11 December

The internet has gone cancer crazy this morning as the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed a report on the damaging affects red meat has on our health.

We are often amongst the flurry of warnings of Cancer. It is within all our families, constantly in our newspapers and TV Screens, and unfortunately for some of us personally. Cancer itself is an epidemic that has a good way of striking fear in our hearts as soon as we hear the word.

What seems to be interesting here is that for so long the media and health organisations have painted cigarettes as the monster of cancer. And whilst the report does detail smoking is more harmful, we cannot ignore this lightly.

There have been snippets of being made aware that too much alcohol is bad for us, as is the use of mobile phones even. However living in our modern age we are not probed to detach ourselves from them. Processed meat, and the meat selling industry as a whole also makes a lot of money (alongside alcohol and cigarettes) so we do not know if this revelation will have a huge impact.

However the report states that for every ’50g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%’ [1]. The report does go on to say that we do not need to stop eating meat, but do be careful in the consideration of how much meat we eat.

But if we think logically about the now proven ramifications eating red meat can have, we know just as well how harmful it is. These new results make way for a more substantial change we can have in our diet. Quite often we have been told we must eat meat for protein and iron, however perhaps we have not been sourcing our diets in the right way due to poor health information.

In fact it is known that raising cattle, and beef is more harmful to our environment that anything else in the world. And so a lot of the headlines are still choosing to phrase that we should not eat sausages and bacon which is quite often pork. Due to the amount of money (and damage already done) that is made from beef.

The same can be said for highlighting just ‘processed’ meat, and not meat as whole.

Although raising all animals in agriculture is harmful, and all red meat is harmful to our bodies, we should take this news report welcomingly. To monitor our own health and make a concious effort to see how our diet guides our health and our life.

Let us know your thoughts.

[1] IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. (2015). 1st ed. [ebook] World Health Organisation, pp.1-2. Available at: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].

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