Bacon fans from around the world held a moment of silence this morning as they found out that bacon is just as big of a cancer threat as smoking cigarettes.
According the the World Health Organization (WHO), the study was conducted in ten nations, ensuring that it was not limited to one way that bacon is processed. Metro shared the report that is officially releasing on Monday, giving grave news to bacon lovers across the world.
The study was not limited to only bacon, but any processed meats that are popularly consumed by people across the world. Other processed meats that have been considered to be as bad as smoking cigarettes are hamburgers and sausage. This is bad news for summer barbecues.
The study claims that the meat itself is not dangerous to consume, when consumed fresh and untainted. However, the process of smoking, curing, salting, or adding other chemical preservatives to the meat was found to raise the risk of eating the processed foods. The common form of cancer that was found to develop was bowel cancer.
Depending on how the study continues, it is possible that processed meats could be required to carry labels, warning of the risks of eating the meats, including the types of cancer that could develop. The warnings would be similar to labels found on packs of cigarettes. The Daily Mail shared that processed meat is carcinogenic to humans and should be avoided if it cannot be consumed in small quantities.
“[P]rocessed meat is ‘carcinogenic to humans’, the highest of five possible rankings, shared with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.”
In perspective, red meat is considered to be only one level below the health standards of processed meats.
During the study, it was found that processed meats were responsible for the deaths of at least 30 known individuals. It is unknown how many may have fallen victim prior to the study. In the U.K. alone, it is estimated that by cutting down to only 20g of processed meats a day, including bacon, nearly 2o,000 deaths a year could be prevented. That is only in the U.K. — worldwide figures could go through the roof.
Although the threat of eating bacon and other processed meats is real, the key to staying healthy is to eat the meats in small quantities and not gorge yourself, even if they taste so good.
Despite the backing from the World Health Organization, The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) claims the study is mostly hogwash.
“[B]oth common sense and dozens of studies showing no correlation between meat and cancer.”
Barry Carpenter, the president of NAMI, shared that the International Agency for Research (IARC) has studied red and processed meats for some time, claiming that there are some chemical threats within each.
“Red and processed meat are among 940 substances reviewed by International Agency for Research (IARC) on found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard’…”
Although IARC has found dangers in processed and red meats, Carpenter revealed other toxic substances that humans interact with every day, all of which are nearly unavoidable.
“IARC says you can enjoy your yoga class, but don’t breathe air (Class I carcinogen), sit near a sun-filled window (Class I), drink wine or coffee (Class I and Class 2A,), eat grilled food (Class 2A), or apply aloe vera (Class 2B).”
The National Institute of Cancer Research shared that the risk of death from processed food-related bowel cancer is low, yet does recommend avoiding processed meat altogether, due to the unhealthy impact on an individual’s overall well-being.
What are your thoughts? Will you still eat bacon despite the risk?
[Image via Farbled / Shutterstock]