Processed meat has received a lot of negative attention this week. Unless you’ve been away from your computer all week, you’ve probably seen that WHO (World Health Organization) has classified processed meat at a Group 1 carcinogenic. They also gave red meat a Group 2A classification.
So what does this mean? It means that WHO has found sufficient evidence to show processed meat can produce cancer, and there is a chance red meat may also lead to cancer.
WHO defines processed meat as and “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation.”
Take a look at this section of the WHO’s question and answer release about their latest health advisory:
The consumption of processed meat was associated with small increases in the risk of cancer in the studies reviewed. In those studies, the risk generally increased with the amount of meat consumed. An analysis of data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18%.
The cancer risk related to the consumption of red meat is more difficult to estimate because the evidence that red meat causes cancer is not as strong. However, if the association of red meat and colorectal cancer were proven to be causal, data from the same studies suggest that the risk of colorectal cancer could increase by 17% for every 100 gram portion of red meat eaten daily.
We’re not stressing about these findings.
We’re not denying that much of the meat on the market today probably has several negative health risks. However, we know that good, natural meat is very different from commercial farm meat, filled with preservatives and colouring.
Commercially processed meat often contains antioxidants, growth hormones, and many other chemicals. All of these are going to take an effect on our well-being. They affect our gut, cause inflammation, and yes can even lead to cancer.
But what about meat in its purest form? What about the meat that comes from animals who were fed all natural, GMO and chemical free food? What about the meat that isn’t filled with additives, colour, flavour, and preservatives?
The article even says, “Eating meat has known health benefits.” Many important nutrients are only found in animal products. Meat provides us with the nutrients our body needs to thrive.
Hopefully WHO will take this study a step further and take an in depth look at which additives in meat are increasing the risk of cancer. We’re hoping we’ll eventually see a reclassification,
Hopefully WHO’s carcinogenetic classification gets people questioning what they’re eating. We’re not saying people should stop eating bacon, but you might want to think about where you’re getting your meat, and what is in it.