Stacks Image 32

Did you eat something this week that is known to cause cancer?

Chances are you did - probably multiple times, because it's a broad and very common food, with many entire restaurants dedicated to it. What is it? Processed meat.

I was shocked to learn this fact, as you may be. I was outraged to learn that this has been known for years, and officially proclaimed by the World Health Organization in 2015. And quite peeved that I was one of many who believed that a deli sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce and tomato was a healthy choice.

Processed meats are known to cause cancer, just like cigarettes are known to cause cancer, yet food packages and restaurant menus are not required to carry a warning. Because it's not something that everyone knows, making the choice to include it in your diet and how often is not an informed choice. Now you know!

You may feel conflicted about how to react to this new awareness. Should you completely avoid it? Reduce how often you have it? When you look at the list and begin to think about how common these foods are, it's daunting. I have always loved bacon, ham, sausage and sandwiches! When I didn't want to cook, a sandwich was what I fed my family. Almost every meat put on pizza or salad is processed! We grill it and snack on it and use it for a topping. How can it be that most people don't know? If everyone was aware of this, what would it change?

I can't answer those questions, but I can tell you that since I learned that processed meats absolutely cause cancer, I have almost eliminated them from my diet. When I say almost, I mean that I have some small amount such as would be used to top pizza or salad about once a month.

I can't tell you what to do with this information, but hopefully it will make you want to learn more about nutrition and make some changes.

Here's a quick list of processed meats…this is not all of them, jut to get your mind wrapped around this:

Hot dogs
Beef jerky
Deli sandwich meats
Fast food meats
Canned meats

It's not my intent to overwhelm you, but if you look at the WHO report below, you'll notice that red meat was also classified as a probable carcinogen. There isn't what the agency considers "sufficient evidence", but it's best to keep that at a minimum too. At least when it comes to red meat, we aren't surprised to know that it's unhealthy.


World Health Organization's report
Video from on the subject

Stacks Image 11
Stacks Image 17
Stacks Image 19
Stacks Image 21
Stacks Image 5
Kentucky, USA