Food & Spirits: My Response to the WHO’s Bacon and Red Meat Announcement

If you don't think this looks good then there is something wrong with you.
If you don’t think this looks good then there is something wrong with you.

We officially live in a country where Monsanto and genetically modified foods are perfectly fine, but a steak will give you cancer. Yes, the vegetarians are probably running around shouting, “I told you so”, at all us poor carnivores who have one foot in the grave. But what I have to say is simple: I don’t give a rat’s ass about the announcement, and I would rather live a slightly shorter lifespan eating freely than be a hundred year old vegetarian. Make no mistake, I do try to eat healthy when I can. My food and restaurant reviews on this blog are just glimpses into my adventures, but I don’t eat like that all the time. I read ingredients on nearly everything I eat and drink when I can because I simply want to know what I am putting in my body. Just like most foods, there were always risks taken when eating bacon and red meats, like high cholesterol or the types of diets such animals had before consumption. But now, the World Health Organization has decided to go a step further and elevate the potential risks to a new level: eating bacon and red meat cause cancer. That may be true, but so can breathing in polluted air or eating healthy vegetables not thoroughly washed of pesticides. No place is safe, and now your refrigerator and pantry can be akin to a murder weapon.

I would like to share with you the three following Facebook posts I made to my personal account yesterday, when I was just dumbstruck at seeing how different blogs and news outlets were reporting this information. I can’t tell you how many headlines such as “Red meat just as bad as cigarettes!” I saw. It was as if someone was taking a sadistic pleasure in making everyone miserable. Probably a disgruntled vegetarian, whose mind is eroding due to a lack of steak and smoked meat in their diet. To make such an exclamation, I believe, is highly misleading and dangerous. Cigarettes and tobacco are a major killer in America, and an addiction millions struggle with. It is the focus of DARE programs for children. Are we really going to place hamburgers on the same stage? Below is how I chimed in following the announcement:

  • It was revealed today that bacon and red meat cause cancer. Fantastic. You know what? I don’t care. I’m not gonna eat the stuff any more or less than I normally do. Fact is, everything can kill you. For years, red wine was bad for you. Now they suggest a glass a night is good for your heart and blood pressure. Bacon, always vilified for nitrates and nitrites, contains a chemical that fights Alzheimer’s. Olive oil is too fatty, but its a good fat. Go figure. Chemicals here, additives there. You need X amount of water a day, but better watch what kind because it might be polluted or treated. I try to eat healthy when I can. I’m an ardent ingredient and label reader. But fact is, we’re all gonna die at some point, and I have no desire to be the healthiest corpse in the cemetery. “Everything in moderation”, as they say.
  • If bacon causes cancer and tomatoes help to fight it, does this mean a BLT cancels itself out?
  • While we’re on the subject, maybe this will spell the end of DARE as we know it. Or maybe they can rename it “DARMRE” for “Drug, Alcohol, and Red Meat Resistance Education”. After all, the media is already exclaiming, “Red meat just as bad as cigarettes!” I can see it now in high schools, the kids walking around doing shady deals by their lockers. A dime bag full of bacon bits. Maybe hiding beef jerky or a Slim Jim in the binding of their notebooks. Put down that ham and cheese kid, here’s a pack of Marlboro for you.

In a way, I really was not kidding. With the government increasingly getting into everyone’s business, how long before there are restrictions placed on meat or bacon? Hell, New York City outlawed certain sizes of soda because the sugar is unhealthy for you. Personally, I don’t drink soda, but if someone wants to down a 48oz Big Gulp and give themselves diabetes, why go ahead and have at it. Same thing with animal products. You weigh the risks of cholesterol and whatnot, and that choice is yours to make. The WHO may think they did everyone a favor with this so-called “research”, but they are just fanning the flames of a society all too susceptible to hysteria.

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