Nothing like a good Scare Headline to start the week. We’ve known forever that ham, hotdogs, bacon and sausage…. representing processed meats….. and regular old meat itself…. are not good for you. Now the rest of the world, via the World Health Organization, has caught up and issued THE WARNING about how your risk of cancer…. all kinds of it…. increase when you eat this stuff. Which I have, in amounts way beyond the Maximum Recommended Daily Adult Requirement (oops, that’s the old Product 19 commercial turned upside down). I should be soooo dead right now! Super dead, if meat eating alone is a major determinant of health.
Fortunately, it is not the sole determinant. Now, the good news! “What we do know is that avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer,” said Robert Pickard, a member of the Meat Advisory Panel and emeritus professor of neurobiology at Cardiff (Wales) University. “The top priorities for cancer prevention remain smoking cessation, maintenance of normal body weight and avoidance of high alcohol intakes.” The UK Guardian quotes Dr Elizabeth Lund, “an independent consultant in nutritional and gastrointestinal health, and a former research leader at the Institute of Food Research, who acknowledges she did some work for the meat industry in 2010 – said red meat was linked to about three extra cases of bowel cancer per 100,000 adults in developed countries. ‘A much bigger risk factor is obesity and lack of exercise,’ she said. ‘Overall, I feel that eating meat once a day combined with plenty of fruit, vegetables and cereal fibre, plus exercise and weight control, will allow for a low risk of colorectal cancer and a more balanced diet.”
While I would normally try to justify my lifelong habit of bad eating on the hope that in a few weeks there will be a different study that will say exactly the opposite about meats…. the Good Egg/Bad Egg or Coffee is Good/Bad for you decades-long back and forth…. I know better on this one. There will be no turnaround here, and I have to pin my hopes on a Climate Change Denial-style disbelief and ignoring of the facts. I have to get on board with beef.org, the National Pork Producers Council, and other members of Big Beef who will surely attack and belittle the findings by the WHO. They’ll warn us that Obama… probably Michelle Obama…. will be knocking on my door, barging in with the jackbooted Meat Police thugs, crowbar-opening my refrigerator and confiscating my stash of Jimmy Dean sausage and Hebrew National salami and hotdogs. They’ll pull out statistics that say you’re more likely to die driving to the doctor’s office to get the checkup to tell you you’re sick than you’ll ever be eating one New York Strip Steak per week. A little moderation is always good for the soul and for the scale when it comes to any kind of food, but I’m closing in on the age of “hey, I’ve made it this far….WTF?”
“I think that there is a bigger conspiracy here,” she said, “by the World Health Organization.” Whether she was being serious or not, co-host Eric Bolling egged her on: “To do with what?”“Climate change. Global warming,” said Perino. “There’s a big push against any sort of animal consumption.” Bolling asked if she meant vegans, and Perino confirmed. Greg Gutfeld, meanwhile, interjected with yet another wisecrack: “Reduce our carbon hoofprint, as they say.”