Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Not the bacon! Don't take away the bacon!!!

Not the bacon! Don't take away the bacon!!!

The World Health Organization released the results of a new health study where they have reclassified the carcinogenic ratings of several items. The most distressing being processed meats such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs. These are now a category 1, the same as tobacco products.

The likely culprits that led to these conclusions are the chemicals used in processing and preserving these foods. Most have a dizzying amount of dangerous sounding substances added in to give them enhanced flavor and longer shelf-life.

There is a silver lining to the threatening cloud of a bacon-deprived life. If the chemicals are the issue as I am assuming then bacon without the chemicals is, at the very least, considerably less risky. This nearly-healthy bacon is not a myth and it's delicious. Just watch the labels and find the good stuff with no nitrites, nitrates, or possibly explosive compounds added in.

An option for much healthier meats from these tasty categories is simply to buy quality meats and smoke them yourself. I have a simple charcoal powered wood smoker I use from time to time. It turns out fantastic foods and I know exactly what's on them because I put it there. This can include things like bacon, ham, and hot dogs if you want to invest in some simple kitchen tools and play around with recipes.

There is some controversy over health concerns with smoked foods as well as any grilled foods or foods seared at very high temperatures. The concern is the byproducts of combustion or incomplete combustion. Some of the stuff in smoke is pretty nasty. The question is whether it is absorbed during digestion and, if it is, how much of a concern would it ultimately be in our systems. The common-sense consensus would be to simply make smoked and grilled food items a sometimes treat instead of a steady diet.

What do you think about all of this? Is it just another health scare study? Will next year's study warn us about kale and recommend we all have a cigar, or is WHO on the right track?

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