Meat

Your Bacon Risk of Cancer, From Wired

Meanwhile PETA offers you a free vegan starter kit and a vegan mentor

|

Redmeat
ambrosekane

As all the world knows, yesterday the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), a arm of the World Health Organization, has just declared that cured meats are definitely human carcinogens and that red meats are probably carcinogens. So should you swear off bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham? Only if you are worried about raising your lifetime risk of getting colorectal cancer from 5 percent to 6 percent, explains an article at Wired.

As the article notes, the IARC found that eating cured meats raises your risk of getting colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Since the average lifetime risk of getting the illness is about 5 percent, frequently eating bacon and assorted other tasty cured meats boosts your lifetime risk to about 6 percent. For context, smoking tobacco increases your risk of getting lung cancer by 2,500 percent, yet cured meats and tobacco are now classified together by the IARC as Group 1 (highest risk) carcinogens. From Wired:

"If this is the level of risk you're running your life on, then you don't really have much to worry about," says Alfred Neugut, an oncologist and cancer epidemiologist at Columbia.

Good news. Colorectal cancer rates are falling in the U.S. Cancer Facts & Figures 2015 notes:

Incidence rates [for colorectal cancer] have been decreasing for most ofthe past two decades, which has been attributed to both changes in risk factors and the uptake of colorectal cancer screening among adults 50 years and older.

Whatever your dietary habits, it's a very good idea to submit to a colonoscopy from time to time.

If you are nevertheless concerned, the folks over at Vegan Central, otherwise known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called me to let me know that they are offering …

… a free vegan starter kit and a personal vegan mentor to anyone ready to ward off cancer as well as a slew of other health issues by going vegan. Our lives may just depend on choosing a veggie burger over a bratwurst, and PETA's seasoned vegan mentors are standing by to help with a wealth of information on healthy, easy-to-find meat-free meals to enjoy at home or out on the town.

I, for one, will not be taking PETA up on its offer.

NEXT: Those amazin' Metropolitans (and why I'm not a Mets fan)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. A concept worth familiarizing yourself with: the micromort.

    1. I hate to say this. It may come as a shock to some.

      Everyone’s chances of dying are….are you sitting?…..100%. There is no way around it.

      1. Speak for yourself, I’m living forever.

        1. That’s always a possibility too. You never know if it hasn’t happened yet. Given enough time, there is some non-zero chance of anything physically conceivable happening.

          1. Maybe forever is a bit of an exaggeration. I will be alive to see the universe reach its maximum expansion, be forced by the Lords of the Outer Dark (the beings that live outside the universe) to collapse back upon itself, and disappear into nothing.

            So at least a few hundred million trillion years.

            1. I think 10^120 years is about the point where everything possible is likely to have happened. And in that much time you might be able to figure out the multiverse thing.

      2. True, but useless information.

        But as we all know, technically correct is the best kind of correct.

  2. PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals.

    Back in the early days of the web, peta.org actually went to pro-meat web site.

  3. PETA’s seasoned vegan mentors

    I hope they don’t use too much salt. I hate when my vegan mentors are too salty. And don’t get me started on curry.

    1. Too salty? Is that a thing?

      1. It is when you use an entire bottle of regular soy sauce in your Asian pulled-pork recipe…

        1. Yeah, even I have overdone it a few times, underestimating the combined salty/umami contributions of soy sauce, fish sauce, condensed stock and salt.

          1. It’s like mom used to say, you can always add more salt but you can never make me love you.

            1. Awwwww, that’s so sweet.

                1. Not like mymommy.

  4. Somebody should write a book: “The End of Bacon!”

    The author would need to be charismatic; someone like Rick Steves.

    1. I wonder when the veggies say we will have “peak bacon”?

  5. I like bacon.

    1. You’re just signaling your pro-bacon credentials to gain social prestige with other bacon enthusiasts. You are not Ron Swanson.

  6. Seems to me that all this WHO bullshit about things that “cause” cancer (doesn’t their list also include pickles and coffee?) will have the effect of making more people simply ignore supposed risk factors.

    People figured out that things like smoking and asbestos cause cancer because people who smoked a lot or were exposed to a lot of asbestos were dying of cancer a lot more than other people. If you need to do a bunch of studies like this to even find a correlation, then odds are pretty good that the risk really isn’t worth worrying about.

  7. Does X contribute to global warming? Yes? Then it causes cancer.

    1. Well, being alive for long enough seems to be the biggest cause of cancer, so I guess that’s right.

  8. Someday, a study will come out suggesting that being a busybody statist causes heart attacks, strokes, and even STDs.

    1. I’d settle for tar and feathers.

    2. … in other people.

  9. Huh. Imagine that.

    http://www.theguardian.com/env…..odanddrink

    I will vote for anyone who vows to kick the UN and all of their associated bodies out of the country. I imagine such a person would get quite a lot of support.

