Everyone is talking about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest statement that processed meat causes cancer. To look at the headlines, it sure sounds scary. Up to this point, I honestly haven’t even looked at the report or any news about it. My immediate response to the whole thing has been. “Meh”
I’ve written before about my experience with groups saying things are bad for us. It took many years, but eventually another study comes out saying that the previous study was wrong, or clarifying the study with new information that makes the previous conclusion completely wrong.
What finally prompted me to write something about the new WHO press release was that my mentor, Walter Jeffries, had the following little blurb on his latest post.
Daily Spark: If you are concerned about processed meats containing nitrates and nitrites then best to avoid spinach and celery as they contain far higher levels of the exact same chemicals. Most of all, don’t be a lab rat.
Ok, so it’s nitrates and nitrites that are the issue. That isn’t uncommon for my customers to be concerned about as we get this question often. The only thing we sell that would have nitrites or nitrates is our bacon. Fortunately we’ve worked with our processor to get USDA approval for a non-cured bacon so the bacon I eat out of our sales freezer for breakfast every day isn’t an issue. If you are concerned, then your safe with what you’ve been buying from me.
But the WHO also said that meat might cause cancer all by itself. Oh good Lord! What kind of meat? Raised how? With what added? I can only assume we are talking conventionally raised animals on a corn based diet. If naturally raised meat causes cancer I’d be absolutely floored. Folks, we as a species have lived for a REALLY LONG time eating meat. Well beyond recorded history. If meat causes cancer, it’s because we did something to the meat, not because meat is bad. However groups like the WHO don’t make those distinctions. Just like they don’t make a lot of important distinctions in their research and press releases. For a good counterpoint to this latest WHO/media scare of what is going to kill you, read this article here.