Letters to the Editor

Grab the veggie burgers and soy dogs for your next barbecue

Once upon a time, summer cookouts were carefree.

Now, not so much.

As the Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Hotline affirms, E. coli and salmonella strains hiding in hot dogs and hamburgers often end up on our picnic plates. Grilling them longer and hotter is advised to kill the bacteria. But unfortunately, that creates cancer-causing compounds. Of course, food poisoning is no fun, but neither is chemotherapy.

So, what to serve to satisfy that summer barbecue craving?

How about those veggie burgers and soy dogs we’ve been seeing at the supermarket but avoiding. Turns out they’re delicious and there’s an amazing assortment of them. Also turns out these plant-based products don’t contain cholesterol, saturated fats or antibiotics that are so unhealthy in the first place — let alone those nasty pathogens and cancer-causing compounds in undercooked or overcooked animal body parts.

The summer season offers a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and share veggie burgers and soy dogs with each other.

Seamus McNabb, San Luis Obispo