Thursday, 18 February 2010

Burnt at the steak

Not a day goes by without some academic arse coming up with yet more crap to frighten us. Being an alarmist must be somewhere near the top of core skills required when applying to be a scientist these days.

The latest hysterical nonsense to be unleashed by the mad men in white coats is that cooking steak on a gas hob could be more dangerous than cooking steak on an electric hob. According to a team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, eating overcooked or burnt red meat increases the risk of tumours due to the creation of carcinogenic compounds called acrylamides. However, the article also stated that the measured levels of total particles were far below Norwegian occupational exposure limits. The particles have been judged 'probably carcinogenic' by the International Agency for Research on Cancer but it’s not yet known what level of exposure to these components is safe, the researchers said.

The Norwegian doom-merchants believe that the higher temperatures reached by gas flames give off higher levels of mutagenic aldehydes and heterocyclic amines. This astonishing news was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Obviously my subscription for that organ has expired or else I would have brought you this staggering research sooner.

However, a report published two years ago by the University of Porto claimed that frying steak in beer or wine could cut the cancer risk by 90%. That’s a good and practical Portuguese solution to the problem but probably far too wicked and wanton for the abstemious Norwegians to endorse.

Of course, the release of a report like this can never be complete without some gratuitous input from a UK-based health charity. Step forward Dr Deborah Jarvis, of the UK’s National Heart and Lung Institute, who said the study could help shed light on previous research that sought to link frying with gas to breathing problems - such as coughs, infections and asthma - but proved inconclusive.

She added: ‘The health message to the public remains the same - keep your kitchen well-ventilated when cooking, and make sure all your gas appliances are well maintained.’

I wonder if she’s got a degree in stating the bleeding obvious!


  1. We are all doomed over here then - flame grilling on the barbie!

    Theo OZ

  2. You monster, Theo! Not only is eating meat very bad for global warming but using fossil fuels to cook it is beyond the Pale. :-)

  3. Sorry, a bit distracted by the scary counter on my keeps moving. COME ON LADYBIRD, CONCENTRATE.
    I'm with Theo... (Isle of Man 10, what the hell does that mean??) Oh, its no good. Must watch the counter again. Ireland 12! Hong Kong 12. And then bizarrely, Europe 3...
    What in tarnation is Reunion 3?
    Right. Back to meat. I eat it. Lots. And don't care a monkeys how it got to my plate. Dr Deborah Jarvis should get together with Delia... they both love the obvious. Oh, CONFOUND THAT COUNTER.

  4. At counter is the running total of visitors to the blog by the visitors' country of origin. I'm aiming to get visits from every corner of the earth. I have one from Cameroon. I'm really proud of that one. Australia is up there with a strong showing. Spread the word and let's get that total higher.

  5. So how the heck did the human race survive from cave men times until the last century when electric cookers became realistically available.

    /rant on

    I despair some days, over the loss of common sense and the need for society to appeal to the lowest common denominator .. instead of trying to increase the knowledge of the lower end, they instead seem to want to decrease the intelligence of the more capable.

    / rant off

  6. Good afternoon ETM - afternoon all those around the world on the tickety counter - greetings from grey, grey London!

    Going out with my girlfriends now - as I don't eat meat I will make sure and drink more than my allowance - I am hereby warning the powers that be that 5 females in central London will be drinking too much, squealing and probably eating garlicky prawns as we are going to a Tapas Bar - what is the warning on those?

    He! Best wishes to all. Cats' Mother (oh and they will be disgrunted too if I come home late and having had too much juice!)

  7. Sorry, I don't grasp it entirely .. how are you supposed to "fry" anything in beer or in wine? I think you would be able to stew it therein, but "fry"??
    So while I don't fry a steak everyday, I certainly fry it in olive oil ... Best wishes from Styria! Barbara

  8. Perhaps they mean just a little liquor to deglaze as you cook. It is puzzling, I agree. Maybe they mean you should drink wine or beer as you fry.

  9. What I would like to know is , who is the F-wit paying these scientists to research banal and meaningless things, the most bizarre so far is research on why a struck match turns different shades.... How much did that cost the tax payer ?

    Most of these so called scientists need to get a life, or find a serious subject to investigate instead of wasting tax payers money on trivial time and money consuming subjects.

    I wonder if there is a list for the public to read on what is being investigated , by who and how much money is he or she getting to research what ever they feel the need to research, and what benefit will the concluding results be for the good of man kind.

  10. weston a price organisation

    Raw meat takes only 2 hours to digest in a human

  11. "..eating overcooked or burned red meat increases the risk of tumours.." This is somehow the fault of a gas cooker? I can happily overcook a steak with an electric hob. Will that make it safer? Yeesh.

    These people really need to get a life!

  12. No hope in our house then, I regularly manage to incinerate our food, we have no gas, but I think the food probably contains plenty of carcinogens