Bacon bites back


Sarah Horne, Broadcast Editor in Chief

 The topic of red meat and if it is truly healthy has been discussed for a while now. Yet, the idea of whether we should eat bacon, hot dogs, ham, and other red meat has been ‘left on the burner’ in sense.

 However, new studies have shown that by eating 50 grams of red meat per day, the result can cause an individual to increase their risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.

 To get a sense of about how much red meat is 50 grams, think of six slices of bacon, two slices of ham, or a single hot dog.

 As reported in Times magazine, “That sizzle signals trouble. Meat cooked at high heat can produce carcinogens”.  These carcinogens cause change in DNA, and damage to DNA is the origin of cancer.

 Nitrates, are added to red meat in order for them to be preserved, and contribute to their danger. Even when purchasing a package of red meat labeled, “no nitrates added” are treated with celery juice which has natural nitrates, but nitrates none the less.

  This is not to say that red meat has to be completely washed away from people’s diets. In fact, 60% of America’s meat diet is red meat.

  “There is no question that Homo sapiens adapted to eat both meat and plants,” Dr. David Katz said in an interview with Times Magazine.

  This just entails that red meat must be consumed in moderation, and 50 grams a day is too much.

  As omnivores that eat both meat and plants, it comes down to the quantity consumed. In an individual who does not eat 50 grams of red meat a day, their risk of colorectal cancer is just 5% for men and less for women.

  Instead of focusing on the harm red meat can cause, it is important to view it as a food that should not be over consumed. Just like you should not eat immense amounts of chocolate or candy each day, the same goes for red meat.  

  Since colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in America, with 49,700 this year alone, finding out a cause can help reduce this number and lead Americans to a healthier life.