Bacon Declared a Carcinogen, World Mourns

A report by the WHO has named bacon and other processed meats as bad for you as cigarettes, alcohol, and asbestos.


Tragedy has struck the world. Reports were filing in late last week rumoring that the World Health Organization (WHO) was planning to publish a paper declaring processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, carcinogens. The rumors are true. The report is in, explaining the dangers of red and processed meats.

They write that for every 1.8-ounce portion of processed meat a person consumes a day, their risk of getting colorectal cancer increases by 18 percent.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the IARC monographs program, said in an interview with The Guardian. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”

This isn't exactly news, though. Health organizations from NHS Choices to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) have been warning the public for years about the potential harm of consuming more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat per week, saying too much can cause bowel cancer. But processed meats are worse; even eaten in small amounts, these substances increase the risk of cancer. Specifically, once again ladies and gentlemen: bowel cancer.

So why, why did it have to be red meat? Well, researchers explain that the compound that gives meat its color, haem, may cause damage to the lining of the bowel. For processed meats, the method by which they are made to taste so good (e.g., by smoking, and adding salt and preservatives) causes cancerous substances to form.

This means no more ham, bacon, salami, pastrami, and hot dogs, and cutting back on the burgers and sausage. Bummer. At least for those who choose to heed WHO's warning.

The report puts bacon and other processed meats in the same category as cigarettes, alcohol, and asbestos. We'll all mourn in our own way. For me, it will be one last bacon-wrapped chocolate... maybe two.

Dan Buettner has traveled the world, and he noticed a trend in the diets of people that keep going past the age of 100.

***

Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo editing by Natalie Shoemaker

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less