    1. Yes, the climate change/red meat link has been a thing for a while now.

    2. Stupid crap. Just like with fossil fuels, it really doesn’t matter what well-off Euros and Americans do. As the developing world gets more prosperous, they will happily pick up any slack on meat eating and burning stuff for energy.

    3. On the one hand concern trolling over how we’ll manage to feed 9 billion humans, on the other hand doing everything possible to make it impossible.

  10. Doing a study of studies you chose to study because they matched your desired output makes studies useless.

    1. Also known as Garbage In, Garbage Out.

  11. cured meats and tobacco are now classified together by the IARC as Group 1 (highest risk) carcinogens

    With sound guidelines like these, who in their right mind would ever question the authorities?

  12. World’s oldest person eats bacon every day so suck it, World Health Organization.

    Also, let’s keep going with that whole awesome meat recipe thread that happened yesterday. Tons of great stuff everyone!

    Here’s my contribution-
    Siracha bacon, roasted pineapple and scallops saut?ed in tarragon butter with sunchoke roasted garlic potato pur?e.

      1. This I have to try. I love pork and pineapple together.

      2. Verily, thou art naught but a roynish, milk-livered swineapple.

    1. Oh. That reminds me. It is time to make jerky again. Deer season is coming up and I always make jerky to take to the woods.

      Thin sliced, lean beef. Soak in Tabasco overnight then dried with a nice thick coating of sauce on it.

      Twice I have made about 30 bucks worth and my stepson and his buddies got into it and gobbled it up in one day. Now I hide it. They can buy their own crappy store-bought stuff.

      1. “Soak in Tabasco” – just stop right there
        Texas Pete/Crystal/Louisiana or GTFO

        1. Steve G is correct.

        2. Good grief.

          Crystal? Louisiana? Texas Pitiful?

          It is supposed to have a little heat. Why would I put wimp sauce on it?

          Tabasco has more than a pepper flavor, it has a little bite.

      2. Please tell me 30 bucks refers to the number of deer.

        1. I make deer jerky in December.

  13. Cancer – it’s what’s for dinner.

    1. the carcinogen is the thing in the BBQ that makes it tasty.

  14. Speaking of which, I hear the pinkos using the term ‘global warming’ more often. I thought they had dropped it altogether but apparently not.

    How far are we into a no warming period now? It is working on 20 years, isnt it? Yet they are still pushing the lie and demanding money.

    1. There was no pause.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/st…..1433440861

      1. Uh huh. also there have been non-stop Katrinas every year. Also, Sandy was the first hurricane ever to hit NJ. Snow is a thing of the past.

    2. Well, “hottest year on record” or something.

      I really don’t know how to reconcile that with the supposed no warming period notion. I don’t think any of us has access to sufficient information to know for sure.

      In any case, it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter. None of the proposed solutions is going to work even if it is a major problem.

      1. We can’t even have a proper discussion about possible solutions as long as people want to bury their heads in the sand (see above).

        1. I agree. I think steadfastly claiming that there is no warming and everyone who says so is just a liar with suspect motives is about as dumb as claiming that some particular hurricane is definitely caused by global warming. I think the science is no where near as developed and mature as some would have us believe. But that doesn’t mean we can’t know anything about climate.

          As for solutions, I don’t think any politically driven solution will work, at least not without doing more harm than good. The solution is for people to innovate and adapt to whatever comes, just like we always have done.

        2. Sounds less like a discussion and more like a lecture.

        3. “Not accepting my premise on blind faith” = “bury their heads in the sand”

  15. Personally, I am vegetarian (but would never force anyone else to be, not even my children), but to claim that eating processed soy and texturized vegetable proteins is somehow less of a health risk than eating processed meats (which use the SAME chemicals, by and large) is just stupid.

    And being vegan is just dumb. It’s not healthy, no matter what vegans say. It’s just the modern equivalent of wearing a hair-shirt.

    1. Isn’t there some cancer risk associated with soy in general too?

      1. and man boobs.

      2. “Isn’t there some cancer risk associated with soy in general too?”

        I don’t know that it’s been studied all that much, not being politically “hot” the way “unhealthy” things are, but most of the simulated meat products on the market are easily as processed as any processed meat products, with all the same exotically unhealthy chemicals. Veggie hot dogs are every bit as bad for you as pork hot dogs.

        It is also complete fiction that tofu is good for you. It’s not.

        1. It is also complete fiction that tofu is good for you.

          Define “good for you”. For example, it’s a low-calorie, high-protein food. So it’s good if you use it for muscle gainz, bro. Similarly, because it’s low in carbs, it’s not useful to you for endurance. Of course, no food is good for you if all you do is sit on your duff all day.

