat I loved hot dogs to have a bit of a burn. That slightly black casing seemed to make the inside even juicer.

I draw the line at toast. Some people like burned toast. Not me. I would take a knife to it to remove as much black as possible.

Bon Appetite magazine recently had an article about the hazards of injesting burned food.

The magazine explained that “when starchy foods, such as bread and potatoes, are cooked at temperatures higher than 248 degrees, the amino acid asparagine reacts with reducing sugars like glucose or fructose to produce acrylamide.”

And that’s bad because “the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), run by the World Health Organization, considers acrylamide to be a probably human carcinogen.”

Carcinogens cause cancer. That’s why we don’t want to be consuming them on a regular basis.

Still, the magazine went on to say, “Because it’s tough to accurately measure acrylamide exposure and unethical to make participants eat a lot of burnt food, there’s no conclusive evidence on its cancer-causing potential in humans.”

So, with that said, I’m headed out to barbecue. After all, we all have to die from something.

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