Wouldn't be worth it...
Life without bacon wouldn't be worth living. Especially Sunday mid-mornings, between thick tiger loaf slices with butter and brown sauce.
Life without the Daily Mail however...
In really, really bad news for bacon lovers, a shock report says the World Health Organisation (WHO) will next week add processed meat to its "carcinogenic to humans" list. That's according to the Daily Mail, which claims that, according to "a well-placed source", a gathering of international scientists have checked the …
If the Lord Mayor of Bristol can get priority treatment for laying the foundation stone of my local hospital, then surely the people like me who paid for every brick and pane of glass in the building through their tobacco tax can get to sit on matrons lap and have bitty for breakfast if they so damn well wish.
@sabroni - smoke on, my friend, smoke on. As long as what you’re doing doesn’t harm me, why should I object to you doing it? It isn’t any of my business. And although I’m lucky enough to be able to go private, I’m delighted to pay tax for an undiscriminating* NHS that will look after whoever, whatever they’re suffering from, whenever they need it.
And, in the mean time, I shall go on enjoying the occasional bacon sandwich, vindaloo, rare roasted meat and all the other goodies that might be bad for me but which I will continue to stuff down my gluttonous gob.
*in the sense of not judging the patient and saying ‘ooh, well you’re not from round these parts’ or ‘ooh, well you brought it upon yourself…'
I trust you're as happy to pay for my lung cancer treatment as I am to pay for your bowel cancer treatment...
Well basically, yes. That's how the NHS works.
And given the high rate of tax on cigarettes, you have probably paid for your own lung cancer treatment anyway.
Downvoted for liking the wrong carcinogen?
Speaking as an ex-smoker who will often tell others how I stopped (lack of finances and Alan Carr's "Only way to stop smoking permanently" - followed the instructions to the letter), have an upvote.. Actually have a few, I can't upvote one message more than once but I can give each of yours one :)
Wonder what those downvoters do that may be hazardous to their health? Do they travel outside their homes? Perhaps eat food that has been inside plastic? Breath the local air polluted by lead/sulphur/CO/etc vehicle-emissions?
Maybe, unlike most smokers, they'll end up living a very long life due to their good health. Only, they'll spend 40 years on a pension, perhaps 10 or 20 of them with regular doses of subsidized medications that cost the taxpayer, or perhaps they'll be in some kind of nursing home for a while at a cost to the taxpayer...
Smokers are one lot who pays above the odds on tax. Way above the odds. Instead of forcing smokers outside you should be getting air-conditioned smoking rooms that would put even 7-star hotels to shame. You pay enough tax!
Life is full of all sorts of crap and we will die from something. I've known plenty who have been health fanatics who have died young - smokers won't get taken out by an errant car while biking up a hill, that's for sure! One guy I knew was hit while out biking, spent the last 5 years of his life barely functional costing several smoker's worth of care each year.
I will die one day. It could be from the toxins I willingly inhaled, such as tobacco smoke, vehicle fumes, those fires I used to play with as a kid when I ignored the smoke from burning plastic.. It could be because my heart doesn't want to bother with my eating and exercise habits any more. Maybe I'll give in to my lusts and get a bullet from some women who's husband I corrupted.. Maybe I'll daydream while heading into a corner a bit fast.. Or I could linger a decade or two and cost the taxpayer a few million as slowly my systems shut down..
Somehow I will die. I would prefer it to be fairly quick and sometime in my 70s while I am still making a valued contribution, but it will happen unless Christ drops by to pick me up first. But however it happens, I don't want to spend my last moments thinking "Why did I waste so much of my life trying to make it last longer, when I could've lived just as long and had fun?"
Sabroni, you chose what to do with your money and your life. That's your choice. don't let any of these pricks get you down. Oh, and if you do decide to stop smoking, I honestly can strongly recommend one or both of the Allen Carr books (the one who wrote about stopping smoking, not that other one!).
It's refreshing to come on here and see people who think that an indiscriminate healthcare system is a good thing. I've been seeing too many people who've swallowed up the divide and rule and have a 'fuck the fatties/smokers/anyone who partakes in something I don't' crowd who seemingly know the cost associated with every behaviour ever and the value of none; I'm not entirely sure what it is they do themselves, I assume it's mostly making lists of things they don't like and complaining.
To few people seem to realise how much of a slippery slope refusing treatment on behaviour would be.
