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cancer causing chemicals
bladder cancer
cooking meat
chicken pork
cooking methods
eating meat
Rare Vs Well-done Meats
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The healthy way to cook, prepare and enjoy your meat.

Many people the world over love eating meat including myself. We will look at some of the pros and cons of eating rare or less cooked meat as opposed to consuming well done meat and exposing some meat eating myths. I will also briefly discuss the various cooking methods of meat.

Steak is a very popular meat where many people prefer consuming a rare steak rather than one which is well done. I would put myself in the former category as I enjoy my steak medium rare which seals the juices within the meat. But is eating rarer steak safe? Can it give me food poisoning as some people claim?

A study carried out at the University of Nottingham in 2004 showed that provided the steak is prepared and cooked with clean and sterile equipment, then the risk of food poisoning is virtually non existent. Many people are put off eating a rarer steak because of the blood and juices which may remain. However a good quality steak, such as sirloin, fillet and ribeye should not contain lots of blood.

It’s true that meats such as chicken, pork and poultry in general (white meats) would need to be cooked through properly and one should not consume undercooked poultry due to the risk of salmonella food poisoning. For example if you are roasting a chicken, then you should make sure that the juices are clear and that the chicken is piping hot throughout.

More recently, there have been some studies showing that eating well done, burnt or charred meat actually increases your risk of various cancers including those of the colon and bladder. Researchers found that when meat is heavily cooked, it forms cancer causing chemicals to develop within the meat. In fact a study found that people consuming well done meat actually double their chances of developing bladder cancer than those people who eat lesser cooked meat.

For example cooking meat on a barbeque usually results in charred or well done meat which may contribute to the cancer causing effects discussed above. However if you ensure the use of quality, preferably organic meat in your barbeque, cook at a lower temperature and avoid over cooking or blackening the meat, then you can significantly reduce the formation of those cancer causing chemicals and safely enjoy your barbequed meat.

In the media you may often read about reports stating that eating red meat is bad for you and can also lead to cancer. However this is a misunderstood myth in many respects. Eating processed red meats such as salami, hot dogs, burgers and sausages usually contain a chemical preservative known as sodium nitrite. It is this chemical which has been shown to be the cancer causing agent within the body.

People, like myself, who consume fresh and preferably organic grass fed meats are spared the use of GMO’s and chemicals within the meat and many studies show that eating meat from natural sources is in fact healthy. Meat contains many important vitamins and minerals and provides a good source of protein. People who consume good quality organic fresh meat usually enjoy better health than those people regularly eating processed and factory farmed meats.

There are many ways in which to cook and prepare meat. Barbequing, as mentioned above is a popular option. Frying and grilling meat, such as steaks, is my most preferred way of eating meat. You can also stew or braize meat, for example when preparing a casserole. This usually requires a longer cooking time but the meat is wonderfully tender and I enjoy a good and hearty casserole especially in the winter season.

There are different types of meat and many ways in which to cook and prepare meat. If you ensure that your meat is a quality product, preferably organic and grass fed and you cook it in the right way, then personally, I can think of nothing more tastier with the many delicious and varied meat dishes on offer which one can enjoy.  

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