Stop the world, I want to get off.
Research conducted by the University of Colorado has revealed that cooking a Sunday roast produces more pollution than is found in even the most polluted cities on the planet.
Eating gravy-covered meat and veg isn’t the problem, the problem actually lies in the preparation of the meal. Scientists say that using gas cookers and roasting food releases air particles that make the air in your house pretty filthy. The pollution levels can get so high that, for the short while that you’re cooking, household air is actually dirtier than Delhi, more unsanitary than London’s streets, and almost as bad as the air quality on the tube.
The Guardian reports that the gas flames, oils and fats used to cook, as well as grime in the oven, all produce fine soot and harmful PM2.5 particulates. The PM2.5 particles are so tiny that they can easily be inhaled deep into the lungs, which can lead to all sorts of health problems.
The study involved cooking a series of different meals in a three-bedroom house fitted with indoor and outdoor pollution monitors. They found, after cooking a roast dinner, that PM2.5 levels rose to shocking 200 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3). This is way above the central London average of about 15 (μg/m3). Even making toast took levels up to 30 (μg/m3).
So, there’s an important lesson to be learned here: open your windows as you roast your tatties.
Also published on Medium.