The “Red Meat” Debate

Should consumers really opt out of including bacon and slices of ham in their diet?

Red meat and processed foods are some of the most important food choices that people up and down the country make everyday. The scenarios have been the same for as long as I can remember: hamburgers, hot dogs and corned beef are almost national favourites across the Atlantic, so when WHO published findings linking it to cancer, I could not believe what I was reading.

According to the report, red meat and tobacco are the same, when it comes to cancer. That’s funny but I don’t remember sausages doing to you, what nicotine does to your lungs. Processed meat fare slightly better than red meat but do we really need to believe this sudden and latest research findings, before something else comes and knocks it over?

Eating fatty foods gives you heart disease and raises your chances of obesity but eating too less of it and going vegetarian means you are declining the opportunity to be healthy by saying goodbye to a natural source of protein. Red meat is inclusive of lamb, pork, beef, veal, mutton and goat, while processed meat is more of meat that has been cured in salts or smoked. The WHO report highlights that many people die annually around the globe because of cancer, for consuming red meat; sometimes, in America, they even get too sick.

The meat industry has not been kind to the news because business will get hit with so much talk of avoiding a food product that is normally thought to not be linked to cancer because any one food cannot be held responsible for inducing such a fatal and complicated disease. Asking consumers to push back on eating red meat is an insult to our natural predatory ways because we are all programmed to find the sizzle of cooked meat, very irresistible.

Furthermore, Westminster insists that meat is protein-packed, and replacing it with beans, nuts and salad will not do any wonders for your health at all. It contains minerals, (measured) good fats, iron, essential amino acids and vitamins so I think aligning with the meat industry is a good idea: we should most definitely eat more of beef jerky, pepperoni and chicken nuggets.