I've been seeing too many people who've swallowed up the divide and rule and have a 'fuck the fatties/smokers/anyone who partakes in something I don't' crowd who seemingly know the cost associated with every behaviour ever and the value of none
Yup. And I did rely on the NHS earlier this year - they patched me up a treat when I spilled from my bike. And if the NHS should stop treating smokers because they brought it upon themselves, or treating bacon eaters for the same reason, then it should also stop treating cyclists who have spills, climbers who have tumbles, walkers and runners with sprains and so on. Pretty soon they'll have no eligible patients at all.
Wait a minute… No eligible patients? That means no queues! Lower costs for the NHS! We might be onto something here…
Queues? Depends on the severity of the condition.
For a non life threatening problem, like a broken bone, you'll be waiting hours.
For a serious or life threatening problem, they'll deal with you to the point of stability immediately- and then you'll have to wait for whatever is needed next.
For a non essential operation, where essential is defined as you can life without it (albeit not necessarily very well), you could wait months (depending on the area)
It also depends on your age and general health. Ain't triage wonderful? All of which explains why I think the NHS is wonderful, and I'm happy to be taxed for it, but why I choose to reduce the load and go private when possible (only once so far, thankfully)
But we seem to have strayed far from the topic of bacon.
Hours to get a bone fixed up? My experience in the US hasn't been much better than that. With emergency rooms shutting down, they try and steer us more to "Urgent Care" centers, which may win the most Oxymoronic Designation Award.
As far as bacon vs. cigarettes go, I have yet to see anybody have to step out of the office every other to take a drag off a block of bacon. Bacon is not good for us, meat in general is agriculturally a pretty inefficient nutritional source, but that bacon is likely getting consumed with other deep-fried and/or sugary goodies that are just as bad or worse. They are just trying to soften us up for lab-grown meat (http://gizmodo.com/the-future-will-be-full-of-lab-grown-meat-1720874704)
Hours to get a bone fixed up? My experience in the US hasn't been much better than that. With emergency rooms shutting down, they try and steer us more to "Urgent Care" centers
Non-urgent fracture cases - such as most simple fractures, where there isn't significant bleeding - can easily wait for hours in the typical urban ER, too. Circa 1990 I accompanied a friend with a broken finger to an ER in the Boston area and it was about five hours before she received so much as an aspirin.
Of course circumstances will vary. In '03 I broke a finger myself, and when I got to the ER (there was no Urgent Care clinic in town at the time, or I would have just gone there, because, really, it's just a broken finger) I saw a doctor almost immediately. The place was nearly deserted, because it was in a small hospital in Michigan and it happened to be a slow day.
And now that we do have an Urgent Care center here in town, I have to say that we've generally had very good service from it.
Here in Montreal, Quebec, I had to wait 20 hours for emergency surgery for a complete bowel obstruction. And I came in by ambulance screaming from pain evey time I was moved even slightly.
They pumped me full of morphine, stuck me on a bed in a hall, and after almost 10 hours they got around to doing an ultrasound to find said obstruction.
I almost died during the surgery too.
The weird part? I still think the public health system did a fair job.
"Sounds like an improvement over ObamaCare where you have all the above plus ~$5,000 bill."
That's the American healthcare system in general, before and after Obamacare. Except that, generally speaking, Obamacare has slowed the rate of increase in insurance premiums, on average.
Everything I read and see says it has had the opposite effect.
And by opposite, I'm talking rate increases in the 30% to 50% range this year.
I know that is the case for the managed care companies owned by our corporation.
You can't increase coverage (pregnancy and delivery coverage required for menopausal women for instance) and bring a large group of "high risk" people into your coverage pool and expect costs to go down.
The difference between bacon butties and cigarettes is that you tend to scarf bacon butties now and again at mealtimes smokers always seem to have one dangling from their lips. So I'd guess that if I ate bacon at anything like the rate that people smoke cigs then I'd be long dead from clogged arteries before the bowel cancer hit.
"Speak for yourself. I'm on 40 rashers a day."
Hear, hear! Once there was a website that claimed that each slice of bacon took two minutes off your life, and had a handy test to help you determine how much life expectancy you'd lost due to bacon.
After taking the quiz, and subtracting the years they said I'd lost from my (then) current age, I discovered that I'd died back in 1986!
So keep the bacon coming, it can't hurt me now!
