BBQ Emissions and the Pollution We Don't Often Consider
Breaking News: An article put out last week, just before the 4th of July, depicted a rather obscure truth about traditional summer cooking practices in America, a hypothetical scenario that calculated how much pollution may be put out by barbecuing on an annual basis, culling data based on a scenario in which all grills owned are operated consistenly during the summertime (certainly not an entirely accurate scenario from the get-go):
Roughly eighty percent of American households own barbecues or smokers, according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. Let’s say all 92.5 million of them decide to grill on Saturday. A 2013 study by HPBA found that 61 percent of users opted for gas grills, 42 percent for charcoal, and 10 percent for electric (some respondents had multiple grills).
The math is as follows:
(56.425M gas grills*5.6 pounds of CO2) + (38.85M charcoal grills*11 pounds CO2) + (9.25M electric grills*15 pounds CO2 ) = 882 million pounds of CO2
To help you better understand how much that is, “that’s roughly as many emissions as burning 2145 railcars of coal, or running one coal-fired power plant for a month.” Even at only a fraction of the possible emissions calculated, that’s A LOT of emissions for such seemingly simple practices (cooking food), significantly compounded given the amount of resources that go into the resource-indulgent-type of foods that are usually grilled in excess: beef, chicken and pork.
Original article & image source: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/07/your-grills-smoky-truth