About three quarters of French people barbecue on sunny days. This popular success is even growing because we see an increase in sales of barbecue for three years. Forgotten, the peak of pollution in 2018 which had led the prefecture of Isère to ban outdoor grills? Since then, fire risks have supplanted the reason for pollution to ban this practice from time to time. And, even if it is authorized, in the summer, all precautions must be taken, such as providing a safety zone and a garden hose nearby. It remains that a “classic” barbecue, with charcoal and beef in the spotlight, emits a lot of greenhouse gases. Faced with the urgency of reducing our emissions and fighting against deforestation, it is up to everyone to be creative. Here are some tips for safe, friendly and ecological grilling.
Sources: Ademe 2019, GfK, Earthworm Foundation
Use eco-friendly firelighters
To ignite the flame, banish liquid firelighters. Not only do they increase the risk of fire, but they also release gases that are toxic to the air and food, just like gels and other cubes. The solutions?
- Firelighters made from recycled wood transformed into sawdust then impregnated with wax or vegetable oil.
- Kindling, pine cones or very dry vine shoots.
Limit red meat in your barbecue
Barbecue does not necessarily rhyme with red meat, which is by far the most harmful to the climate. If you are a meat eater:
- Prefer pork or chicken, whose breeding emits less greenhouse gases (see opposite).
- Don’t forget the vegetables: they too are delicious when cooked on the barbecue. For example, skewers of peppers, white onions, cherry tomatoes and courgettes marinated in olive oil and Provencal herbs.
Avoid the charcoal barbecue
A gas griddle emits 500 times fewer fine particles than a charcoal barbecue! This equipment also makes it possible to avoid deforestation in charcoal exporting countries such as Nigeria. France imports two-thirds of its consumption and only 43% of packaging mentions the source (2019 figure). If you already have a charcoal barbecue, you can opt for fuels made from corn cobs, coconut shells or recycled hazelnut shells and olive pitsas offered by the Green BBQ brand.
What is the impact of meat on the climate?
Emissions from greenhouse gas (in kg of CO2) for 100 g of protein.
Beef : 49.89kg.
Lamb and mutton : 19.85kg.
Pork : 7.61kg.
Chicken : 5.7kg.
Two main factors explain the contribution of livestock to climate change: the production of their food which often requires fertilizers on large surfaces, and the burps of ruminants (cattle, goats, etc.), which emit methane. This gas warms the climate 25 times faster than carbon dioxide (CO2). This explains why pork and chicken in particular are to be preferred from a climate point of view.