From bacon and eggs, and apple-smoked bacon burgers, to maple glazed bacon donuts, Americans are consuming more bacon now than ever. In the past decade, bacon has grown into an industry generating more than $4 billion in annual sales. It has moved from a breakfast meat to a massive food trend, now having it's spotlight in everything from fast food to fine dining.
The Pork Industry couldn't be happier about the trend, but do we as consumers, stand anything to gain from consuming this wildly popular product?
Thanks to the World Health Organization (WHO), the answer is clear. The prominent health agency has chosen to ignore the expected backlash from the meat industries, and just say it how it is: "Processed meat [is] classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer," and they also state that red meat likely does too.
The WHO findings were drafted by a panel of 22 international experts who reviewed decades of research on the link between red meat, processed meats and cancer. The panel reviewed animal experiments, studies of human diet and health, and cell mechanisms that could lead from red meat to cancer. The statement from this International Agency for Research on Cancer (a research group of the WHO) is the first to take the jump beyond the tentative relationship status between meats and cancer, and declare them as a cause.
What qualifies as processed meat? According to the research group, "Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. . . Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces." And red meat includes all beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat.
Read about the press release at the Washington Post here.
And as for tonight's dinner, hop over to our Instagram to get some meat-free recipe ideas!
Keeping it healthy + happy,