          1. I don’t come to your house and critique your hobbies.

            1. That’s only because I’m a doomsday prepping hermit who has booby trapped his entire off-the-grid cabin.

              1. I didn’t leave my legs in ‘nam for this treatment!

          2. True enough – “good for you” is highly subjective and depends to an unappreciated amount on your own unique body chemistry, lifestyle, and goals.

            Tofu is high in protein, but it is also high in fat, has very little fiber, and few vitamins & minerals to speak of. Tempeh is the “healthy” fermented soy product (containing the whole bean, unprocessed), and tempeh is insanely good for you – tempeh is to tofu as whole wheat flour is to white flour. It also tastes like drywall, with a less pleasant texture.

            Nuts and beans are a better way to go for protein, if you’re not doing meat.

  16. About half the world’s population is in at least one of the following categories:

    1. Starving/malnourished
    2. Has no/poor access to clean drinking water
    3. Is suffering from a treatable/preventable terminal/debilitating illness

    And the organization that claims responsibility for the world’s health is going to spend a sizeable share of its time and effort promoting… veganism.

    1. “It occurred to us that there wouldn’t be world hunger if you people would LIVE WHERE THE FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!”

      1. But everyone in the world has the right to live wherever they are (or want to be) and have have a high standard of living and all modern conveniences, but not to much that it interferes with their authentic cultural identity. What kind of a monster doesn’t want to fund that?

      2. ^^^^+1 Sam Kinison

    2. That kind of makes me wonder if they have an ulterior motive. Maybe.

  17. Today’s companion piece – sugar will kill you too:

    http://www.theguardian.com/soc…..udy-claims

  18. “Meanwhile PETA offers you a free vegan starter kit and a vegan mentor”

    Oh, goody! Instructions from a terrorist organization!

    1. Yeah, sounded like an offer for everyone who wants all the benefits of a reeducation camp in the comfort of their own home.

    2. Do they want us to eat that vegan mentor? They want us to become canibal?

  19. The most galling thing about all this is I/we know full well that – with reference to taxes – the difference between the amount necessary to provide basic cooperative services and a reasonable military and the 35% of my labor I/we pay extra is used to fund this sort of shit. I am Forced to finance all this blathering nonsense.

  20. Epidemiology – fucking up the American diet since 1955

    1. Personally, I put the blame closer to the origin of modern statistics, Galton was pretty fucking evil and fathered a lot of basic science that did nothing but generate confusion for decades (still) to come.

  21. “So should you swear off bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham? Only if you are worried about raising your lifetime risk of getting colorectal cancer from 5 percent to 6 percent.”

    One of the problems us libertarians have is understanding that scientists can make all sorts of qualitative judgments on our behalf–better than we can. You may think you know what you want and what you care about, but people with PhDs know what you want and what you care about better than you do. After all, they have PhDs!

    It should be noted that scientists understand your qualitative preferences better than you do–on everything. That includes questions like whether you should care more about polar bears than coal miners (The scientific answer is polar bears), whether you should care more about polar bears than your own standard of living (The scientific answer is polar bears), and whether you prefer to eat red meat (The scientific answer is that cow produced methane hurts polar bears).

    So the next time you find yourself wondering how scientists can know what you want and what you care about better than you (or better than a market that caters to your qualitative preferences), just remember: they have PhDs, and you don’t!

    And if you still don’t understand that, then you’re a stupid redneck.

    1. I give you people gold.

  22. Incidence rates [for colorectal cancer] have been decreasing for most ofthe past two decades, which has been attributed to both changes in risk factors and the uptake of colorectal cancer screening among adults 50 years and older.

    How can you mesh that statistic with the “findings” from the IARC that eating red or processed meats increases your chances of getting colo-rectal cancer? People are living longer and processed meats and red meat are much more available and consumed than ever before? If the relationship between red/processed meats and colo-rectal cancer was indeed that direct, we should see a higher number of colo-rectal cancers being diagnosed rather than less. There’s something fishy going on here. am thinking that someone is looking to increase his (or her) grant money by generating baloney scares.

    (Get it? “Baloney” scares? Oh, never mind.)

  23. “[…]a free vegan starter kit and a personal vegan mentor to anyone ready to ward off cancer as well as a slew of other health issues by going vegan.”

    I’ll wait for the workout video, if you don’t mind. I don’t want a scrawny and infirm-looking weirdo telling me how to eat veggies.

    1. To be vegan? Well, the first thing you have to do is buy yourself some bicycle shorts to do yoga, and then you have to grow a beard like a homeless guy.

      I actually grew up vegetarian. When I got older, it was like I was having a constant allergic reaction. I kept getting sicker and sicker. Turned out I was allergic to soy and soybeans–and all legumes.

      Giving a vegetarian an allergy to all forms of legumes? God must be a woman. An angry, vengeful woman.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.