A Watershed Moment?

World Health Organization Declares Processed Meat A Carcinogen

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The World Health Organization (WHO), not a partisan political group influenced by lobbyists, not a diet website trying to get you to buy their latest e-book, not a fad driven ‘ism’ or ‘egan’ but the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for The World Health Organization has declared processed meat including bacon, hot dogs, and similar products to be a carcinogenic.

Specifically, in their press release, the IARC concluded from their research that:

  • Red meat is associated with colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
  • Processed meat is associated with colorectal cancer.

This is a “stop, drop, and roll” moment for Americans and the meat industry.  For Americans, this is a challenge to all who believe that red meat is essential to their diet and there is nothing more American than steak and potatoes.  Meanwhile, we are seeing skyrocketing rates of cancer and pre-cancer illnesses in communities where high quantities of red meat are consumed on a regular basis.  Add the fact that American culture attributes strength, masculinity, and success to the consumption of these products, change will be difficult.  This is indeed a watershed moment for the meat industry who is already seeing a decline in sales as many are either reducing their consumption of red meat or fleeing to ‘higher ground’ for organic grass-fed options.

However damaging the report may seem, the report does not distinguish between different types of meat production methods (e.g., organic vs. conventional, grass-fed vs. grain feed) or does the report discuss the activity levels of the subjects studied.  That said, we can surmise that the report from the WHO is reflects the net or aggregate effect of meat consumption on the human body in our society at this time.

At offthegridhealth.com we are focused on finding the best health habits for these times.  We recommend that you radically reduce you red and processed meat consumption to reduce your risk of disease, especially, if you are overweight or sedentary.  Instead, find plant-based protein sources where ever possible (e.g., nuts, beans, seeds, sea vegetables.)  If you have difficult time making the transition to eating less meat, only purchase organic, grass-fed products and avoid processed meat altogether.  The price of organic meats will help many of us reduce our consumption of red and processed meat.

We will keep you updated on this story.


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