New research linking processed meat to increased risk of death
This news story was in the UK papers today, about new research linking processed meat consumption to an increased risk of death.
Several friends have asked for my opinion on this. Personally, as you know, on MND, I don’t touch ‘junk meat’, so it is not a concern for me. I have looked at the reports in the papers – see links at bottom of this article – and I have looked into the research and the original results, to form my own opinion.
Of course, I broadly agree with the notion that processed meats are bad for us. No surprise there, I don’t eat that garbage and MND recommends that you don’t eat it either. The scrappy off-cuts of meat that food manufacturers put into cheap sausages, cheap pork pies and other cheap meats, just like those 99p frozen lasagne dishes with horse meat in them, are the trash end of the meat market, and MND advices you to completely avoid such products.
However, I worry that these press reports yet again make ‘meat’ per se out to be the bad guy. These articles seem to miss so many important points. I have looked (rather briefly, to be fair) at the original research, and it too, makes little mention of these crucial points:
- Those same cheap meat products all have damned sodium nitrite in them. Sodium nitrite is the nasty KNOWN CARCINOGEN that keeps your cheap meat looking ‘pink’ and fresh and ‘meat-like’. The manufacturers know that you wouldn’t buy grey or brown or white or yellow meat, so they put this nasty stuff in as a preservative and to keep that pink colour.
- The cheap meats are made using the WORST bits of the animals that MND recommends you DON’T eat. Here at MND, I recommend you avoid poorly treated animals, who live miserable lives in cramped, dirty conditions, fed hormones and antibiotics and grain-based diets. These animals are unhappy, fatty, sick and drugged. They then use the CRAP BITS of those animals to make these cheap processed meats. They are wrong in every way.
- Those same cheap meats tend to have added salt and often sugar, and many other chemicals, additives, preservatives and E-numbers.
- Those same cheap meats often come packed in other garbage, like the pastry on pork pies and the bread in a bacon sandwich.
- The same ‘kind of people’ who eat a lot of processed meats, tend to eat a lot of processed foods in general…crisps, snacks, biscuits, cakes, bread products, ready meals, and so on. The researchers seemed to make no separation of the sugar, salt and chemical crap in the other foods these people were eating. Look at the links below, the daily mail article shows a bacon sandwich, highlighting that it is the meat, the bacon, that is going to kill you, yet two thirds of the picture shows white bread. Hint: the white sliced is as bad for you as the bacon!
- Not that this kind of media reporting is very intelligent and scientific. I see on the BBC article, the ‘Editor’s Picks’ are a disgrace to the BBC…all bar one of the comments basically say “oh who cares let’s eat crap, be happy, and die young” – I am sure those same people won’t think it’s so jolly amusing when sat in front of their GP being told, “I’m sorry madam, you have cancer”
So as with most research, this is wildly inconclusive and terribly badly reported and totally misleading.
In my opinion: Meat is not a villain, eating good quality meat will not kill you – what humans have done to our meat supply in the pursuit of maximum profits, will kill you.
Follow MotherNaturesDiet advice: buy only good quality, outdoor reared, grass fed, organic meat, like the fabulous shoulders of pork pictured here. Find a local butcher, talk to him, ensure the animals are well treated, ensure they eat grass, not grain, ensure they are not routinely given antibiotics and growth hormones, ensure they are humanely slaughtered, and ensure any meat products (such as sausages) that are not obvious straight cuts from the animal, are all real meat, and not padded out with crap.
Common sense. Live longer. MotherNaturesDiet.