When the warmer months arrive in North America, you can usually smell the wonderful odors of people enjoying the weather and the outdoors with their barbecues and cooking their foods outdoors. For many of us, there is nothing much better than grilling hamburgers, steaks, chicken and other meats on the barbecue whether it be charcoal or propane fuelled.
However, like the cooking of meats using any method, there is the danger of creating carcinogenic compounds on the surface of meats during the cooking process. These compounds are called heterocyclic amines or HCAs for short and are linked to stomach cancer. HCAs are formed when meats including beef, chicken, lamb, and fish are cooked at high temperatures including in the oven, when being fried, or over open flames including our beloved barbecues.
Recent research has shown, however, that a Greek oregano based rub applied to the surface of meats before cooking can greatly reduce the number of HCAs that are formed during the cooking process. A study done at the University of Arizona and headed up by Sadhana Ravishankar showed that the compound carvacrol, which is found in high quality Greek oregano, prevented the formation of HCAs on meat while cooking, by up to an amazing 78%! In addition, the same compound also had another advantage that it inactivated e. coli bacteria on the surface of the meats.
Of course, for those of us that have regularly been using a Greek oregano based rub on our meats all along, the third advantage is the amazing flavour that is imparted to the cooked meats with the application of Greek oregano! This is a “safety” practice that we can live with easily because the result is a taste that is “Oh so good!”
Not All Oreganos Are Equal – You Need Pure Greek Oregano
Will rubbing your meat with your supermarket oregano herb reduce HCAs while adding a wonderful taste to your barbecued meats? It might – but most likely to a much lesser degree than 100% pure Greek oregano. There are several reasons for this:
- We already know that much of the oregano found on North American, European, and Australian store shelves is adulterated with dried sumach and olive leaf. This obviously reduces the amount of pure oregano that you are using, and substantially reduces both the flavour you can experience with pure Greek oregano as well as the carvacrol content.
- Many oreganos that are sold in North America are actually “common marjoram” or a sub-species of oregano that has poor levels of carvacrol and other health-boosting compounds. It has been scientifically accepted for many years that in order to have a high-quality oregano, you really need pure Greek oregano. Studies have shown that the carvacrol content in Greek oregano grown in Greece is substantially increased, likely due to the climatic conditions including a hot dry growing season combined with a limestone based soil.
Barbecue That Meat With KirIan Greek Oregano – Pure And High Quality
We spent many days and drove many kilometers throughout Greece sampling oregano from dozens of Greek oregano producers before settling on the Greek oregano we wanted to bring to North America. Even in Greece, there can be differences in quality and content of healthy compounds including carvacrol. Carvacrol is the secret ingredient that gives oregano it’s classic bold scent and flavour, and you’ll know as soon as you open the package that you have a quality of oregano that you’ve probably never experienced before if all you’ve purchased is the stuff found in grocery stores and supermarkets.
We know you will love KirIan Greek oregano – not just for the health benefits but for the amazing taste it will impart to whatever you are cooking or preparing – whether it be cooked or not. Enjoy it on meats, in salads, or one of our favourites, some feta drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with KirIan Greek oregano!
Those that know our Greek oregano love our economical 60 Gram package – but the 20 Gram package is a great way to discover the bold taste and aroma that can be yours, as well as enjoying the health benefits. Order today, and we’ll have it in the mail to you by the end of the first business day. Next weekend, you could be enjoying your barbecue with the health and taste benefits of pure Greek oregano!