Haven’t we always hear and read that traditional cooking methods are best for cooking. They bring more flavours and depth to any dish cooked directly on fire using age-old methods. Even some high-end restaurants stick to wood-fire cooking method to present delicious foods to their guests. But, maybe not everything that is ‘old’ is ‘gold’. A recent study has made a shocking revelation that people who cook with biomass fuels like wood are at a greater risk of lung diseases. How? Advanced imaging with CT shows that people who cook with biomass fuels may breathe in dangerous concentrations of pollutants and bacterial toxins.
Did you know? Approximately 3 billion people around the world still cook with biomass like wood or dried brush. Harmful pollutants from cooking with biomass have been said to cause around 4 million deaths a year from household air pollution related illness. Biomass fuels are a cheaper alternative to modern but expensive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.
The study that was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) reported that public health initiatives have tried to provide support to transition from biomass fuels to cleaner-burning LPG as a fuel source. But many people across the globe refrain from changing and continue using wood and other biomass fuels for everyday cooking. The reasons could be many – ignorance, and more commonly, financial restrictions.
The impact of biomass smoke on lung health cannot be ignored, especially, when the study clearly shows that the ones who cooked with wood biomass were exposed to greater concentrations of pollutants and bacterial endotoxins compared to liquefied petroleum gas users.