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back to article Bacon sarnies can kill: Official

In devastating news for bacon sarnie lovers, boffins have warned of the potentially deadly effects of overdoing it on processed meat products. The chilling results of a Europe-wide survey conclude that those scoffing more than 20g of processed meat a day - equivalent to one meagre rasher of bacon - were at increased risk of …

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FAIL

Why is bacon "processed"?

Decent bacon is prepared the traditional way.

Also, cavemen survived on red meat, alongside veg and fruit.

Yet another nonsensical study looking for links between certain food and death. Probably from the same brigade that tells us that fat in foods is bad and oats are good for you.

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

The curing process is what makes it bacon rather than pork.

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jai
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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

the report states that even traditional curing methods produced the negative effects and so its included as processed meat. it seems that any effort to prolong the shelf life of meat has a negative effect on your when you eat it.

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

Since cave men we've bred out the genes that let us process most raw food.

We've contracted out part of the digestion process to the frying pan.

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

"Also, cavemen survived on red meat, alongside veg and fruit."

What, you mean those guys who had an expected average life span of little more than a couple of decades?

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

Absolute ballcocks. Bacon is pork that has been cured \ corned by submerging it in a brine which typically consist of a combination of sodium chloride and either sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate. The latter two can be an issue if eaten in significant amounts.

Second to that is a link (although only statistical, even though it has been studied no mechanism has yet been identified, the study was by Caldwell Esselstyn) between meat protein and an increase in cancer.

Current evidence does seem to suggest that higher consumption of meat protein (any meat or dairy product) and\or consuming processed foods (containing preservatives) increases your risk of certain health problems.

Having said that I know plenty of farmers in their 80's and 90's who eat a shedload of meat and are fit and healthy. Then again they still work 14 hour days and aren't warming a desk. I don't think it's a clear cut eat bacon and die at 30, I think it's just increasing the risk. Some folks can smoke their entire life and not catch cancer. Plenty more people do get cancer from smoking.

I don't think we need to go crazy and only nibble on grass, but it might be prudent to moderate the quantity of certain foods we eat and most definately improve the quality of many of them (i.e. traditionally smoked bacon rather than chemically smoked, organic eggs and milk etc).

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

But the word "processed" has negative connotations.

I think it's important to distinguish between processed and prepared.

For example, one would look at the difference between a high quality carved ham, and one that is produced from "reformed pork".

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Big Brother

Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

> it seems that any effort to prolong the shelf life of meat has a negative effect on your when you eat it

Maybe.

But we only know that people in the QUICK DEATH group like to eat government-pushed stuff (through subsidies, though then it is labelled as 'not good for you' in government-issued warn letters) that can be bought for cheap at Tesco's or at the Kebab corner and have otherwise strong correlation to the LOW INCOME/NOT POSH group.

Conclusion to causations are.... open.

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Coat

Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

"reformed pork"

Don't be harsh on the poor little piggie...if he's reformed and paid his debt to society

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

> What, you mean those guys who had an expected average life span of little more than a couple of decades?

Well yes, but they were also hunted, didn't have access to modern medicine, etc etc.

I think this is a fairly complex subject. My original point was meant to suggest that we're eating all kinds of crab including sugars, carbs and so forth. I'm pretty sure that cured meats aren't really that high on the list of things we should be worrying about in our diets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:cavemen?

My archaeologist wife is frothing at the mouth, but I won't let her near the computer to comment on what "cavemen" may or may not of eaten, let alone the actual term cavemen. But if you look to the east you might see a large explosion.

Vegetarian diet may lead to a 32% reduction in heart disease, but also a 32% reduction in happiness.

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Re: Re:cavemen?

> Vegetarian diet may lead to a 32% reduction in heart disease, but also a 32% reduction in happiness.

Couldn't agree more.

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FAIL

Re: "I'm pretty sure"...

...said no scientist, ever.

Personally incredulity is no basis for scientific discussion.

GJC

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Trollface

Re: Re:cavemen?

I think you'll find it's a 99% reduction in happiness. All vegetarians secretly eat bacon. It has been scientifically proved that people who don't eat bacon have a mortality rate of 100%!

Also, we've heard all that crap about Quorn being made of mushrooms and the tears of rescued piglets. But we all know that it's really turkey. What else can they do with what people don't eat at Christmas?

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Coat

Re: Re:cavemen?

My archaeologist wife is frothing at the mouth

Sorry, you can't blame bacon for that. Rabies, maybe, but not bacon.

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

@Russ

Yep, agree it's a complex subject, the main point I was making but didn't spell out (preferring instead to make snarky comments, sorry LOL) was that these guys for all sorts of reasons never got old enough to be troubled much by diseases like cancer. So they're probably not an ideal control group to compare us against!

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Meh

Re: Re:cavemen?

"Also, we've heard all that crap about Quorn being made of mushrooms and the tears of rescued piglets. But we all know that it's really turkey."