... So has no one picked up on the fact Bacon isn't necessarily processed meat? I know elsewhere the article mentions red meat, but it does seem like the author is assuming bacon is processed meat. Here's a tip. If it is smoked or looks it was squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste before being cut flattened and cut into squares, it's processed meat. Bacon can therefore either be processed or non-processed depending on if you go for the smoked or non-smoked variety.
"Bacon isn't necessarily processed meat?"
I think it may be different in the USA, but in the UK generally use of the word "bacon" (as opposed to "pork" implies that the meat has been processed in some way to preserve it. Either of smoked, air-dryed, dry salted, brine cured or treated with nitrates. Or any combination of these.
"Processed" - in this sense - effectively means chemically treated with preservatives, it doesn't mean being ground up and turned into burgers / pate / sausages- although in the main any of those WILL also have similar treatment with nitrates
Isn't religion wonderful?
Somewhere in the world a Christian, believing it to be their faith-bound duty, risked their life to save another. Somewhere else a Muslim did the same thing. Somewhere else many thousands gave up something they loved to help out others, because they believed it to be part of their faith. A great many others gave resources, to help others.
All forms of faith, including Atheism, have good and foul adherents. It's not the faith of the person who pulls the trigger that is at fault (usually), it's the messed up mind telling the finger to move.
[Full disclosure in case someone is interested - old-style fundamentalist and also quite gay Christian here]
This would be the Daily Mail which a couple of years ago had headlines screaming Eating bacon increases cancer risk by 40%!!!1!. Hidden away in the final paragraph on page 94 was just enough information directly quoted from the actual scientific paper to make it clear that if a person were to eat two ounces of processed meat each day of their adult life, it would increase their lifetime risk of bowel cancer from 5% to 7%.
Pass the HP sauce.
mod-up. The very first thing you learn in a statistics class is that the general public has *very* poor understanding of relative risk, and probability.
That is why the nickname for the lottery in my department is the "tax on the mathematically inept".
All you need to do for yourself is record a week's worth of consumption (everything), and calculate the various components. Then remember, that is what your body has to work with to keep you healthy.
The problem with education is that it is supposed to be a lifelong pursuit, but our society wants us to work "in the fields" as soon as we are able to hold a plough....*
Icon is beer (real ale, of course), because in moderation, it is a pretty good source of nutrients.
*this was a wishy washy analogy, please insert your tool of choice.
"That is why the nickname for the lottery in my department is the "tax on the mathematically inept".
The Illinois state lottery has quit paying out to winners of over $50K, since they have apparently spent the money on other things.
Which means the lottery there has become a tax on the incorrigible half-wit.
On the bright side, I guess that means the majority of people in Illinois.
It did take a majority to vote the politicians there into office.
Assuming the statistics are correct, eating bacon would increase the risk of bowel cancer in the population that eats bacon from 5% to 7%. This means 5% or so of people in a large population will get it - along with many who don't eat bacon. This does not mean that your risk increases if you eat bacon. Apart from the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no-one knows what the individual risk is - whether or not you eat bacon.
This is a common statistical misrepresentation. The drug companies love this sleight of hand with the statistics to sell drugs to populations! Everyone in the population has to take a pill to reduce the risk - even if it kills them!
As far as I can see, if you believe everything that the Daily Maul reports, the only way to avoid cancer is to become a breathairian...
...oh wait a minute! Apparently they have now declared oxygen as carcinogenic. Oh well, as a certain android put it, "time to die".
Let's see; life gives you cancer and a few other nasties. I guess we should all stop living to avoid cancer. Bacon has been under attack for years in the US off and on. Also, eating will give you cancer, which depends on what you eat.
I remember seeing an article in the early 80's that noted there are naturally occurring carcinogens in all food including vegetables and fruit.
" So... there is no evidence, there is no WHO report yet and you are spreading this typical daily hate horror story. "
To be fair to the journos of El Reg, they're not usually in the habit of spreading Daily Fail horseshit (well, without laughing about it). But this is a subject very close to the hearts - and stomachs - of many readers, and I don't begrudge the rehash of it, as I may not have heard about it otherwise.
However, I'll not be saying goodbye to my occasional bacon or ham intake, even if the WHO raises its threat level. The "everything in moderation" ethos should see most people through to their timely dying day.
