Meat gone bad

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New research shows processed meat can increase cancer risk

The United States is a nation of meat eaters. You name it, we eat it. Processed meats like sausage, bacon and ham are nearly universal favorites.

meatSo favorite that according to the Organization for Economic Coop- eration and Development (OECD) Americans rank second in the world for consumption of meat at 201 pounds per person a year.

Recently the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that eating processed meats definitely increases incidence of colorectal can- cer by 18 percent and have labeled them as a Class 1 carcinogen.

Processed meats consist of meats that have been modified through salt- ing, curing, smoking or fermentation to enhance its flavor or lengthen shelf life.“For an individual, the risk of de- veloping 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 a press release. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”

This isn’t fresh news to the Ameri- can Cancer Society since it has recom- mended eating less meat and living a more healthy lifestyle since 2002.

People locally are also not surprised by the recent announcement.

“The fact that people are just now bringing to light the effects of red meat, processed meat products and foods on the body is very behind the times,” said Amanda Lozano from the San Joaquin Certified Farmers Market. She predicts this is good news for her and the farmers who sell down- town and at the Weberstown Mall markets.

“This will affect my market in a positive way, more veggie seeking and alternative protein seeking customers can find all they need. Fresh produce, freshly made soy products, tofu, fresh wild caught fish and rice products,” said Lozano.

Despite the recent news, not ev- erybody is taking it seriously.

“There are a lot of things I can control when it comes to eating but I just don’t think I can give up bacon,” said Mike Johnson, of Stockton.
According to BaconTo- day.com, Americans eat 17.9 pounds of bacon per year. “Everybody loves bacon,” said John- son.