by Frederick H. Lowe
Instead of sitting down to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, maybe you should skip the bacon because heavy consumption of processed and red meats have been linked to specific cancers that are the leading causes of cancer cases and cancer deaths among black man and black women.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, which included a working group of 22 experts from 10 countries, defined red meat as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat.
Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef and they are classified as carcinogenic, agents directly involved in causing cancer in humans.
Examples of processed meat include hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, canned meat and beef jerky. There is sufficient evidence that consumption of processed meats causes colorectal cancer, a leading cause of cancer cases and cancer deaths among black men and black women, according to the American Cancer Society.
“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed, said Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the IARC Monographs Programme. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”
The consumption of red meat also has been associated pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer, a leading cause of cancer cases and cancer deaths among black men, the American Cancer Society reports.
The North American Meat Institute, which is based in Washington, D.C., called IARC’s vote “alarmist overreach.”
“Scientific evidence shows cancer is a complex disease not caused by single foods and that a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices are essential to good health,” NAMI said in a statement.
Red meat consumption peaked in the 1970s and has been dropping in favor of fish and chicken.