Represented on this page is the equivalent of the pollution emitted from a truck in about 2,000 miles of travel. Yum. (Photo by Tamorlan.)

Researchers at University of California, Riverside have discovered that greasy, smoky commercial charbroilers found in burger restaurants create a lot of air pollution. More, in fact, than diesel trucks. From a pollution perspective, you’re better off having fresh food shipped in from 143 miles away than grabbing a burger at the burger shack down the block.

It’s appropriate if sad that this study was done in Riverside, Calif., a place so nasty with smog that even if there were an actual flowing river there, instead of the remains of the remains of one, you’d never be able to see it. If anyone knows anything about fine particulates, it’s folks out here. And they say burgers are the real terrorists.

A customer at a burger joint near Riverside told CBS News that the comparison wasn’t fair: “The difference is we are getting some type of benefit from [the burger].” I think someone needs to explain to her that those trucks she sees aren’t just driving around in circles as part of some sort of truck circus. They’re actually filled with goods that need to be moved from place to place for our society to function. Sometimes, trucks even carry burgers, which are later turned into particulate matter. So it seems like we need those trucks a little more than you need to eat something not cooked on a commercial charbroiler.

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