Barbequing is something we do a lot in Sweden during the summer, cooking outside is wonderful and a great way of spending time with friends and family! Recently, the interest for cooking outside, regardless of the season and weather, has increased. In order for you to have a conscious and responsible barbeque evening, we have gathered some advice and tips on what you can think about. We have also gathered some information on how to barbecue in a way that is safe for your health. Eating vegetarian is one of the biggest efforts you as an individual can make for our climate and there are countless recipes to find with a simple googling. An advice along the way is also to check out Kung Markatta’s Vegetarian Barbeque School (in Swedish).
Advice for a conscious and responsible barbeque evening
- Buy your grill and your barbecue accessories used, or borrow from the neighbor.
- Electric lighters are preferable if you use electricity that is eco-labeled. Eco-labeled lighter paper with wax is another good alternative.
- The best thing for the environment is to use an electric or charcoal grill. If you have eco-labeled electricity, an electric grill is a good environmental alternative.
- Use FSC-, SIS-labeled and locally produced charcoal or briquettes. FSC is an independent international organization for certification of forest products and if the charcoal is SIS-labeled, the charcoal is not from wood that has been chemically treated.
- Take your garbage home if you barbeque in public places that do not have proper waste sorting.
On the grill
- Grill vegetarian. Meat accounts for the greatest environmental and climate impact of food. Eating less meat is therefore the single smartest environmental choice you can make.
- Choose organic and locally produced vegetables.
- If you are going to grill meat, choose organic natural pasture meat or wild meat. You can read more about meat here.
- Choose wild-caught or farmed fish that is eco-labeled with the symbols KRAV or MSC.
- Use a stainless steel grill instead of making packages of aluminum foil. Grill molds are also marketed under the names grill basket, grill pan and grill halter.
- Grill molds also make it easy to grill vegetables.
- wait until the charcoal has thoroughly burned, ie when the charcoal has turned ash gray. For this to work, you should add all the charcoal at once, and not add new charcoal during grilling. In this way, you get a lower grill temperature that gives rise to less harmful substances while preserving more of the vitamins in the food.
- With ash-gray coal you can avoid smoke and flames. Smoke and flames give rise to carcinogens in food. Smoke is also dangerous to inhale.
- If you wait until the coals have turned ash gray, you will also get a fantastic barbecue result as a reward for your patience!
- Save the leftovers and make a wok the next day – at least as tasty and you will not waste any food.
- Gas grills, because LPG is a fossil petroleum product. They also emit more carbon dioxide than charcoal grills.
- Gas grills also give rise to the highest concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in grilled food, a group of substances that are carcinogenic.
- Disposable grills as they largely consist of aluminum which is extremely resource-intensive to produce and often has paraffin as the ignition base.
- To prepare food in aluminum foil as it can harm your health, especially if the food is salty or sour. In addition, aluminum foil is a disposable product that is incredibly resource-intensive to produce (though easy to recycle!).
- To grill packages consisting of wet newsprints. The production of newsprint is not regulated to ensure that the product is safe for use in connection with food. Studies indicate that contact between ink and food can lead to hazardous substances being transferred to food.
- Ignition fluid as it is made from fossil fuels and is also a risk chemical.
- Disposable items such as paper plates, cutlery and mugs.
Page updated 2021.