Barbecuing the Smarter (Organic) Way

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donate naturally organic foodCan you feel that? Summer is on its way, and with it, many Toronto families are brushing off their barbecues and getting ready to grill. But how healthy are those hamburgers and hot dogs, anyway? And how tasty are the better-for-you alternatives? We all know that organic food is great for you, but no one wants to sacrifice taste. To get tips to make your summer grilling healthy and delicious, we connected with Christine Curtin of

Talking Organic Grilling with Christine Curtin

With barbecue season coming up, what health pitfalls should Toronto moms be aware of?
Using cuts of meat that are high in fat can be problematic. Also, some meat contains fillers and by products. Some of the barbecue sauces and marinades are filled with sugars, sodium and other artificial ingredients that can be harmful to your health.

How can you make your barbecue cuisine better for everyone, without compromising taste?
Choose organic fruits and vegetables to add to your grilled meals. For example, making shish kebabs mixed with your favourite fruits and veggies as well as organic, grain-fed beef is a delicious, healthy option. Use the leanest cuts of beef and pork and trim any visible fat before cooking. When grilling lean meat, use lower-fat marinades with acid ingredients to help break down the tough fibers. Marinades add lots of flavour, too. Choose sauces and marinades that are low in sodium and contain natural, organic ingredients – or, better yet, make your own!

When we’re reading labels and buying hot dogs or hamburgers, what should we be looking for?
Life Choices Hot Dogs and Grandview Farms Homemade Angus burgers are lean, and low in saturated fat. They use only prime cuts of beef with no added hormones, fillers or by-products. The animals are vegetable grain fed and raised without antibiotics. The products are gluten-free, and peanut-free.

Do you have any secrets for the perfect barbecue?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new BBQ recipes using delicious, natural ingredients! Organic fruits and veggies as well as organic, grain fed meat simply tastes better!

What about you? Do you have any tips for healthy and delicious grilling this summer?

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Amber Strocel

Amber Strocel is the Managing Editor of City Mom Now, the parent network of Toronto Mom Now. She is a writer, podcaster, ardent crafter and green mom, who believes strongly in the power of the Internet to connect and empower. You can follow her on her personal blog at

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