I was born in the decade immediately after the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty. My Mother, Grandparents and sundry Aunties and Uncles smoked like chimneys inside the house, sometimes only feet from me. They drove me round in smoking motor cars run on tetraethyl lead and fed me food that was deep fried in animal fat.
Think I'll take my chance with a bacon sarnie once or twice a week.
In this instance I think they are probably right, but wrong at the same time. I doubt it's the bacon, the fat or red meat of any kind that is the problem. We're omnivores, so this is the kind of stuff we've been eating for millennia.
The most likely culprit is the nitrates and other nasties that come from curing, smoking and/or cooking the meat. So eat your bacon raw and you'll be fine ;)
Nitrosamine is a known carcinogen that forms in salted meats when the red colour was needed to be preserved using potassium nitrate or sodium nitrite. Grey ham, bacon, corned beef salami etc don't look very appetising. Which is why ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is used these days instead. The amount of ascorbic acid/nitrate/nitrite used is minute; typically 0.5%.
Do not "eat your bacon raw". It needs to be cooked before consumption!
"Which is why ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is used these days instead."
Surprised no meat packer or whatever has taken this and gone, "Eat our preserved meat and avoid scurvy without oranges!"
That would draw my notice, as I can't stand fresh citrus or their juices. Even the smell makes me nauseous.
In other news, those who see fit to hector others into living a mundane life are seen to be more prone to heart-attacks and strokes caused by high blood-pressure due to the proles ignoring their bully-statism pronouncements about anything that they don't like (thus - in their eyes - no-one should be doing it.)
Sadly, having been told about this, they continue to tell others how to live their lives, despite the risks.
But there is a well established link between processed and red meat consumption and bowel cancer. I don't think the actual causal mechanism has been determined. Perhaps when that comes about we will be able to take a pill that makes eating bacon safe.
There is also a well established link between eating lots of dietary fibre and not getting various nasty lower-colon diseases.
So its a bacon butty on wholemeal for me thx.
The bottom line is bacon is pork and pork will shortly first fall into a "Not recommended" food category, then an illegal food category. Bet cash on it. Europe, you'll be first. Well, technically second. The region mass migrating your way already has this in effect. The media is just jumping on board while they can do it while walking.
You have to wonder why all the odd restrictions laid down by the Torah. Now, the restriction on pork is probably more down to Trichinosis than anything. Pigs are omnivores so can contract the parasite (whereas cows are herbivores), thus why they insist on ruminants (only dedicated herbivores would have the specialized stomachs needed to digest cellulose). But what about all the others like mixed fabrics?
The restriction is probably that the banned animals all eat grain. So the rich could have luxury meat by feeding them stuff that people can eat - which would drive up the price of food.
Obviously Jehovah is a commie and that explains the Daily Mail's dislike of his chosen people.
It's the allowed ruminants that eat grain (along with grass). Pigs (omnivores) can eat many different foods and are probably kept at living garbage disposals, but because of this they're considered unclean (probably with a history, again because of Trichinosis).
Reading up on the different food-based restrictions, you realize they mostly (the exceptions being the ones banned due to ritual like the yeast/Passover restriction) generally have a logical reason for restricting them: especially at the time, all the foods listed are potential sources of contamination, parasites, or disease (including blood). A lot of the banned creatures are considered scavengers and so would be thought to accumulate toxins from the food they eat.
I won't comment on the other restrictions as I lack the perspective to see any logic behind them.
And the pig, because it has a split hoof, but does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You shall neither eat of their flesh nor touch their carcass.
Erm, so what's the point in pigs then? Can't touch them, so useless as a pet, and can't eat them so no good for food. Who put them here, and why?
There is also a well established link between eating lots of dietary fibre and not getting various nasty lower-colon diseases.
Sorry, that's not true any more. It's gone along with the risk from saturated fat, eggs, and salt.
Won't stop the doctor telling you to eat more fibre though. Lots of GPs still think stress causes ulcers. One told me so in about 2010, in spite of it being known to be false since the mid nineties. And I saw a poster telling me to eat less saturated fat in the hospital only yesterday.
It takes ten years for the bullshit to go mainstream, then when it's disproved, twenty for it to disappear again.
And I saw a poster telling me to eat less saturated fat in the hospital only yesterday.
That's very good advice; you should never eat your saturated fat in the hospital. The stuff they fix in a hospital really tastes bad. You'd enjoy it much more if you ate your saturated fat at home.
