Why Processed Meat isn’t Really a Giant Cancer Boogeyman

Last week, the World Health Organization set out to ruin bacon, sausage and other processed meats forever by linking them to cancer. It was a truly dark day for meat lovers everywhere.

Of course, lots of foods have been somehow linked to cancer over the years:¬†eggs, orange juice, salmon, and people still enjoy them without developing cancer. But when the W.H.O. said that less that “just 50g of processed meat a day – less than two slices of bacon – increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%” people legitimately freaked out.


Hold on, W.H.O., your scare tactics aren’t going to ruin a good B.L.T. if Jean Mullin, Senior Research Nurse at the Cancer Research Cambridge Institute, has anything to say about it. Basically, the information revealed last week isn’t meant to scare you from ever eating a cold-cut sandwich again, but to incite you to think a little more about WHAT you eat and how OFTEN.

“A diet high in processed red meat isn’t terribly good for you, but having a bacon sandwich or sausage bap once in a while isn’t going to do much harm – a healthy diet is all about moderation,” said Mullin.


“Overall, red and processed meat are linked to fewer cases of cancer in the UK than lifestyle factors like smoking. And by far the biggest risk to your health is smoking, which causes over a quarter of cancer deaths in the UK and nearly one in five cancer cases,” added Mullin.

Dr. Christopher Wild, director of Cancer Research Cambridge Institute, added that the fact that red and processed meat have a link to cancer isn’t news and that studies have supported that notion for decades. Christopher Wild further pointing out that it’s important to remember that red meat does have nutritional value, you just have to limit your intake of it.

Then of course you have people like Susannah Mushatt Jones, the oldest person in the world who at the young age of 116 credits her longevity to a daily breakfast of eggs, grits, and four strips of bacon. What do you have to say about that, World Health Organization?

Bacon > W.H.O.


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