|This Forest Covers 513,175 acres (801.8 square miles) and includes the Allegheny Reservoir Natural Habitat.|
It is likely when you have your heart set on some wood-fired cooked foods that you give little attention to the wood that will be required for that cooking event. You may have seen smoking wood chips or chunks available in your local box store and decided that you can always pick those up last minute, to be assured your plans aren’t foiled. Or, you simply plan to go with charcoal without considering that this product is made from wood as well.
STOP and ponder this for a moment – Do you realize where exactly those smoking wood products come from?
Unless you are in a direct county of involvement, you likely haven not realized the invasions that are occurring readily to our forests, woodlots, and home landscapes.
To date, here are some of the diseases and infestations we are battling in the United States:
- Emerald Ash Borer
- Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
- Whitebark Pine Beatle
- Beech Bark Disease
- Dutch Elm Disease
- Butternut Canker
- Asian Longhorn Beetle
- Dogwood Anthracnose
- Gypsy Moth
- Balsam Woolly Adelgid
- Laurel Wilt disease
- Sirex Wood Wasp
- Sudden Oak Death
- Polyphagous & Kuroshio Shot Hole Borer affecting sycamores, willows, oaks, maples (including Boxelder), and commercial avocado trees.
So why if you are a lover of BBQ smoking chips or BBQ smoker wood chunks (smoking using smoker woodchunks or smoker woodchips) or other wood fired foods, should issues with bugs be of concern? Because cooking by fire is the oldest known cooking method for human kind. Right now, you may simply enjoy 3 benefits of trees: for shade, for beauty (viewing), and for flavor to foods cooked on your grill/smoker.
But there are many other benefits:
- Decrease atmospheric carbon by capturing and storing CO2
- Improve air quality by filtering pollutants and releasing oxygen
- Reduce storm water runoff and pollutants entering local water bodies
- Increase property values by 3-7%
As of December 2016, NYS DEC has detected increased prevalence of Oak Wilt in the state which has no known treatment to contain and kill this fungus. Oak is one of the most popular hardwoods for wood-fired cooking methods.
Please, take the time to source wood for cooking from reputable sources and follow the laws in place in your specific state to ensure we can limit the spread of these pests and diseases, and continue to enjoy the oldest method of cooking: by fire!
SmokinLicious® Premier Manufacturer of Cooking Grilling and Smoking Wood Products for the Culinary Industry