Mushrooms? Turkey? Soil fungus glued together with egg albumen, which sounds rather unappealing, but works OK as a low fat filler and protein in recipes with a strong flavour from other ingredients. Not sure why I should eat it again, though? No lower in fat than chicken or turkey, not noticeably cheaper, and I've no idea what resources are used to make it (other than eggs).

I'll ponder on that over my 300 calorie butter bean and bacon soup that counts as tea today.

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Joke

Re: Re:cavemen?

There is no way I fought my way to the top of the food chain to become vegetarian....

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Pint

Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

"it seems that any effort to prolong the shelf life of meat has a negative effect on your (shelf life) when you eat it. anyway you have to die of something.

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Re: Re:cavemen?

As they say, if you want to live to be 100, you have to give up all things that would make you *want* to live to be 100.

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Re: Re:cavemen?

"It has been scientifically proved that people who don't eat bacon have a mortality rate of 100%!"

Exactly. When will these poltroons learn that death is never prevented, it is at best postponed.

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Re: Re:cavemen?

> Vegetarian diet may lead to a 32% reduction in heart disease, but also a 32% reduction in happiness.

Bullshit. When I became vegetarian I very quickly noticed an improvement in my energy levels and general health, with a corresponding improvement in happiness. Most vegetarians will tell you the same thing. Instead of taking easy swipes at vegetarians why don't you find out for yourself by giving it a try.

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Re: Martin Budden

It's very rare that someone 'just' becomes a vegetarian.

Most likely you also had other significant life changes at the time. Increased exercise being one of the most common changes. Also changes in diet tend to happen in a recovery stage of depression that the person was not aware of. Lastly it also depends on how terrible of diet a person had before, if they were eating 5 pounds of beef and no fibre, then yea the difference will be significant. If the person was eating a relatively balanced diet, then it is unlikely they can tell any difference unless they have a medical condition.

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Anonymous Coward

show me a herbivore at the top of the food chain.

@ Martin Brudden. It was probably poor phrasing. I believe it should have read that a vegetarian diet leads to a 32% reduction in other people's happiness cause by the 100% reduction in the vegetarian's sense of humour.

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Re: Why is bacon "processed"?

Preservatives are there to, er, preserve stuff, which is the opposite of why you eat it - your body needs to break it down to use it. You may as well eat flavoured sawdust. You'll be full, but malnourished and you'll be putting a strain on various systems which deal with breaking the food down. The commercial imperative for long shelf life reduces the usefulness of the food.

Additionally, processing food often leads to changing the nature of what you are eating. So peanut butter may be made from just peanuts, but probably not in their natural ratios of oil to protein. Soy milk may be made from just soy beans and water, but usually its just the soy protein which has been extracted from the beans (because the beans themselves taste nasty) and bound with the water molecules (otherwise they'd separate in transit). The problem is that you may be consuming things in unnatural quantities, which puts a strain on your body's systems - too much fat, too much salt, too much sugar are common culprits - they are cheap to produce and yes, they do taste nice.

Meat is a very efficient way of consuming stuff, but stuff can be good (nutrients) or bad (poisons, fats). Animals are just a way of processing the veg before consumption. Problems increase when your animals aren't given decent things to eat or are otherwise rendered unhealthy. It gets worse since meat is more difficult to preserve than vegetables and poor diet (feeding sheep to cows) is easy to disguise. The meat industry also attracts subsidies for production which skew the market costs of food. The upshot is, the less processing is involved, the less likely it is that someone has messed up your food.

Diet is complicated - too complicated to be definitive but there are some generalisations and lessons to be learnt from statistics. Sometimes, by imposing broad guidelines you can avoid specific but common mistakes. For example, you can eat lean meat from healthy sources. However, going vegan means you cut out most of the sources of excessive fat available and can steer you away from a lifestyle-induced heart disease, which is the main cause of premature death in the West. It isn't just dropping things which helps. I've seen plenty of fat unhealthy vegetarians gorging on cheesecake. Dropping the meat isn't helping that much. However, not relying on meat for your nutrients can be a way to force yourself to look at consuming a wide variety of fresh veg, not just mushy peas from a can. Consuming fresh veg with lots of natural colours, not just white stuff, is good for you. This is why non-gmo is important - we don't want to be duped into eating unripe food by genetic shenanigans.

Personally, I've found that incorporating more raw/barely cooked food and whole grains (e.g. wheat rather than flour) into my diet has provided a lot of benefit. Its extremely planning-intensive, but the results are delicious- which is my main motivation. That's not just raw broccoli, but creative ways of using seeds, nuts and dried-fruit for filling food in tiny portions, compared to say, pasta (which usually implies cheese) which I would normally consume in huge portions. I could do a healthy pasta, but I'm more likely to dump a cheese sauce on it, or use the cheese I bought for it on toast instead. Like awkward change-control, the aim is to force myself to plan properly, rather than try winging it.

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Re: @Martin Budden

Oh how easy is it getting people to bite, maybe there's a bit of a meat eater in you after all.

I put the predictable vegetarian statement in there to weed out the outraged badge wearing hippy types, as a vegetarian I don't feel the need to ram my opinions down peoples throats, unless of course I wrap my opinions in bacon first and then I find people totally love my opinions.

