Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Eco-Friendly Cookouts?

My family loves summer barbecues, but I've resisted this year because all the stuff needed - the throwaway paper plates and napkins, plastic knives and forks, etc. - is bad for the environment, and the food - hot dogs and hamburgers - is unhealthy. Any thoughts on this issue?

Answer (Published 9/10/2010)

Barbecues are a summer ritual, and it would be a shame to forego something your family enjoys so much when, with a little thought - and maybe a little more money than you might have spent in the past - you can have your barbecues without damaging the environment or eating unhealthy foods. For example, you could avoid the typical fare by grilling fish and vegetables, as I do, or consider tofu weiners and veggie burgers.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Healthy Eating - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Nutrition - Want to change your diet? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide is your anti-inflammatory diet headquarters. Start your free trial and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, hundreds of recipes, eating guides, and more.

Or, you could make burgers from grass-fed beef or bison. Both are much better for you because they have more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed cattle. I don’t eat meat, but if you do, you're much better off getting it from grass-fed cattle and bison than from cows raised on factory farms and fed grain (not to mention hormones and antibiotics). Look for "grass-fed and grass-finished" beef. Many cattle are fed grass at the beginning of their lives, but given feedlot grain for fattening before slaughter. Ideally, you want one that has eaten grass for its entire life.

Your barbeque can also be "greener" if you invest in some of the more environmentally friendly items now available for picnics and cook-outs such as recycled paper napkins and bamboo forks instead of plastic ones. A recent Wall Street Journal article on this subject suggests buying an inexpensive set of reusable metal cutlery instead of using throwaway plastic. The same article also recommends additive-free charcoal and recycled aluminum foil, both now available. Give an eco-friendly, healthy food cookout a try!

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here