Environmental Consequences of Charcoal vs. Gas Grilling
By: Danny Lipford
Purists will tell you that you aren’t grilling unless you use charcoal, but the fact is that most of the charcoal you buy is actually a combination of sawdust, corn starch, and lighter fluid that releases 11 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air an hour.
Compare that to a gas grill which produces half as much. In addition, manufactured charcoal release over a hundred times the amount of carbon monoxide as gas, along with other volatile organic compounds. So, if you want a steak that’s better for the environment, make it gas grilled.
Ever since mankind discovered fire, you can pretty much bet on the fact that he’s had a slab of meat outside grilling it. But which is considered greener grilling? Charcoal or gas? This seems to be a continual debate. I know that the purists will tell you that you aren’t grilling unless you use charcoal, but the unfortunate fact is that most of this stuff you buy is actually a strange combination of sawdust, corn starch and lighter fluid. When you burn this kind of charcoal, you release eleven pounds of carbon dioxide into the air every hour. Compare that to a gas grill that will only produce about five and a half pounds of carbon dioxide. Next, take a look at the carbon monoxide that’s produced. Manufactured charcoal will release over one hundred times the amount of this dangerous gas along with other volatile organic compounds when it’s burned. So, for a steak that’s green…make it gas grilled.
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