This is How Bacon Causes Cancer

Last month’s report by the World Health Organization on the cancerous risks of consuming processed meats left everyone in a buzz for a week or so, yet it may be a while until we can see if consumers are eating less of the stuff because of it. The temporary nature of media coverage, however, does not mean the risks are less real for folks who munch on meat without worrying about the headlines; the risks of processed meat should be concerning for all shoppers.

But, how exactly does processed meat cause cancer? Time recently published an infographic explaining some of the contributing factors to America’s current favorite fad: bacon. Using the expertise of Mariana Stern, cancer epidemiologist and professor at the University of Southern California and data from the WHO and the Global Burden of Disease Project, the science spells out just how nasty carcinogens are cultivated in the processing of meat.

Why bacon? “Bacon culture” has to be the most perplexing trend of recent times. Not only does consuming it contribute to well-known health risks, it is also a product of unimaginable suffering. Any time I hear the ubiquitous “Everything’s better with bacon!” comment, my heart cringes. As a vegan, for ethical reasons, it’s baffling to hear how a product borne of pain, torture and terrifying death could become such a whimsical, celebratory food product. If the moral reasoning behind eschewing meat-based bacon isn’t enough to opt out, let’s dive into the health reasoning—specifically cancer-causing risks:

1. Nitrates and Nitrites

Many processed meats are preserved with nitrites or nitrates (which turn into nitrites in the body). These can form carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines, which can damage DNA. Cooking with high temperatures also increases the occurrence of nitrosamines. This compound has been found to cause cancer in a variety of animal species and evidence has been found linking nitrosamines to gastric cancer and esophageal cancer in humans. “Nitrate-free” products are still treated with nitrate salt from celery juice and our bodies cannot tell the difference.

2. High Temperatures

Frying, roasting or grilling meats at high temperatures leads to carcinogen formation. One nasty compound, heterocyclic amine, is linked with cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, pancreas, lung, stomach and esophagus. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are also linked to a bevy of health risks. Unfortunately for bacon-lovers, pan-frying uses exceptionally high heat, increasing the risk further.

3. Heme Iron

This iron-transporting molecule found in meat can play a part in the formation of N-nitroso compounds, found to be linked significantly with cancer risk, especially colorectal cancer. Heme iron toxicity can be a catalyst for cancer formation.

Fear not, if you are understandably concerned about the risks of conventional bacon (turkey bacon, included, by the way)—there are tons of plant-based bacons on the market. Or, you could make your own replications of the smokey and salty cultural favorite with ingredients possibly already sitting in your pantry. From coconut bacon, tempeh bacon, seitan bacon, shiitake bacon, tofu bacon, zucchini bacon and eggplant bacon, nowadays there is no excuse to keep eating pork products, or any processed meats.

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217 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Nell N.
Past Member 1 years ago

It's also the teflon pan...I have started to use onöy ifon pan and also Iron pots in the owen

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BornBlazed IndicaSeeds

Thai peppers Cure most Cancer's especially lung, Prostate and Colon.

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline1 years ago

Even still, imagine had I stated how I could set up some way to have Katie die, slowly, painfully as she stated she'd love to setup for me!

I would be, rightly, thrown off this blog. Only the "protected class", the Veganists, can want others dead that they are praised by the rabble and nothing done by the moderators.

Way to go mods, let the hate flow, right?

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline1 years ago

Oops, Pat B is female, not male, or so says the "bio"

The "white knights" who "defend women" 95% of the time are just looking for a different way to score

My bad

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline1 years ago

@ Karen N: Ah yes, "delusional hypocrites" has been added to the list of Vegan attitudes. You seem to have 0 problem with Vegans wishing death on others.

Tell us again how that is not "holier than thou" and a real indication of a troubling and deep indicator of a narcissistic personality disorder.....

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline1 years ago

@ Pat B: So how's that "being the white knight" working for you? Are you getting laid more often? Or are you still stuck having to lick and then lay at the feet of the women you suck up to when you try to curry favor?

He, if that helps you get in their pants, whatever works, huh chump?

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline1 years ago

@ Katie: How sweet you are. Good to see that your hypocrisy and vitriol are a major part of who you are. As far as my arteries go, well, I'm 52 and still run 5 to 10km every other day, have a BP or 100/70 and a resting heart rate of 55. So far, so good.

That you can get away with taking me out to get gored by a wild boar shows just how much a Vegan can get away with on this site.

The best thing about you posting is to show just how much of a fraud you are when it comes to "caring". You care for nobody but yourself. As far as your claim about my being a "tosser", heh, worried about my sex life? How sweet.

I guess when all you have is paddling the pink canoe all alone in your room is your idea of a hot Friday night, you must assume everyone does it that way. Personally, I'd rather play with my wife. But thanks for caring (not)!

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Eden S.
Past Member 1 years ago

Good recipe, thank you

My best healthy recipe ebooks

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Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder1 years ago

ty

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