Friday, May 20, 2011

Marinades: Why they’re Worth It ??

            Marinades serve two different functions: as a tenderizer and flavor enhancer. Take a look at how you can make marinades work for you before getting to the recipes.

Marinade tenderizing science

The cooking process itself turns connective tissues into gelatin to varying degrees. Depending on the cut and type of meat, it may need a little assistance to bring it to a palatable range of tenderness. Certain plant and fungi enzymes and acids can break down muscle and connective proteins in meats.
Marinating meats help lower unhealthy cholesterol compounds that form during cooking. Marinade inhibited the formation of cholesterol oxidation products, which can cause cell damage and increase the risk of heart disease.

Marinate for flavor

Acid-based marinades both tenderize and flavor many different types of foods, not just meats and seafood. Acids such as citrus juices, pineapple, yogurt, buttermilk, and wine tenderize by denaturing or unwinding protein strings. They also lend flavor to the end product.
Dry marinades or rubs are used to enhance flavor as opposed to tenderize, although some may have some beneficial tenderizing side effects. This type is usually a mixture of herbs and spices, sometimes mixed with oil, which is rubbed into the meat, poultry and seafood. Those recipes using dry rubs usually specify a grill, pan-fry or broil cooking method.
      The Health Risks of uncooked Meat

There have been massive public health agendas aimed at the importance of thoroughly cooking your meat to prevent food poisoning. While this may indeed be important if your meat comes from unhealthy, diseased animals (which is likely the case if you buy it at a supermarket), if you get meat from a more reputable source, such as a small organic farm, the risks of food poisoning from undercooked meat diminish significantly.

In fact, eating meat from a safe source very lightly and properly cooked is the healthiest way to eat it. This is true for two reasons.

1. Meat products from animals raised outside in the sun are rich in biophotons, which contain bio-information that controls complex vital processes in your body. The biophotons have the power to elevate your physical body to a higher oscillation or order, and this is manifested as a feeling of vitality and well-being. Cooking your food destroys these important biophotons.

2. Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, broiling, etc., toxic, health-harming chemicals are created, including:

 These form when food is cooked at high temperatures, and they’re linked to cancer. In terms of HA (Heterocyclic Amines), the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections.

 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.

 Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures (including when it is pasteurized or sterilized), it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. When you eat the food, it transfers the AGEs into your body. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

It is my belief that most of the studies showing red meats are unhealthy got their results because the common way most people consume animal protein is COOKED, or worse yet grilled, creating all the toxic substances discussed above. For instance:
Guidelines for Cooking Meat

Meat is a healthy addition to most people’s diets, provided you get it from a high-quality source, and eat the varieties and amounts that are best for your nutritional type. Healthy meat should be organic and grass-fed, and should not contain preservatives like nitrates or any other additives.
As I said earlier, ideally you should eat your meat very lightly and properly cooked.

1. You can reduce the amount of PAHs when you grill by not cooking fatty meats, and by trimming the fat off before you grill.

2. When grilling, cook your food with indirect heat, such as on a rack rather than directly on the coals. Cooking on a cedar plank is also helpful.

3. Always avoid charring your meat (and don't eat the black or brown parts).

4. Cook meat partially before putting it on the grill, or cook smaller pieces of meat, which take less time to cook, and therefore give HCAs less time to form.

5. You can reduce the amount of AGEs in your food by using an acidic marinade that contains lemon juice or vinegar.

6. Marinating meats before grilling or broiling them can reduce HCAs (according to some experts by 90 percent or more). However, only use natural ingredients for marinades, and keep the coating thin to avoid charring.

8. Flip your burgers often, as this will help cut down on HCAs.

9. Add blueberries or cherries to your burgers, as they can also help prevent the formation of HCAs.

10. Avoid grilling hot dogs, bratwurst and other processed meats, as these seem to be among the worst offenders.

11. Only grill high-quality, organic and grass-fed meats.

Ref: Home cooking, marinade science.

1 comment:

  1. Good information but one must be cautious regarding the process of marination .According to
    American Institute for Cancer Research the meat like red meat,fish,chicken may contain pathogenic microbes.While marination the marinade may harbor these microbes and may trigger hazardous outcomes .So the left over marinades must not be used and a fresh preparation with fresh materials must be used for the new batch.