Uproar in the Food Community

Two new reports crossed my desk in the past couple of weeks.  The first being the one by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) where they announced that bacon, sausage and other processed meats are now ranked alongside cigarettes and asbestos as known carcinogens, and that red meat likely causes cancer, specifically colorectal cancer.  It really has the community in an uproar from the bacon lover’s lament to PETA’s offer of a free vegan starter kit.    If you haven’t read the report and would like to – you can find it here.   I have been asked what I think and whether, I was  going to stop eating red meat?

Well to begin with, I don’t eat much red meat now at all, let alone processed meat.   However, I have a 14 year old carnivore living in my home and so understanding the report was important to me.   One of the issues with the report is people interpreting it to mean that meat causes cancer and therefore they have to stop eating it.  However, being classified as a carcinogen meant that processed mate was placed in a group that shared common characteristics e.g. that it can cause cancer, but it doesn’t reflect the severity of the risk and how much you would need to be exposed to get cancer.  So will I remove meat from my son’s diet, probably not but I will continue to monitor what and how much he takes in.  LOL, I actually check the school website to see what he had that day.   Never been a fan of luncheon meat and hot dogs so that’s a plus but he could pack in a whole porter house steak if I let him.  Which brings to mind another issue and that is quality.  Every time I go to the butcher, I ask for grass fed beef and have them portion out in 4-6 ounce pieces right then and there.   

The second report that came out was this one from the NYT about the FDA’s recommendation of a 10% of calories dietary cap on added sugar.  For someone over 3, that translated to about 50 grams of sugar which would be easily taken care of with a can of coke.   Most important, the FDA is proposing changes in labeling to help people distinguish between the amount of naturally occurring sugar and the amount of added sugar.  I think it great but critics are suggesting the labeling will confuse people even more, that they might overestimate the amount of sugar and therefore forego a healthier food.  How will the food industry react to deal with the change in focus? In the meantime, I have a challenge for you.  Count the number of teaspoons of sugar you consume.   Notice how it makes its way into many "healthy" sounding foods, like granola, yogurt, and tomato sauce.  Post your findings in the comment section.

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