Now Playing

Environmental Report: Spare the Air—or the Diner?

The environmental impact of wood-fired ovens.

“Exposure to all particulate matter is a health concern,” says Karen Magliano, assistant division chief of air quality planning and science for the Air Resources Board. Though restaurant smoke is a contributor to air pollution, the ARB doesn’t view it as a major concern.

Indoor exposure, however, is different. Peggy Jenkins, manager of the ARB’s indoor air quality program, says that even a restaurant with a good ventilation system can cause issues. “Workers would be the most impacted, but patrons who are there for an hour or two near the flame-burning activity can have pretty high exposure, too.” In other words, as alluring as the fire is, it might be wise to sit just a bit farther away. That, or inhale your dinner quickly.


Read more: 
Porno for Food Pyros 
Five Ways to Cook With an Inferno  
Equipment: The It Grill
Three Steps to Becoming a Fire Tamer 
Know Your Wood
What to Drink With Your Smoke and Char



Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco

Have feedback? Email us at
Email Rebecca Flint Marx at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Rebecca Flint Marx @EdibleComplex