Why cook over a campfire?

Why cook over a campfire?

Isn’t cooking over a stove easier? Yeah, and so is sleeping on a bed inside a home. But “easy” isn’t a reason that anyone ever went camping. There are benefits to camping that can’t be enjoyed by staying indoors, and the same goes with campfire cooking. Campfires are good for a lot of reasons, but here are a few lesser known reasons to ditch the stove and use a campfire for cooking.

  1. Variety of flavors – The flavor that a campfire can infuse into foods make for an almost limitless number of combinations to enjoy. It can take a fairly plain meal and add a whole new dimension, or take an already outstanding snack and send it to the moon. For example, try roasting a twinkie or rice krispie treat the next time there’s an available campfire. Or season a plain cut of meat and then cook it over an open fire. The results speak for themselves.
  2. Dopamine – It’s why you can’t stop staring at the fire. Think about life before the modern age and the benefits of fire to a nomadic people. Fire represented food, safety, community, and ultimately, survival. All fantastic things. So of course research has shown that staring at a campfire significantly increases or spikes levels of dopamine, the good vibes hormone.

Just keeping score at this point, cooking over a campfire benefits: The food is amazing and there’s a dopamine rush.

  1. Carbon Neutral – So now the food is great, there’s a dopamine rush AND campfires are environmentally friendly. Here’s the key: wood stores carbon and that carbon is released into the atmosphere either slowly through decomposition, or rapidly through burning. It combines with oxygen in the atmosphere and creates carbon dioxide which is absorbed by new plants. Those new plants couldn’t develop without it. Granted, there is a rate of absorption where the new plants can’t keep up with carbon dioxide released, so please be responsible with tending campfires. Uncontrolled wild fires can have a devastating impact on the environment. But with a well controlled campfire, food can be prepared in a carbon neutral manner.

Maybe there’s a little more dopamine released by eating delicious food and knowing that it’s done in an environmentally clean manner. It’s probably best to run some more self-conducted studies. Happy camping.

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