bacon

It’s a very sobering day for bacon lovers after a World Health Organization (WHO) group declared Monday that processed meat causes cancer and red meat “probably” does as well.

The conclusion puts processed meats in the same category of cancer risk as tobacco smoking and asbestos, which is frightening.

So what meats are good and which ones should you avoid?

For those out there scratching their heads, WHO defined what it meant by red and processed meat and listed some examples.

Here’s what they report;

Processed meat refers to meat “that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.” The agency notes that most processed meats contain pork or beef and that they can also contain other types of red meat, poultry, offal and byproducts of meat like blood.

Per the WHO, that includes:

  • hot dogs
  • ham
  • sausages
  • corned beef
  • beef jerky
  • canned meat
  • meat-based preparations and sauces (e.g. certain kinds of Bolognese)

Red meat refers to all types of mammalian muscle meat, and includes the following:

  • beef
  • veal
  • pork (not the “other white meat” after all, apparently)
  • lamb
  • mutton
  • goat
  • horse

So there you have it — the good news is, you can still dive into that Turkey this Thanksgiving.

About The Author

Melissa Myers has worked as an entertainment journalist for ten years, both in London and New York. She now focuses much of her time helping bring inspiring stories to light and, additionally, her project "Makeover with Meaning," which seeks to add a sprinkle of happiness into the lives of those who need it most.

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