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Grilling Green

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Backyard grilling is a wonderful way to cook food — especially over a long weekend — but some methods take more of a toll on the environment than others.

The manufacturing of most charcoal produces carbon dioxide and polluting residues, and when charcoal is burned it releases carbon monoxide, soot and other particulates. Lighter fluid contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and releases toxins into the environment known as “ground-level ozone.”

  • If you’re buying a new grill, natural gas and propane grills are a much cleaner choice.
  • If you do use charcoal, choose “lump charcoal” (which comes mostly from tree and lumber scraps and is minimally processed) over compressed and extruded briquettes.
  • Skip the lighter fluid; you can get great results from a charcoal chimney or electric charcoal starter instead — without the nasty fumes.

From The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman 

Take Today’s Step and change your fuel to a greener option if you’re grilling for the weekend. And if you’re way ahead of us in figuring out a better way to grill in your backyard, please share your tips in Comments below!

Try these tasty items from our “grilling department” (a.k.a. our Recipe Center): Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps; Grilled Corn; Grilled Yam Salad; Grilled Summer Vegetables; Grilled Zucchini with Arugula Sauce; Pomegranate Barbecue Sauce.

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