That BLT Needs a Warning Label, Here’s Why

Nobody was surprised when tobacco companies started putting warning labels on cigarette boxes. Smoking causes cancer, so of course we should be informed of the potential risks up front.

They may be the most obvious, but cigarettes arenít the only things that are bad for our health. Other group 1 carcinogens include alcohol and asbestos, both of which are festooned with warning labels advising the consumer of their potential dangers.

And rightly so. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.

However, when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it would start classifying Ďprocessed meatsí as a group 1 carcinogen, the meat industry rallied together to stifle the news.

They clearly did a very good job, because three years later we have yet to see a warning label on a packet of bacon (or any other processed meat, for that matter). In fact, processed meat sales continue to prosper, putting more lives at risk in the process.

THE PROBLEM WITH PROCESSED MEAT

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the daily consumption of red meat is a risky business anyway. Add processed meat to the mix and youíre really playing with fire.

“The increased risk is really substantial,Ē confirmed study author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public health.

Consuming one serving of red meat (beef, pork or lamb) per day increases your risk of mortality by 13 percent. Eating processed meats pushes the risk of death to about a 20 percent.

Americaís favorite breakfast food is high in sodium and saturated fat, which are linked to high blood pressure, stroke and an increased risk of heart disease. That news alone should persuade you to†cool it on the bacon.

If it’s not, then perhaps this will grab your attention. Smoked, cured and processed meats are usually treated with nitrates or nitrites to make them last longer and enhance their color. (If youíve ever wondered why hotdogs are so pink, now you know.)

In their 2015 study, the World Health Organization found that for every daily portion (about 2 ounces) of processed meat you eat, the risk of colorectal cancer goes up by 18 percent. Scientists suspect that nitrates and nitrites are at least partially to blame for this.

LETíS TALK ABOUT ANIMAL AGRICULTURE

All factory-farmed animals are subjected to a sad and inhumane existence, but pigs have it particularly bad. Crammed into metal gestation crates so small they can’t even turn around, sows are able to do nothing more than feed their young.

These animals are also pumped full of dangerous antibiotics and hormones to make them grow faster and remain relatively healthy despite their abhorrent living conditions.

This cruelty is reason enough to stop eating meat, but thereís also the impact of animal agriculture on the planet to take into account. Among a great many other things, livestock and their byproducts account for 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

If you havenít yet, do yourself a favor and watch Cowspiracy. Billed as the film that environmental organizations donít want you to see, it uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today. An industry thatís gambling with people’s lives and putting them at risk of cancer.

WHATíS THE ALTERNATIVE?

In their groundbreaking follow-up film, What the Health, the creators of Cowspiracy pull back the curtain on healthcare in America. They uncover the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases Ė and investigate why the nationís leading health organizations donít want us to know about it.

The secret is simple: eat a plant-based diet.

Hippocrates knew this, the worldís longest lived people know this, even the well-known food writer, Michael Pollan agrees. His advice regarding food and health can be summed up in seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Eating a plant-based diet doesnít mean succumbing to a lackluster life†of lettuce, Brussels sprouts and carrots, though. While fresh produce should form a large part of what you eat, thereís no need to stop there.

There are plenty of Ďmeatyí meal ideas to keep your taste buds happy. The adage Ďanything you can eat, I can eat veganí has never been more true. Do a search for Ďveganí BLTí for example, and Google will provide you with more than half a million cruelty-free recipes to choose from.

If youíre not ready to quit meat just yet, at least make a point of avoiding the processed stuff. Thereís a reason why people are saying hot dogs should have warning labels and itís not particularly appetizing.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

81 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y15 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jack Y
Jack Y15 days ago

thanks

SEND
John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Brad H
Brad Habout a month ago

thanks

SEND
Renata K
Renata Kovacsabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.....

SEND
Janis K
Janis Kabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA Rabout a month ago

Thank you for posting.

SEND
Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

SEND
Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

SEND