The WHO Deems Processed Meats Carcinogenic, but Foodtography is Making Us Love Bacon More Than Ever

Photo by Kim Ahlstrom

Photo by Kim Ahlstrom

If you're anything like the rest of the Millennial generation, you've likely already seen enough "Foodtography" on your social media pages this morning at least make you think about food. Mashable's Infographic on the Food Photography trend says that 10.7% of all food photos posted to social media are meat, and we'll just take a guess to say the majority of that probably has something to do with bacon (can you disagree?).

But on Monday, a press release by the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) may now make us think twice about ordering that double bacon cheeseburger (as we  know we should anyway). The press release (found here) "...classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans" and also stated "Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans." Specifically, 50g of processed meat daily increase the risk of Colorectal cancer by 18%. Yikes. 

Although more research and evidence supports that processed meat is more carcinogenic than red meat alone, a lot of times processed meat is red meat. But WHO is telling us what we already know - limit consumption of red and processed meats.

And although this is something that we've known for quite some time, as the USDA Dietary Guidelines have advised us to limit our consumption of these types of foods, social media trends like "Foodtography" and Food Porn on Instagram, Twitter, etc. tend to seduce our senses into thinking eating like this is worth the potential long-term health effects. 

But here's a little fuel for Team Healthy: not only is there now more evidence that red and processed meats may cause cancer, but we know that the chemicals created and added during the processing of these meats may have short-term health effects as well. Migraines and headaches can be triggered by these types of chemicals which we know do not react well with our bodies ecosystem. Sulphites and Nitrates are just two common examples of chemicals in processed meats which can put us as risk for a painful headache soon after we devour that delicious sandwich or burger. To see if these chemicals are in your food, download MigraineChecked on your phone. Your body, and head, will thank you.