Fast Food Cooking Worse for Air Than All the Trucks on the Road

Here is a great statistic to bite into: Cooking four normal sized hamburgers in a fast food joint emits the same amount of VOC's (volatile organic compounds) as driving a current model car for 1,000 miles. (Engelhard) in Hong Kong, "The 9,000 restaurants in HK also contribute to fine particulates and volatile organic substances. Other components of fumes are oils, fats, aliphatic hydrocarbons, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, aldehydes and elemental carbon." (read study here) In New Jersey, 16,000 restaurants release 2,226 tons of particulates, more than all of the heavy diesel vehicles in the state (1,329 tons, read study here) In the Bay area of California, they will soon require emission control on all chain-driven commercial grills. (report here) So just like your cars, all restaurants in the Bay area will be equipped with catalytic converters to reduce particulates and VOC's, and we should demand it everywhere else. According to manufacturer Engelhard, Chain-driven charbroilers and rapid-cook technology used in many fast food restaurants rely on high temperatures to cook meat quickly, but they also generate large amounts of smoke and odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.""In addition to their impact on air quality, smoke and odors in restaurant kitchens can cause irritation and discomfort for employees," said Stan Mack, Engelhard's commercial manager for stationary-source emission systems. "For these reasons, emission control has become an important part of cooking-process design." ::Gallonletter