In the United States, Memorial Day is this Monday, May 30. First observed a few years after the Civil War, in honor of Civil War veterans, the day only became a remembrance of all those who have died in American wars after World War I. In 1971, after a century as an unofficial holiday, Congress designated Memorial Day a national holiday. Besides memorializing fallen soldiers, Memorial Day also functions as an unofficial start to summer in the United States, with many families and organizations holding Memorial Day barbecues. With hot dogs and hamburgers as the stereotypical foodstuffs, and all sorts of fatty sides, though, barbecues are hardly considered a paradigm of healthy cuisine.
Don’t despair, though, health nuts, because the University of Western Ontario is galloping to your rescue. Last March, the university announced that many barbecue sauces have heretofore unknown health benefits. The study looked at seven different sauces, all available at local stores, and found “very good quantities of antioxidants” in all seven, with the jerk sauce and the ginger teriyaki sauce having the highest level of antioxidants. If you’re looking to maximize the antioxidants, the study found that marinating the meat in sauce before cooking reduced antioxidant levels by 45-70 percent; the authors suggest adding the sauce after cooking, or even on the side, when possible. Either way, use your BBQ sauce of choice for some barbecued chicken, and your belt will thank you.