Is it time to say bye-bye to bacon?

As Ari Paparo commented on Twitter, “If I have to eat my bacon 15 feet in front of the building, standing in the cold, so be it.”

It was a bad day for bacon lovers worldwide.

As Ari Paparo commented on Twitter, “If I have to eat my bacon 15 feet in front of the building, standing in the cold, so be it.”

While many of our other favourite foods like chocolate, wine and coffee have been found to have some health benefit, to date, bacon has been out of luck.

Last week, after a review of more than 800 studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a report stating that there is sufficient evidence to classify bacon, along with other processed meats, to be carcinogenic. This means it has the potential for causing cancer under some circumstances.

Although limiting intake of processed meat has been a public health message for many years, this report was unique in that it attached numbers to the risk, reporting that each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.

To provide some reference, 50 grams is not very much: about two slices of bacon or one hot dog wiener.

The term processed meats includes meat “transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation.”

This would include hotdogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, beef jerky or canned meat, but would not include many deli meats such as whole-roasted turkey, chicken or beef.

So what does this mean?

The research does not prove that you will get cancer if you eat processed meats.

The relative risk of occasionally enjoying some bacon or hot dogs is quite small. However, it does suggest that you should not make processed meats an everyday choice, especially if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.

The unfortunate result of this report is that while joking about eating bacon is funny, it underscores the fact that for many people, eating processed meats is a life skills or economic reality, not a personal choice.

These findings should be used to advocate for acceptable alternative protein sources for those living on a small income or with limited cooking skills.

-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.


Just Posted

In photos: Monashee Mountain Men Black Powder Shoot

Black powder firearms enthusiasts gathered together to test their skills at the… Continue reading

Reel Reviews: Atypical college life

We say, “Life of the Party is pleasant and harmless.”

Caravan Farm Theatre fundraiser embraces outlaw spirit

The third annual Hands Up! Live Auction Fundraisder is June 2

In Photos: Trooper attracts a crowd on Shuswap Lake

Hundreds of boats turn up to watch the Canadian rockers play atop a 94 foot houseboat

Salmon Arm Secondary hosts B.C. mountain biking championships

Over 200 riders expected to hit the trails May 25-26

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Cat stuck on telephone pole in the South Okanagan rescued

FortisBC rescued a cat stuck on a telephone pole in Kaleden

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Your Shuswap with Ted Crouch

Find out what people in your community love about the Shuswap and Salmon Arm

Most Read