The scarcity of animal meat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will keep our outdoor grills safer this Independence Day. Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.
Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between food poisoning and cancer. A bunch of enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful, delicious plant-based burgers, hot dogs, and nuggets. These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fat, drugs, hormones and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And they are waiting for us in the frozen-food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams and other dairy-free desserts.
This Independence Day, let’s declare our independence from the meat industry and their barbecue bugs. Let’s welcome convenient, delicious, healthful, ecofriendly, compassionate plant-based meats and dairy foods into our kitchens.