Summer is synonymous with grilling—some 60% of Americans, in fact, plan on grilling or barbecuing for Independence Day weekend 2022, Chicago-based Numerator reported recently. Now, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer is looking to offer its customers fresh ideas for their backyard grilling adventures and summer gatherings with friends and family. "As summer gatherings are coming back this year, it's a good time to get creative when preparing to host," said Beth Eggleston, nutrition education specialist at Meijer, in a statement.
More than 4 million pounds of beef, chicken and fresh seafood and 10 million ears of corn will go into consumers' baskets this summer, Meijer estimates—as will new offerings such as fresh-to-the-market varieties of stone fruits.
"There are a multitude of ways to bring freshness to your backyard barbecues while keeping health and nutrition at the forefront,” Eggleston said. Click through for more on Meijer's top grilling tips.
Meijer: Marinate Your Meats
Beth Eggleston, nutrition education specialist at Meijer, is a big fan of using herbs to boost barbecue flavors. Marinating meat with an herb-rich blend before grilling "not only enhances [the meat's] flavor but also makes it healthier," thanks to herbs' heart-healthy, antioxidant-packed nutrition profile, she said. Fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano and garlic are versatile pairings for beef, chicken, pork and fish, Eggleston added.
Michigan-based Meijer also is reminding shoppers that grilling isn't just for meats: Pizzas/flatbreads, fruits and even salad greens—the retailer suggests a head of Romaine—all are fair game, Meijer notes.
When it comes to what goes on the grill, Meijer said choosing locally sourced produce is a good idea because nutrients are highest within a week of being picked. "Thanks to partnering with more than 250 growers across six states, Meijer expects corn, asparagus, and peaches will be among the most popular produce items sourced from local farms over the next few months," the grocery retailer said in a statement. "Supporting local farms and carrying the freshest, most nutritious ingredients is important to us and to our customers," Sarah Jennings, Meijer produce buyer, stated.
Following basic food-safety best practices, such as using a meat thermometer to ensure food is cooked to the proper temperature and storing foods in sealed containers, is a must for ensuring a healthy backyard barbecue experience, Meijer noted. To ensure a more planet-positive cookout, too, consumers can turn to a growing variety of more-sustainable options for everything from cups to cutlery.