"But there is a well established link between processed and red meat consumption and bowel cancer. I don't think the actual causal mechanism has been determined. "
I'm sure I read a number of times that "they" thought it could be nitrites from preservatives doing it.
Anyway, if they cure every other disease then we're ALL going to die of cancer unless we have a nasty accident.
On the very same day, the 'Fail runs an article about a consultant gastro-enterologist saying that he recommends the eating of red meat. Which article are we to believe?
Or is the 'Fail just trying to make sure it can maximise its (cough) "targeted" Ad revenue by playing both ends to the middle?
Just by existing I increase my cancer risk:
Background radiation (& as I live in a radon area, a bit above average)
Inhaling airborne carcinogens (e.g. from air pollution, again a bit higher in areas where coal / wood burning still allowed)
I eat a healty piece of one of my 5 a day ... but the banana has low (but not 0) radiation.
Obviously some things are more risky to health than others & it's good for people to know the relative risks, but meat / cancer links have been known about for ages (not a "Wail" reader, but I'm sure that publication has had gazillions of meat / cancer scare stories over the years yet I suspect most of it's readers still consume the occasional meaty morsel).
Given that humans are notoriously bad at looking at the long term, I doubt it will cause a cataclysmic decline in meat consumption.
Given the level of the "wail", I expect non stories on the risk of pork cheeks contact on phallus cancers any time soon, "Dirty Daves cancerous cockopalyse ticking time bomb" or similar lurid tosh headlines.
"There are some studies suggesting low-dose radiation is good for you."
The main one I've seen suggests to me that if you are being continually monitored because you work in the nuclear industry, a solid tumour is more likely to be caught early so you are less likely to die of it. That's the unproven conclusion I take from it, anyway.
There was no study mentioned in the article. Just putting processed meat on a list of probable carcinogens is fairly meaningless. Oxygen should be on that list, and that's only marginally more important than bacon. To suggest that bacon is equally as bad for you as tobacco smoke or asbestos is disingenuous, to say the least. I'm actually surprised they didn't spout some percentage of a percentage to boost the bullshit. E.g. "Bacon makes you 10x more likely to get bowel cancer (0.0001% to 0.001%)*
* All these figures are made up. I've no idea what the real statistics are, and I'm guessing neither do the Daily Mail.
So one week a group of boffins tell us that bacon is good for you and may help prolong life...another week a different set of boffins tell us bacon is a carcinogen and can kill us. Or that coffee is good for you/bad for you...or that beer is good for you/bad for you...or climate change exists/doesn't exist.
Tell you what..Why don't all you boffins with contradictory conclusions get into a large, stadium-like pit, provided only with hand weapons of your choice and fight to the death. The last ones standing will be the ones whose advice I'll take.
Beer icon because I KNOW it's good for me it's Friday and later this evening I will take my vitamins.
I wonder if this some madcap Daily Fail scheme to stir up porkist feelings and later claim it's all about certain religious types surreptitiously terror plotting to take over the WHO and that we should leave the EU thus freeing us from the tyranny of the cucumber and banana cops.
Red or Brown sauce on that Mr Mahmood ?
The Torygraph also has the story, saying "blah, blah, blah, it has been reported.", suggesting it's just copying a story from elsewhere. So it looks like it's not just El Reg that does that. But a bit of cross-checking by either outlet would have been nice.
Obviously the WHO list must embrace a pretty wide category of risks. I'm not that fussed about my regular pork product consumption, nor a bit of alcohol. But for some reason I'm just a little wary of regularly ingesting asbestos and arsenic. Are they really supposed to be of similar risk? And what about ***DEADLY RADIATION*** - surely supping that can't be good for one and I can't see how the Daily Mail could fail to notice that. After all, it is a world authority:
I used to make a joke about how the campaigners won't be satisfied until they've banned beer in pubs. It doesn't sound so funny these days.
It was the Torygraph that ran the headline this week that over 50s should consume no alcohol at all! Apparently from NICE, they say it leads to a higher incidence of dementia. Good luck on getting people to follow that advice (including me).
NICE are just a bunch of accountancy types who ran out of British industry to destroy and attached themselves to the NHS. That is my theory and it is mine.
Soya acts pretty much like oestrogen, so my wife has to avoid it as a way to prevent her from having breast cancer, again. Go figure. (On a long enough time line, survival rates always drop down to zero.)
