Comment Archives: stories: Eat + Drink: Last 30 Days

Re: “A September to Remember

Yes, Chad, the produce is from Shakefork Community Farm in Carlotta.

Posted by Simona Carini on 07/31/2017 at 5:07 PM

Re: “Smoked Monkeyface

Actually, Stoner, you are wrong. Far more pollution, especially in Humboldt, comes from wood burning than from cars or industry. According to the California Air Resources Board, electric generation is responsible for .10 tons/day of fine particle pollution in the county. The vast majority of that comes from biomass -- .09 tons/day -- because wood burning in any form is hugely polluting. The exhaust emissions from all of the vehicles on the road combined in the county -- semi trucks, buses, passenger cars, diesels, etc -- emit, all together, .14 tons/day of fine particle pollution in Humboldt County. Residential wood burning, however, is responsible for approximately one whole ton/day of fine particle pollution in the county. This doesn't include backyard burns -- just wood stoves and fireplaces.

Wood burning is hugely polluting, and many studies have shown that the pollution from residential wood burning is responsible for a range of chronic illnesses and a higher risk of premature death, especially from cardiovascular and pulmonary causes. It's not a coincidence that our county's lung health and cardiovascular death rates are dismal. The particles from wood burning are in the smallest size range -- small enough to pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where they carry toxins throughout the body and raise inflammation levels. This is a large and growing research field -- fine particle pollution kills, especially fine particle pollution from wood burning.

Also, the closer you are to a source of pollution, the more of it you inhale. If someone is burning wood or using a smoker right next to your house, you will breathe in way more of that than you would from something some cars are putting out further away.

Wood smoke is secondhand smoke -- it has most of the same toxic chemicals as tobacco smoke, and is just as unhealthy (actually, it's worse -- wood smoke particulates have been found in toxicology studies to be as much as 30 times more carcinogenic than those from tobacco, and more mutagenic than those from diesel).

Attitudes haven't caught up with the science yet, but they will. The peer-reviewed research on this is too vast and comprehensive to be ignored much longer, even by people who think their smoked ribs are more important than a sick or elderly neighbor next door.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chip on 07/24/2017 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Smoked Monkeyface

Curious Chip posted:
""It's depressing to read an article glorifying cooking over a driftwood fire and backyard smoking. All wood smoke is polluting and toxic, but driftwood fires are particularly problematic. Burning driftwood creates dioxins, which are some of the most toxic chemicals you can release into the environment. They bioaccumulate and are potent carcinogenic endocrine disrupters.

Backyard smokers are awful, especially for neighbors who have lung, heart or other health conditions. Nobody who cares for the people living near them should set up a smoker in their yard. Even if you only smoke food in your backyard once in a while, it can still make some neighbors very ill.

Besides, smoking foods makes them more carcinogenic. In the words of Dr H. Garber of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment:

"the growing epicurial fad of smoking food represents a huge setback for public health, and a personal choice that is one of the most unhealthy of culinary endeavors. Wood smoke is probably the most toxic type of pollution the average person ever inhales. Burning 10 pounds of wood for one hour releases as many toxic chemicals as 6,000 packs of cigarettes. Wood smoke creates free radicals that are active 40 times longer than those found in secondhand cigarette smoke and 12 times more prone to cause cancer. Wood smoke easily penetrates the indoor air of homes nearby and, with no indoor storm to blow it out, can linger there long after the smoked ribs have disappeared.

If an expensive restaurant advertised that they let their ribs sit on top of 6,000 smoldering packs of Marlboros for hours on end, would you be standing in line to get in? How about if they bragged that their meat had been saturated with diesel truck exhaust until mouth watering, tender and juicy? The toxic chemicals in wood smoke are as harmful if ingested, as if they are inhaled, causing chromosomal damage, immune system suppression, and multiple types of cancer, i.e. pancreatic, colorectal and prostate." (Op-ed: Governor should burn bill that puts special interests ahead of public health, Salt Lake Tribune, March 7, 2017)""

Chip, I'm glad I'm not your neighbor. You would not have these issues if you were of an earlier generation. Most pollutants come from automobiles and power generators so unless you give up cars and electricity you are a hippocrit. Also you can find a study or statistic to prove just about anything so take your goody two shoes pie in the sky holier than thou attitude and shove them where the sun don't shine.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Hugh Stoner on 07/24/2017 at 12:56 PM

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