Where do I start? Most often, hamburgers are made from less marketable cuts of meat which are high in fat. The 1993 E coli 0157:H7 bacteria scare, which involved the deaths of children due to undercooked hamburger, points to another reason to stay away from this food. When meat is taken from the dead animal carcass, it is often contaminated by excrement which contains the deadly E coli 0157:H7 strain of bacteria. In most cuts, the contamination remains on the top of the meat and is killed in the cooking process. (No matter how raw you want your steak, the surface is going to be well-cooked.) In hamburger, however, the contamination can be spread throughout the meat and may hide in the very center. If the patty isn’t thoroughly cooked to precision temperature levels of at least 160 to 170 degrees, there is a chance that the cooked hamburger will harbor this E coli bacteria. Ingesting the bacteria can cause you or your child to get very sick or even die.
Furthermore, by barbecuing the meat, you’re adding carcinogens which can lead to the development of cancer.
Be gentle as you are making dietary improvements for your family. Some families do well with a drastic and complete change and some require a more gradual approach that leads them to a very occasional indulgence of a favorite food. Find what works for your family as you walk this path to improving your health by improving your foods.