My take on food? Find out what you like and can process without undesired side effects, and go for it. Just don't overdo it - 'too much' is the very definition of what's bad for you.
The link is between a living cell and cancer, if you have a living cell then there is a finite chance it will become cancerous. The longer you live the greater the chance, doing certain things will increase that chance and not doing them will decrease it, the chance, however, will never be zero. Knowing that you can move on and make decisions ignoring killjoys proclaiming your favourite thing on the planet is going to kill you, there is a chance it will but the chance of you being squashed by a diplodocus while munching a bacon sarnie are probably of the same order. I may have overstated that slightly.
"everyone dies with cancer, but not of cancer"
"Everyone dies with cancer, but probably not from cancer" would certainly be true. Hopefully the improvements in cancer prevention (if we listen and act on it) and in treatment (if we can afford it) will continue, and counteract the current trend of an increase in longevity.
The pharmaceutical trough union. Putting their invective in the Daily Fail is likely to cause a rift in reality.
So, let me get this straight, you want us to wake up, go to work in some mundane job full of petty and pointless corporate rules that never gives you a sense of fulfilment under managers who struggle to get their shoelaces tied, eat cardboard for lunch when you actually get a lunch break, go home on the politically correct eco-bus to more cardboard, drink, smoke and do sod all because it might be dangerous, rinse, repeat?
What the fuck is the point of a life like that? I'd love to follow a couple of these arseholes around with a video camera for a while. I'll bet they don't practice what they preach.
Most cancers have unknown cause. All digestive tract cancers, whose cause is known, are caused by bacteria or viruses.
Of course that doesn't give the prohibitionists the ammunition they need to ban anything fun.
Reference for "bowel probably cancer caused by viruses":
Reference for "most digestive tract cancers". 60%-70% of of mouth, throat and anal cancer caused by HPV virus:
That's only accounting for 60%-80% of bowel cancers. What about the rest? Well some warts are caused by non-papilloma virus types... maybe they account for some of the rest. Also some digestive tract cancers are associated with Helicobacter Pylori infection. I would bet anyone £10,000 that in twenty years over 80% of bowel cancers will have been proven to be caused by infectious disease. In all likelihood many will be vaccinated against.
The same goes for the incidence of cars per head; it's a developmental index.
The problem, I think, is scientific specialisation.
Suppose that a hundred years ago science was as compartmentalised as it is now. Somebody studying toxicology might discover that salicylic acid and its derivatives could cause internal bleeding, and they would have been labelled as hazardous. Someone else might have discovered their analgesic properties but would have got nowhere because they were classified as toxins.
Just looking at the death statistics, cars are extremely dangerous. This has to be weighed against the way they have facilitated a developed society with advanced engineering and medicine.
Processed meat was originally a way to preserve meat so people didn't get food poisoning. It probably saved countless lives. Nowadays the risk may exceed the benefits. That, rather than just a statement of risk, is what we need. What would be the implications of abolishing processed meat? What would be the other health risks that might result as people switched to other foods?
I'm heartily fed up (no pun intended) about that kind of scare-mongering by 'news' sources. Thing is, we now know that biochemically individuals can be markedly different, and factors like what your gut bacteria population is composed of and how healthy it is, and what the other stuff that you eat (alongside the item in question), plus things like how much of the stuff you consume and whether you binge-consume it or not can all have a marked effect on how the stuff you ingest affects you. Might just as well post articles saying 'caution - life is dangerous!' - perfectly true, but not terribly helpful.
Sooner or later, EVERYTHING (yes, including sex) will be PROVEN to be bad for you. Then it will be proven to have been false. Then...
...well I'm not sure about the "then" as I don't expect my life to be long enough for proper definitive answers. Just more "what we think today" rubbish.
I'll eat the things I enjoy and know that someday I'll die of something. Just like every single one of the n billion people on this planet.
Decades old news, really for added Nitrite fake curing which should have been replaced and banned years ago, not for stupidly smeared, valuable Red meat, provided food animals were fed a natural diet and get outdoors i.e. no grain feed or stuck 24/7/365 in a factory farm building or feed lot!
Any food containing Protein (e.g. meats, cheese, fish) with added Nitrite 'preservatives' which is cooked at high temperature (e.g. frying or grilling) or in other conducive environments like the Stomach will contain Nitrosamines from the Nitrites reacting with Protein.
