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Let’s meet processed meat

Looks good right?! not.

Looks good right?! not.

Natalie White, Health Editor

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Americans LOVE bacon. There are bacon cupcakes, bacon pancakes, bacon pillows… Even bacon perfume. What Americans don’t know is that their favorite food is found to be linked to cause cancer. “Love hurts” definitely applies here.

Processed meats, just like bacon, have been found to be a cause for cancer. What exactly is processed meat? “Meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance [flavor] or improve preservation,” said the World Health Organization (WHO). This can also mean that these meats can contain red meats and/or meat by-products. Even vegetarian options, like tofu or tofurky, can actually have meat in them.

Although you probably think that you don’t eat McDonald’s or bacon that often so you’re not at risk, but “The report outlined that simply eating 50 grams of processed meat each day — the equivalent of two slices of ham — can increase the risk of such cancer by 18%,” according to cnn.com. Red meat does have nutritional value, but is it really worth the risk?

Red meat is made from cows, but they sometimes use expired meat and unethical practices.

Red meat is made from cows, but they sometimes use expired meat and unethical practices.

The World Health Organization is the direct source of this information. Due to this easy communication, the meat industry seems to be firing back. “They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome,” said Betsy Booren, vice president of scientific affairs at the North American Meat Institute, “To improve all aspects of your health, eat a balanced diet, which includes lean meats like beef, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and, please don’t smoke.”

Well, what are we supposed to do now? Continue eating red meat which is on the same carcinogen list as cigarettes or completely drop all meat and live like rabbits? Doctors say it’s easy: Eat more like a Greek. Fill up on vegetables, beans, lean meat, and whole grain cereal options. Lean protein can be chicken, tuna or salmon. If you really, REALLY need to eat meat in order to fill your bacon love affair, make it a special occasion rather than everyday three times a day.

Maybe next time, instead of doubling your chances for cancer by eating that bacon quarter-pounder, you could grab some chicken and veggie sticks instead.

 

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The student news site of Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois
Let’s meet processed meat