As you’re reading this, your mom is probably leaving you a voicemail about the news on how processed meats cause cancer. If you do happen to eat processed meats (like bacon for those who don’t keep kosher, or hot dogs for those who do), this may not be the news you were hoping for today.
According to the study WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has just published, “there is enough evidence to rank processed meats as group 1 carcinogens, because of a causal link with bowel cancer.”
But, it doesn’t stop there: it also pertains to red meat, though the risk is less definitive, on the basis of research linking it to pancreatic and prostate cancer. As if moms needed another thing to worry about, now they get to worry about their kid’s lunch sandwiches. Maybe stick to chicken?
READ: I Didn’t Grow Up Kosher, But I’m Going to Give It a Try
But really, like everything else, it’s just about moderation. Kurt Straif, head of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, explained how this news doesn’t mean you have to stop eating processed meat entirely:
“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed. This decision doesn’t mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat. But if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.”
Just choose wisely, basically. Your kid can still eat their favorite pastrami sandwich every now and then–meltdown averted. Even so, you probably don’t want to eat the same thing everyday, anyway. (And really, who cares about real bacon when you can eat kosher bacon-flavored Ritz crackers.)
So, you know, listen to your mother. And don’t forget to call her back telling her she was right all along.