Nitrosamines can be carcinogenic or cause other damage because they can damage DNA; how the frack do you think it preserves against bacterial contamination?!
The food regulators, including in the EU and UK, don't and won't protect you from all the harmful or missing stuff in food because of bureaucracy and corporate lobbying.
If you don't get self-educated about food and don't read product labels, so don't avoid toxins or toxic precursors like Nitrites, other harmful chemicals and harmfully processed ingredients, you will probably pay for this with a decline in quality of life or death, possibly decades sooner than you expected!
The ban on Pork in the bible and koran was really because some ancient world religious elite were fed up losing followers/slaves because they were incompetent to ensure that the cooked Pork did not contain any viable parasites, but looks a retarded restriction with modern world technology.
@Infernoz -- Yes. Been known for a long time that nitrate curing (as well as curing meats with real smoke) produces carcinogens. OK for an occasional treat, not so good for you in the long haul.
And speaking of the long haul, the person who outlives Methuselah despite smoking a pack of cigs a day, or sleeping only 20 minutes every other month, or eating a teaspoon of ammonium nitrate on his toast for breakfast, are by definition outliers. Such wondrous and peculiar folk are on the far skinny tail of the longevity bell curve already, and taking them as criterion for what is healthy for us chumps in the middle of the bell curve is quite silly.
Incidentally, real smoke curing is nasty because (at least in USA) the tars and other carcinogens produced by the partial combustion of the wood chips fall outside the purview of food safety agencies. "Liquid smoke" flavoring, however, is a foodstuff and can be analyzed and regulated.
So what are we supposed to eat, tofu and brown rice?† You know, life is 100% fatal, so if you're gonna die of something, you can either eat what you want and enjoy the time you have, or be a brown-rice fascist‡, and have a miserable taste-free existence eating twigs and leaves. I know which choice I'll make.
† A.: Not if you're allergic to soy or rice!
‡ Even though I'm a Yank, I'm familiar enough with the Daily Mail to understand their angle on things.
It's not either [eat only sugary-salty deep-fried chemicals] or [nothing but twigs and brown rice]. Of course it's not. Vast sensible and enjoyable middle ground. And the ol' bod can handle reasonable amounts of the most surprising substances.
Methanol -- wood alcohol. Sends you blind if you drink it, right? But it's present in a surprising array of healthy foodstuffs. Tomatoes and apple juice, for instance, and cheese and wine. It's metabolized quickly... but the metabolic path produces formaldehyde, a terrifying substance. However:
"Formaldehyde is not only ubiquitously present as an environment pollutant (Dhareshwar and Stella 2008; de Groot et al. 2009) but is also generated in substantial amounts in the human body by enzyme-catalyzed reactions (O’Sullivan et al. 2004; Cloos et al. 2008; Hou and Yu 2010). However, owing to formaldehyde detoxification by cellular enzymes (Friedenson 2011; MacAllister et al. 2011), a steady state balance between formaldehyde-generating and -disposing processes is established that leads to a normal blood formaldehyde concentration of around 0.1 mM (Heck and Casanova 2004)." (Journal of Neurochemistry, 2013).
So, nasty as methanol and formaldehyde are, we can handle small amounts of them and in fact do so every day.
Moderation. Balance. Deep, slow breaths. Etc.
First we have:
"The rulings, revealed to the Mail by a well-placed source"
Translation: Well I made this up after having been inspired by my morning bacon butty.
"Professor Richard Knox, a former Institute of Cancer Research expert, said ‘most cancer deaths will not be due to bowel cancer and even fewer linked to meat consumption’"
Translation: Expert says the Mail are talking complete bollocks as usual.
FFS this isn't even news
The presence of cancer inducing chemicals in preserved meat has been known about for years, and warnings about overconsumption of such have been around for years.
