As if there was room to be told about one more food item that we couldn’t eat, the World Health Organization has shocked all of us by adding a common dietary standard in the United States, processed meat, to the list of major carcinogens to avoid.
As a refresher, a carcinogen is a substance that can cause cancer in humans.
Before you decide that this is all too much and you’re giving up, we’d like to remind you that WHO isn’t extolling all meat; instead, they’re talking about processed meat — so your typical fast food fare or the deli meat you find in the refrigerated aisle instead of at the butcher. In addition, they’ve hinted at future big news regarding red meat, something that many of us have been cutting back on for years, and perhaps rightly so.
While we’re not in the business of telling you what you can and can’t eat, there’s no doubt that the consumption of meat is a major issue in our country right now, and around the world. Not only has the World Health Organization lite the fire by warning all of us about the carcinogenic risk of processed meats, but there’s more than enough evidence regarding the dangers of meat to our environment, as well as to our bodies.
Evidence includes how consuming meat is the second greatest contributor to CO2, second to cars and trucks. (P.S: We’ve compiled this list of 8 ways you can help the environment — even if you own a car and eat meat.)
To help protect your body from developing dangerous cancers, it’s not a bad idea to start upping your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits — preferably as local and organic as possible — while reducing your intake of meat. As for processed meats? It might be time just to say no altogether.
No matter what you eat, you may still be at risk for mesothelioma if you are exposed to asbestos, another cancer-causing substance that ranks high on the WHO’s list of carcinogens.
However, even if you eat a stellar diet, even if you abstain from processed meats, let’s say, 100 percent, you still risk exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxic substances that are carcinogenic and capable of causing cancer. That’s because there’s already a very long list of carcinogens on the WHO’s list, as well as our attorneys’ radar. Perhaps the most detrimental of all is asbestos, a lethal substance that has been a well-known carcinogen, capable of causing cancer in humans, for decades. That cancer is called mesothelioma.
Now that it’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month, (that’s right, November!), it’s time for all of us to get honest about the true risks of dangerous carcinogens, even the ones we’ve known about for years. Because, while WHO may see asbestos as carcinogenic, we still have a very long way to go to ban asbestos in the U.S. and help protect Americans from dangerous asbestos exposure.