There’s nothing better than a wood-fired pizza fresh out of the oven; however, those delicious blistery spots may come at the cost of an elevated carbon footprint. That smoke has to go somewhere, right?
A study by the journal Atmospheric Environment conducted in São Paolo, Brazil (heralded by Pizza Magazine as offering some of the finest pizza in the world), revealed the harmful effects of the megacity’s high volume of wood-burning pizza ovens and meat grills. The estimated 8,000 pizza-makers contribute to deforestation through their use of fuel, and burning hundreds of thousands of tons of wood per year causes an increase in the level of secondary organic aerosols, a form of fine-particle air pollution caused by burning organic or man-made materials reacting with sunlight, car emissions and other airborne chemicals.
But before you swear off wood-fired pizza forever (which, admit it, you weren’t going to do, and neither were we), keep in mind that Sao Paolo is just an example — there are far fewer wood-burning pizza ovens in the States. And in Italy, the birthplace of pizza, the town of San Vitaliano served as an example by banning pizza ovens whose chimneys weren’t equipped with particle filters.
By taking small steps now, we can help preserve the environment so we can all eat pizza (love in food form) together forever.