You've three problems
1) curing food in nitrate (saltpetre) solution creates carcinogenic nitrosamines in the meat at levels high enough to be significant with repeated consumption
2) smoking meat also creates nitrosamines, along with a wide range of organic compounds - including phenols, PCBs, tars. If the meat was cured before smoking then then the nitrosamine production is enhanced
3) cooking preserved meat by grilling / frying / kebabbing enhances and accelerates production of both the nitrosamines and other organics
If you want to preserve meat without such risk you need to cure it in salt brine, not in sodium/potassium nitrate, and then when needed cook it by boiling (at the same time washing out the salt to reduce other risks.....). Avoid cooking by direct heat from grill/griddle/frying pan
Nobody in their right mind would attempt to cure meat in a brine made solely from sodium/potassium nitrate; it's too damned expensive. All brining is done with NaCl, most with the addition of something to prevent the degradation of myoglobin at about 0.5% the weight of NaCl. Usually potassium sorbate these days, but used to be potassium nitrate here. WHO documents refer to sodium nitrite.
It occurs to me that if you did cure your meat with potassium nitrate alone then you'd probably not want to leave the ham cooking in the oven too long. It would probably explode.
"Nobody in their right mind would attempt to cure meat in a brine made solely from sodium/potassium nitrate; it's too damned expensive. "
Not true. You can pick up food grade potassium nitrate for around $800-1000 / tonne. I guess you'd use it in around 10-15% solution, so not much of a cost. As for the explosion risk - in the quantites absorbed into the meat, theres no risk at all
As they say, you should always listen to advice, but you don't have to take it.
Given that were all going to die one day what ever happens, and as its my life, its my decisions on how to run it and nobody else's.
So, anyone fancy a tasty fry up ?.
I'll skip the side order of asbestos though - even though its still a really good insulator.
It might be easier to stop the greenie-weenies causing cancer. There's a relationship between stress and cancer. Running around claiming that one part in a hundred billion of chemical X causes cancer induces unnecessary stress, thus increasing the rate of cancer among those who can be bothered paying attention to them.
Stress, cancer and immunity: New developments in biopsychosocial and psychoneuroimmunologic research.
Baltrusch, H. J.; Stangel, W.; Titze, I.
Acta Neurologica, Vol 13(4), Aug 1991, 315-327.
"Outlines the biopsychosocial approach to research on cancer and immunity. Psychosocial stressors have been shown to be risk factors in the clinical manifestation of cancer; such stressors may cause a person to experience helplessness and hopelessness. Evidence of links between psychosocial and behavioral factors and certain cancer sites falls into 2 categories: (1) studies of the relationship between aversive life events and the pathogenesis of cancer and (2) studies of the relationships between certain behaviors and coping styles and the development of cancer. Behavioral oncologists have proposed a "Type C" or cancer prone behavior pattern, characterized by denial of negative emotions, inability to express feelings, and high social conformity and compliance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)"
The overall lifetime risk of getting cancer is currently about 40%
Tobacco smoke contains powerful carcinogens, and causes 27% of all cancer deaths. Tobacco causes virtually all lung cancers, and many larynx, oesophagus, mouth, throat, bladder, pancreas, kidney, liver, stomach, bowel, cervix, leukaemia, and ovarian cancers.
Cancer is largely a disease of old age. We live in a carcinogenic world (there are over 200 identified carcinogens in a cup of coffee - all low risk!), but our bodies have effective defences against us developing cancer. These defences become less effective as we get older causing an increased risk of something sneaking in under the radar, or are overwhelmed by a carcinogenic assault like tobacco or HPV.
Over 30% of all oral, oesophageal, stomach and bowel cancers are attributed to dietary factors.
Red and processed meat (including bacon) causes 3% of cancers in the UK.
Alcohol causes 4% of cancers in the UK - with the risk proportional to how much you consume. The type of drink it is in is irrelevant.
White meat like chicken, stress, mobile phones and masts, and plastic bottles do not cause cancer.
So, you can't escape the risk, but it would seem sensible to be informed and avoid or reduce the biggies. As a doctor I intend to have a bacon sandwich for lunch today.
By that, I mean I was reading similar findings and reports 20 years ago.
I don't know about the rest of the world, but the USA really, REALLY needs to stop putting fucking bacon on everything not to mention that pigs farms in the USA have become toxic waste sites equal to the worst chemical processing plants in history.
I shall be attending the twenty-fourth Firecracker meeting at Arena Essex this Sunday. I shall, as normal, be partaking of a breakfast at the First Place Diner, always assuming that I can get there before it fills up. That breakfast will include bacon. I will then try to enjoy the meeting - as long as the weather doesn't do what it did last year, it shouldn't be a problem.
And the Daily Fail, WHO and any other health "specialists" that object to that idea can go stuff themselves.
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