Processed meats as bad as smoking, when it comes to cancer threat
Like eating pigs? Not live-ones, but rather, do you like getting stuck into a load of sausages, or some bacon or ham? Delicious isn't it? Well, the World Health Organisation say that it is also pretty dangerous.
WHO say that processed meats are a cancer threat, like cigarettes, and that eating 50g of processed meat a day - that's less than two slices of bacon or a single sausage - increase the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18%.
That means processed pig meat is up there with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cig. Fresh red meat is also getting a look in, as a "probable" carcinogen. Basically, all the fun stuff is bad for you (there's nothing Biterwallet likes more than eating asbestos).
So, in short, the WHO has basically just said that processed meat is officially regarded as "carcinogenic to humans". Are we going to see warnings on packaging? You'd assume so, wouldn't you? Imagine the fun of a fry up, that comes with a skull and crossbones on the menu.
That said, scientists are divided on this issue, with reports showing that meat-eaters have similar levels of bowel cancer to vegetarians. And obviously, bacon isn't as bad as smoking tabs (and eating packets of cigarettes isn't as tasty as a bacon butty), and the risk is considerably smaller.
If you're worried, and you're not sure what actually constitutes processed meat, then here's what you need to keep an eye on: processed meat is meat anything that has been preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives. So that's things like salami and hot dogs, as well as bacon and ham. Burgers are red meat, rather than processed (provided you get proper ones).
In short - meat being bad for you is not going to be earth shattering news to many, and indeed, anyone with loud vegetarian friends won't notice any different.
Either way, this is a story worth keeping an eye on, as indeed, is the amount of processed meat being shovelled into our gobs. Unless, of course, you don't care; in that case - see you down the front of the barbecue, as that's where we'll be.