How can you have a 32% reduction in happiness? You are either happy or not happy, maybe the lack of meat and a poor substituted diet has addled your brain.

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Re: Re:cavemen? @ Matin Budden

I have tried vegetarian diet twice in my life, for about two years each time. Despite following all the guidelines to ensure no lack of key nutrients, both times I was lethargic, bad-tempered, unable to think properly, and constantly hungry despite cramming loads of food in (far more than I would on a meat diet). There was a noticeable improvement on the days I had e.g. a bacon buttie when going on a rally.

I know a datum of one isn't anything, but it does tend to suggest that your "all vegetarians are super-healthy and it is the only way forward for everyone" is - shall we say "hyperbolic"?

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@Martin Budden - Re: Re:cavemen?

Wrote :- "When I became vegetarian I very quickly noticed an improvement in my energy levels and general health"

Maybe the kind of person who is relatively inactive and overweight (your case?) might benefit in this way. However, if you are already active and healthy, cutting out meat is likely to be detrimental. An active vegetarian guy I once worked with looked like a skeleton. He was slowly killing himself. We joked that he walked two paces before his clothes started to move with him.

I am very active. I have an acre of garden to maintain for a start, then I do all my car and house maintenance. I have just replaced a WC for example. I eat loads of red meat, yet I am currently losing weight a bit (following Xmas feasts) and have been told at my annual work medical that I am the healthiest guy on their books. The only thing wrong with my energy level is that there are not enough hours in the day to expend it all.

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Facepalm

Death

Research suggests that 90% of all El Reg readers who eat Bacon will die within the next 80 years.

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Re: Death

In other research conducted : its is found that almost all living things have a 100% mortality rate!

the exception are: Jelly fish and some weird worm thing which have been found to be biologically immortal.

In other research jumping off cliffs has a high % of causing death especially cliffs with no water below

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Re: Death

> Research suggests that 90% of all El Reg readers who eat Bacon will die within the next 80 years.

A timely warning: I'll stop reading The Reg immediately.

Meanwhile, I'll give up my bacon sarny when you pry it from my cold, dead hands

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Re: Death

entirely too correct-- the authors claim that 3% of deaths could have been prevented by reduced consumption of processed meat, but I'm pretty sure the correct figure is exactly 0%. Postponed maybe, but then what is the point of life without bacon, ham, and sausage?

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Re: Death

and some weird worm thing which have been found to be politically biologically immortal

Peter Mandelson?

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Re: Death

How dare you insult weird worm things with your odious comparison!

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Vic
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Re: Death

> I'll give up my bacon sarny when you pry it from my cold, dead hands

Next week, huh? Might still be edible...

Vic.

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Re: Death

"what is the point of life without bacon, ham, and sausage?"

Less time eating those leaves you with more time for radio-controlled monster trucks. Maybe?

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MJI
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Re: Death

Bacon Ham Sausage

I am unusual in not liking bacon or ham and only liking butcher sausages and hot dog ones.

Just remembering the nice ones they did last year, stilton ones were nice - worked well with the pork

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Right.

I would rather die happy with a bacon sarnie in my hands than die miserable without one.

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Re: Right.

Amen to that!!!

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Re: Right.

As a wise man remarked: "There is no human pleasure worth sacrificing for the sake of an extra four years in a nursing home".

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Mushroom

Re: Right.

Quote - "I would rather die happy with a bacon sarnie in my hands than die miserable without one."

[Braveheart accent]

They'll never take our fried ham*.

*Yeah, ok, I know - technically (and possibly politically) incorrect.

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Coat

Re: Right.

I'd rather die happy with a younger woman in my arms. Each to their own.

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Mushroom

Re: Right.

Kingsley Amis, I believe he mentioned Weston-super-Mare as being the location of said nursing home.

Too bloody right, bollocks to long life, my plan is to expire just when the government steals my pension fund from me.

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Unhappy

Noooooo!

I fear I am fading... If only I had switched to *government approved meat replacement product* I could have lived a fuller taxpaying life! Curse you, Piggies, for being so tasty and tempting with brown sauce (not red - blech!)

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Re: Noooooo!

*government approved meat replacement product* is peop... er, horses.

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Trollface

Re: Noooooo!

Soylent Green is government approved meat replacement.

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Trollface

Re: Noooooo!

Are you the MP for Soylent Green?

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Mushroom

Re: Noooooo!

I think it is a statistical fact that you will die younger if you use brown sauce.

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Pint

Re: Noooooo!

Maybe, but I tend to think of ketchup as an "American replacement saliva" as their kids don't appear to be able to swallow anything without smothering it in sweet red sauce. I actually quite like Blair's Megadeath on my bacon, but thought that may ruffle a few feathers.

Beer, to quench my thirst afterwards.

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Re: Noooooo!

Here in the US, kids smother everything in ketchup. As they become adults, they smother everything in ranch dressing. Might explain why the rest of the world thinks we have no taste.

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