I braai. Now and then. My braais are more about family, music & drinking than what’s making the food hot. As age creeps in we tend to favor activities that might just prolong the inevitable. You become aware about things you eat, things you do, things you like and also in some cases how things smell. This triggered me one day as I was preparing a small braai or BBQ, if you will, at home. The day before I grabbed a big black paper bag full of dark stuff that I use to generate heat into the meat. Usually I don’t really think about the type of ‘charcoal’ or ‘briquettes’ I am using, so whatever is closest to my hand, is purchased. By the luck of the draw it was a black bag with real charcoal, all random little pieces which makes it a bit difficult to build a small tower inferno. But nevertheless, they get hot real quick. I must say quicker than briquettes. But I don’t mind as there is usually enough time on hand. In any case It’s going to take a while to damage the whisky bottle to a point that cooking meat on a tower inferno is simply stupid.
As I lit a heap of fire lighters covered with an equal pile of charcoal, the usual rush to close windows was missing. When I use briquettes the closing of windows sounds like fire crackers going off. Not this time. Then it hit me. Normal run of the mill charcoal does not smell as bad as briquettes. With briquettes your lungs tend to ache as random whiffs of smoke blows past you. It’s an acrid smell, similar to a house on fire (and I have experience with a neighbor). Charcoal is just natural charcoal. It’s not really that bad.
What is in briquettes that make them smell so bad. It can only be the additives that are used help them light and burn consistently. Briquettes are made from wood by-products. Charcoal is made from wood and burned in oxygen free environments – no additives added. That is scary enough. If some chipboard is added to the mix you know you will have some resin in your meat and braai-broodjie. This is where I draw the line. I don’t care if Woolworth’s don’t sell food with MSG’s anymore. There must be a shit load of carcinogenic MSG’s in briquettes which are more toxic than the charred meat that we eat.
If something smell bad, your evolutionary brain has over the millions of years gathered enough information that it might not be very good for you. Humans are going through a devolution phase fueled on by intelligent marketing and manufactured consent. Let me explain. We have cats, too many, but they get ‘organic‘ chicken that is cooked (boiled in water). A cat needs more protein than carbs and in tinned food or sachet cat food there is more carbs and crap than protein. That is why so many pets are obese by eating just processed food. Anyway I am drifting. Back to my cat, if the chicken is just a little old, I mean really, a day or two older than what she likes she will not eat it. Leave fresh cooked chicken for a night and not one cat will eat it. It’s not bad, but there must be a smell that is beyond our reach and it alerts them this shit is off. That is evolution protecting them. It’s a survival mechanism and we are losing it. A cat would never use briquettes to prepare a snack. Never.
The urge or craving to be better, to make things and to have more of it, easier, has numbed our basic instincts of survival. It’s not just briquettes. It was a coincidence that I had a mind flip about smelling briquettes. There are many other things that have the same effect. Just stop eating crap for a while. Here is the rule, only eat that which you can identify what it is and where it came from. For instance, bread. Can you see where it came from and what it is made from without someone ever telling you. No. So don’t eat it. A potato is ok, you can mash it. Change it’s form but don’t buy the changed form. Get my drift. I promise you, you will lose weight after three months. Guaranteed. But you will also be healthier. Much healthier. There is another change that will take place. You will start tasting the crap that big corporations add to food in order to take shortcuts in making them taste better. You will even taste it in popular chocolates, soda’s, imported chicken and other meats, tinned food and so much more. As far as I know, fish is the only meat that is extremely difficult to feed antibiotics and other crap.
We are sensitive to unnatural products that are not meant to be eaten or inhaled, the increase in cancer and other diseases (other than your run of the mill flu) must be directly correlated to the incredible concentration in which we absorb additives through eating and inhaling.
So the next time you cook, eat something or are convinced by an add, just think and smell. Is it supposed to burn your lungs even though the ad says that is how we make it.
Organic compounds can also be toxic