Heather Moore

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

If you’re planning to fire up the grill and celebrate summer, you should know that the USDA recently recalled more than 62,000 pounds of meat, including ribs and steak, that may be contaminated with potentially deadly E. coli bacteria. Cooking meat at high temperatures may kill bacteria, but it really isn’t a good solution, since charred meat is known to form harmful carcinogens, called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs.

Studies show that eating lots of well-done meat, including grilled chicken or fried fish, can nearly double one’s risk for bladder cancer, and that people who eat a lot of charred meat have a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Research also suggests that people who eat well-cooked meats may be more likely to develop prostate or breast cancer, as well.

Fortunately you can protect yourself from food poisoning and other life-threatening illnesses by eating vegan foods rather than animal-based ones. Vegetables and vegan meats taste great grilled, and they’re better for you — and your guests — because they’re cholesterol-free and generally low in saturated fat, and they never form harmful HCAs when cooked.

So cook up something kind and healthy this summer: See www.PETA.org for more information and helpful cookout tips.

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